Fun & Games

Fun & Games

by David Michael Slater

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615774152
Publisher: Library Tales Publishing, Inc.
Publication date: 08/12/2013
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)

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Fun & Games 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
KHarris1981 More than 1 year ago
Fun & Games is full of interesting characters and shocking events. It is a very unpredictable read, which kept me riveted until it was long past my bedtime. I highly recommend this book!
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
The newest book of David Michael Slater tells us the story about a Jewish family named Schwartz from Pittsburgh and is placed in the early 80s. Jonathan Schwartz, the main character, is 14 and the youngest of three children of Deane and Michael. Besides being part of the weirdest family tree I have ever heard of, Jonathan has quite difficult relationships with his two sisters Olivia and Nadia. Therefore he spends most of the time competing with his three friends Jake, Cory and Milo in their self-created “Purity Test”. Michael is a writer and has always ignored his heritage until the Bar Mitzvah of Jonathan is becoming a topic and after a heated meeting with the Rabbi he heads off to Israel, officially to research for his new book. After the departure of their father, Michael, lots of things run out of hand and 911 is dialled quite frequently in the Schwartzens’ household. Jonathan finds himself in the middle of mayhem where the rest of his family is more and more breaking apart, and in addition to that he has to struggle with all the ups and downs of growing up. In the beginning I some difficulties with the unfamiliar writing style. I then found myself deeply impressed and touched by the story of Jonathan and his family. David Michael Slater has written a book about a Jewish family who are still dealling with the impact of the Holocaust but he has made it somehow made a serious topic easy to understand and read about. The plot is really entertaining and contains lots of unexpected twists make this book one I am not going to forget anytime soon. I can`t really describe my feelings while reading it – it is funny, it is weird, it is sad, it is surprising, and of course there is always the thing with the family members struggling with their heritage and future perspectives. What I can do though is highly recommending it!
JBronder More than 1 year ago
On the surface, this is a story about Jonathan Schwartz and growing up in the 80’s. We start with him playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends while working on a Purity Test. We follow along as Jon deals with daily issues of growing up, getting into trouble with his friends, and going through High School. He is also part of an interesting family. His grandparents survived the Nazi Occupation and have their own way of coping. His father doesn’t believe in Good. And simply family outings have so much more meaning and heartbreak than what is seen on the surface. When Jon goes to college there is a tragedy that changes everything and lets him reflect on his past. This was an interesting story. I grew up in the 80’s and although I didn’t really participate in much Dungeons & Dragons I definitely remember it. I laughed at some of the stuff Jon and his friends get into. But at the same time I felt for him and his family and the things they were going through. Not everything is what it looks like on the surface and Jon’s family is the best example. Even when they go on an adventure I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the grandmother. But the way the book was put together seemed a little disjointed. I understand in different settings, at different times, and with different events things change. Unfortunately this made the book feel choppy moving from on this to another. I think it would have been better if the book would have been broken up. Having said that, Fun & Games is a pretty good book. I did enjoy it and sure remembered growing up and the stuff I got into as a kid. I received Fun & Games for free in exchange for an honest review.
JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
Read from August 08 to 09, 2013 Book Info  Product Details Paperback: 226 pages Publisher: Library Tales Publishing, Incorporated (May 6, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 0615774156 ISBN-13: 978-0615774152 Source:Ebook ARC copy from author in exchange for honest review Book Buy Links  AMAZON  B&N  BOOK SYNOPSIS The 1980’s: it’s the time of Dungeons & Dragons, banana clips, and Atari. Jonathan Schwartz is growing up in a family like no other. His sisters, Nadia, the dark genius, and Olivia, the gorgeous tease and temptress, manipulate Jon and his friends for their own entertainment. And his Holocaust survivor grandparents? Their coping techniques are beyond embarrassing. A disastrous visit to Jon’s class by his grandmother unhinges his famous father, setting off a chain of events that threatens to send the dysfunctional Schwartz clan up in flames once and for all. Fun & Games is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of faith, family secrets, betrayal, and loss—but it’s also a tale of friendship, love, and side-splitting shenanigans. My Thoughts Never let it be said that a title does not capture the essence of a book, there is quite a bit of "fun" in this story and a whole lot of "games" but in both cases the meaning of the words are different than their actual use by the author.  We start out with Jon and his 9th grade friends, Cory, Jake and Milo at the Schwartz home having a normal get together for their group. Dungeons and Dragons may be the game of choice but the boys real motivation this particular night seems to be centered upon a chart that they have created called "The Purity Test", a list of 100 questions that determined ones "Purity Rating".  The further we get into the story however it's simple beginnings start to delve into darker areas that provide a tone far different than simple "Fun & Games". The day to day accounting of the characters lives takes us through harrowing familial drama, devastating personal loss of loved ones, the teens hijinks during their 4 years of High School followed by the pitfalls the boys are faced with when they go away to college all the while allowing the reader ample time to adjust to the changes occurring as Jon and his friends learn that growing up is not exactly what they imagined it would be. The trauma at the end is offset by a final revelation that finally allows Jon to start to come to terms with the past and look forward to a brighter future. This story will make you sad in places, make you smile and laugh in others and probably at inappropriate places too, it will tug at your heartstrings as you empathize with the characters when remembering similar times in your own life and most of all it will remind us that no matter what you think there is always someone whose family is just a little wackier than your own! Growing up in the 80's never played D&D but do remember some of my peers doing so, luckily also did not have quite such a kooky family nor were my eclectic friends as zany as Jon's but this book did bring back goofy memories just like some of the ones portrayed in the story. [EARC copy from author in exchange for honest review]
RabidReaderReviews More than 1 year ago
There is a subtle intelligence behind Fun & Games. The undertones of meaning don’t smack a reader in the face instead whispering between the lines in scenes. Religion is a prevailing theme. Jonathan’s father is very much anti-religion and his influence is strong in the family. He respects those who believe but he does not share their beliefs. The story could easily come off as a sermon against organized religion but instead urges a reader to think for himself or herself and come to their own conclusions while maintaining a light entertainment that is sometimes fun and sometimes challenging. The plot-line is sequential. We are with Jonathan as he lives his day to day. I found his grandparents especially appealing. Jonathan’s mother’s father lost his wife in France after surviving the Nazi Occupation. He brought his baby daughter to the US and then met Jonathan’s father’s mother when the pair supervise the first date of their children. They married, as did their children. Of course, the youngsters in Jonathan’s class when his grandmother speaks to them can’t fathom that the marriage came long after their children were born. At one point in the story, Jonathan’s grandmother leads him to question if believing in fate is the same as believing in God. There is another point in the story where the family is traveling and while the scene is supposed to be and is funny, my heart broke for the grandmother, which I have to think, was also the intent. The author has written a teen series that is in development for the big screen. Fun & Games would make a fabulously funny movie for a teen crowd with the kind of heart that appeals to adults. Those of us who came of age in the 80s will find nostalgia galore in this humorous take on a boy and his friends in the 80’s. I highly recommend this novel for those fans of nostalgic fiction. If you like Neil Simon’s work, you will like this novel.