OK. So first off I got confess that now that I am officially middle aged I don’t actually ride roller coasters anymore. But Joel was a huge Disney fan and I have been to Disneyland as an adult an inordinate number of times for a non parent. And time was that I loved the roller coasters most of all and always looked forward to these Southern California trips. And it was that younger me that was so entranced by the cover of Richard Barth’s novel Jumper, A Mystery.
A slim genre novel by an author who it turns out has produced lots and Lots of slim hardcover genre novels but whose work had not previously caught my eye. And having read and somewhat enjoyed this one, I have to say I doubt I will make a point of tracking down his other work. While Barth writes well and with authority about the workings of roller coasters, the National Transportation Safety Board and the business end of amusement parks, much of the emotional backstory and a plot device about drug addiction ring hollow and inauthentic and taken on the whole I am sorry to say this is not very good, even for a hack genre novel.
If you’re a roller coaster fanatic, you’ll probably like it, even though it isn’t very good. If you are Not a roller coaster fan, Don’t Bother.