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'The Impossible Fortress' will make you feel 14 again



Ever since finishing reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (for the fifth time), I’ve been looking for another love letter to the ‘80s to grab my attention. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak has delivered on that. 

Like Ready Player One, ‘80s fans will find The Impossible Fortress is saturated with pop culture spotlights on everything we hold dear from our beloved decade: TV shows, Phil Collins music and even the never-ending quest to secure a copy of Playboy.

It’s an edition of Playboy, in fact, that gets the plot started. Set in the year 1987, the book follows the tales of three boys who fill their nights with marathon sessions of board games, boxes of Pop-Tarts and ever-ending binges of MTV. That is until they discover that Vanna White is on this month’s cover of Playboy. Suddenly, all other priorities fall to the side as Billy, Alf and Clark - love the names - conduct one doomed plan after another to obtain copies. 

That’s just the start of things. I don’t want to ruin the twists and turns, but fans of ‘80s-era computer programming (and that’s all of us) will be particularly satisfied (and impressed with the coding show at the top of each chapter page). And fans of Christie Brinkley will never think of poker the same way again after seeing a “naked” version of the actress portrayed entirely from ASCII characters.

I hope that The Impossible Fortress - published earlier this year - makes it on the holiday gift lists for all ‘80s fans. Rekulak’s novel is a worthy trophy to commemorate our decade. I hope there are more to come. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 12:35pm]


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