Reviews - What do customers think about Stubblefield?
How Life Reveals Itself Jan 16, 2007
This was a wonderfully written intricate tale. As a seasoned and jaded mystery reader, I found this a fascinating story, about a young man's life and how it unfolds. There are enough elements in the story to keep the reader wondering till the end, and then some. I couldn't put it down and I haven't forgotten it.
Top Notch Novel Jun 29, 2006
I met Stan Wilson about a year ago in conjunction with his work to promote child safety programs in the State of Washington. I knew that Stan was a clinical psychologist and active in community service. Through meetings and emails, I'd discovered that Stan was intelligent, professional, personable, and witty. I did not, however, have the slightest inkling that he was a novelist! I was more than a little suprised to receive a copy of "Stubblefield" one day in the mail.
I'm embarrassed to say it was months before I had a chance to pick the book up to read it (part of that time it sat in a moving box). To be honest, when I started reading it, I didn't know what to expect in terms of quality with it being a first novel. It was kind of a strange experience to begin to read a novel written by someone that I'd gotten to know in a business setting and whose literary talents and aspirations were unknown to me. As I read the acknowledgments, I thought that I might be distracted thinking about Stan being the author. Worse yet, I worried that the book might not be any good and end up being a drudgery to read. I mean, how good could a first novel be?
Within a few pages, I was so totally immersed in the story that Stan Wilson, this guy I know, was the farthest thing from my mind. Oh-my-gosh, the book was so good; I had a hard time putting it down! I am really impressed! I was reminded a lot of works by John Irving and Nicholas Sparks. The characters are extraordinary yet credible; the plot is gripping yet plausible; the flow is compelling, clear and smooth (which is more than I can say about works from famous authors that have required me to re-read sections to untangle snags in the flow). The discovery of love, sex and heartbreak feel familiar and real. The story includes enough interesting and well-crafted anecdotes and vignettes to flesh out the story without bogging the reader down with trivial details about time and place.
The foreshadowing in the beginning really drew me in to story and had my mind cranking out possible conclusions with each twist. Still, I was happily surprised by the ending. I wondered right up until the last page whether this would be a tragedy of star-crossed lovers or a Cinderella story. Though I only have a pedestrian knowledge of chess, I enjoyed learning more as I read. I appreciated the imaginative way the game was used as a multi-layered metaphor in the development of the plot. I also appreciated that the chess metaphor was not over-used. (The book actually inspired me to buy a chess set for my 5-year old so we could start to teach him the basics.)
I hope Stan Wilson keeps writing! I also hope many more people read Stubblefield. I really enjoyed it and rate it as a top-notch novel.
If you have a pulse ... Stubblefield is a "must read" Jul 20, 2005
Dear Fellow Readers,
Stanley Wilson's novel Stubblefield is home to so many beatifully heartwrenching stories and wonderfully real characters, I could write on and on. Instead, I will say that out of all the novels I have read in the last year, Stubblefield is, without a doubt, the finest. From page one, I was completely consumed by the world of Bryan Matthews. Stanley Wilson writes with such an eloquent style that seems to bring every word, sentence, paragraph, and page to life. Set in Washington state and California, this novel is filled with brilliant scenery and touching relationships. Like any great classic storyteller, Stanley Wilson causes the reader to hate the bad guy, and absolutely fall head over heels for the ones we should love. The conflicts in the novel, big or small, all are written with such care, that I found myself lost between the pages. Portraying the reality of love and the emptiness of its loss, Stanley Wilson truly had me totally consumed with a hunger for resolution until the moment in which I read the last page and closed the book, feeling complete satisfaction. Stubblefield is truly a "must read" and a genuine masterpiece.
Emotional grabber May 7, 2005
It is hard to read this book in more than two or three days... and you know what that means (as other reviewers have warned): neglect of sleep, work, home family, etc. It is a very compelling story excellently written that grabbed me emotionally in an unexpectedly intense way. The book really isn't about chess, so don't worry if you aren't all that interested in chess. Chess is just part of the setting. Likewise, if you are familiar with Walla Walla,Whitman College, or Topanga Canyon you'll enjoy the settings, but they're just the backdrop. The book really is about the intense desperation that young love can bring. It's also a terrific tale that will keep you turning the pages into the night. When you're done, the feelings that this book elicited in you will remain for a long long time. This is one you should not miss reading, and sharing.
Warning: Hazardous to your health Nov 1, 2004
This first work of fiction by Wilson is a gripping and tightly woven tale of discovery, angst, epiphany, and penetrating characterization, wrapped around the passion and precision of chess. Those who like deep character development in a book will be enthralled. Those who enjoy romance in a novel will be swept along. For those few who can imagine a book whose main character is a chess prodigy, this will be an epic. But those who would disregard a book because the main character's life is wrapped up in the world of chess, would miss an exciting read where championship chess is a thread in a vivid tapestry. Bryan Matthews, the main character, is magnetic from the beginning. Witness to a tragedy early in his life, he discovers a genius at chess which leads him from the parochial setting of a hard-scrabble mining town to the pastoral setting of a university campus, and opens his life to new adventures. The tragedy in his childhood presages dark events that color and steal his youth, bouncing him from extreme joy to desperate suffering. [Disclaimer] Possible side effects: Loss of sleep from being unable to put the book down; emotional disturbances from the roller coaster ride of involvement with the characters; and nervous twitching from a desire to flip to the back of the book to find out the end of the story. I recommend this book because I suffered all of the side effects described in the disclaimer. Buy and read this excellent first novel by Stanley Wilson.