Wildside

Steven Gould, Author
Steven Gould, Author Tor Books $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85473-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-8125-2398-0
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-12098-2
Prebound-Glued - 316 pages - 978-0-613-03362-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-1952-8
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-7653-4246-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-29849-0
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With adept storytelling, Gould, in his second novel (after the well-received Jumper, 1993), weaves the tale of Charles Newell, who discovers a gateway on his late uncle's farmland that leads to a ""parallel"" earth that is an ecological paradise of extinct species and lands unmarred by human presence. Charlie, who narrates, captures some passenger pigeons that he sells to major zoos and conservancy groups for a small fortune intended as seed capital for his master plan: to drill the alternate earth for its untouched gold. To help in this venture, Charlie reveals his secret to four of his friends, recent high-school graduates all. Working together, the five learn to pilot planes; but in time, their alliance and friendships are tested. The stakes become increasingly higher as well, climaxing in the arrival of government operatives. Ultimately, the financial considerations of the gateway prove no more important to Charlie or his pals than ecological and familial concerns. Adolescent readers will identify with the young heroes and heroines here, while older ones will be charmed by a yarn in which even the evil characters are intelligent and clever. Several loose ends cry to be tied up in a sequel; hopefully, Gould will oblige. (Mar.)
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