Alice M. Batzel 
Published Author, Playwright,

 Journalist,  Poet,  Freelance Writer


TITLE:                    THE ROLLER COASTER -

                                  A RITE OF PASSAGE 

                                  From the collective works of 

                                  CHIMNEY FISHING

AUTHOR:                Steve Odenthal

GENRE:                   Humor, clean, general audience.

                                  (word count:  3,570)

Published:                 May 27, 2015


REVIEW TITLE:     A HUMOROUS 'RITE OF PASSAGE' THE READER WILL                                                  LONG REMEMBER AND TREASURE!


        This is my first reading of any of the writing works by Author Steve Odenthal.  The very positive experience has left me with the desire to grasp onto more of his writing and keep reading, and keep laughing.  The casual dialogue with which the author writes makes the reader feel as though you are in his presence and he is verbally retelling the experience to you with all candor of a true first-hand participant.  Personally, I am frightened of all roller coasters, so my anxiety was at the surface prior to reading beyond the title.  However, the storytelling unfolds with such ease that my own personal emotions were soon dismissed and I was open to experience the telling of this tale without any personal discrimination whatsoever.   

        In a style reminiscent of Narrator Daniel Stern from the TV show Wonder Years, Steve Odenthal is a very comfortable story teller and does not force the story; rather, the story gently unfolds with a sense of unaware capture that the reader feels very soon.  Similar to Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion, Steve Odenthal has a talent for setting the stage with words, and you find that as the story nears end, you really don't want it to end because the reading experience has been so enjoyable, believable, and you now feel you have a relationship with the storyteller and the story itself.

        The ride that the reader takes in reading, THE ROLLER COASTER - A RITE OF PASSAGE, is like a portal to a parallel universe, and you are mighty glad that you stepped through that portal and went on that storytelling  ride.  Pandora ’s Box of emotions is opened as you experience the feelings of the Father, and those of the young son.  The descriptive vision created by the author’s words makes you feel as though you are personally looking through the spaces of the sparsely constructed wooden slats of the coaster’s floorboard; each jerking jolt, screeching halt, and vibrating battle against centrifugal force is palpable, and you nearly replace yourself with that of the young son, attempting to achieve your own rite of passage in this journey.  The vivid description of the agitated woman seated behind them left little to the imagination as the author painted a picture of character annoyance yet tempered with humor.  I don’t believe I will ever look at a set of dentures again without thinking of this story and feeling the reactive laugh it invokes.  Just when you think the young lad is worse for the journey, and the father is doomed by the boy’s mother, victory is claimed by the lad and the reader also claims this same joyful victory! 

        Steve Odenthal has a style that is needed for today’s reader.  We need the good medicine in life that laughter provides, and Steve Odenthal generously provides it in a very believable style.  If you are up for experiencing your own rite of passage, THE ROLLER COASTER - A RITE OF PASSAGE most definitely DELIVERS!

Reviewed by:  Alice M. Batzel  7/23/2015

Published Playwright, Journalist, Freelance Writer

[email protected]

REVIEW posted 7/23/2015 on: