The world of pondside

Mary Helen Stefaniak

Book - 2022

"With help from Pondside Manor's quirky, twentysomething kitchen worker Foster Kresowik, wheelchair-bound resident Robert Kallman creates The World of Pondside, a video game that delights the nursing home's residents by allowing them to virtually relive blissful moments from days long past--or even create new ones."--Amazon.

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1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Stefaniak, Mary (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 4, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Novels
Humorous fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Mystery fiction
Published
Ashland, Oregon : Blackstone Publishing 2022
Language
English
Physical Description
354 pages : 24 cm
ISBN
9781799909712
1799909719
Main Author
Mary Helen Stefaniak (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

The world enveloped by the Pondside Manor care facility is both real and unreal, as such establishments are wont to be. Its residents, many of whom suffer from dementia, already have a hard time discerning fact from fiction, so it would seem counterintuitive to introduce them to a video universe, also called Pondside, that mirrors their daily lives in exacting detail. And yet that's just what beloved resident Robert Kallman has done. Kallman, who struggles with ALS, created a game in which players enter realms teeming with things, events, and people from their past. In this virtual reality, they can enjoy happier, healthier times. The game becomes so addictive that when Kallman dies under mysterious circumstances, it is left to his closest friend, Foster, a young member of the kitchen staff, to discover how to reboot the game in its creator's absence and in the process determine whether Kallman's death was murder or suicide. Stefaniak infuses an often forbidding and depressing environment with joy and dignity in this Agatha Christie-esque cyber caper. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In a game of life or death, the seniors at Pondside Manor risk it all.With help from Pondside Manor’s quirky, twentysomething kitchen worker Foster Kresowik, resident Robert Kallman creates The World of Pondside, a video game that delights the nursing home’s residents by allowing them to virtually relive blissful moments from days long past—or even create new ones.One-legged Duane Lotspeich is overjoyed when he can dance the tango again. Octogenarian Laverne Slatchek cheers on her favorite baseball team from the stands at Candlestick Park with her beloved husband—who died years ago. Even the overwhelmed Pondside administrator escapes her job by logging into a much more luxurious virtual world.Robert’s game enlivens the halls of Pondside Manor, but chaos ensues when he is found dead, submerged in the pond, still strapped into his wheelchair. If any resident witnessed his death, they’re not telling—either covering up or, quite possibly, forgetting. And it’s far from clear to anyone—including the police—if the death of this brilliant man, who suffered from ALS, was suicide or murder.When Robert’s video game goes dark, its players grow desperate. The task of getting it back online falls to young Foster, who enlists help from a raucous group of residents and staff. Their pursuit—virtual and real—has unintended consequences, uncovering both criminal activities and the secret plans of Foster’s friend Robert. From Pondside Manor, this unlikely bunch of gamers embarks upon an astonishing journey—blissful, treacherous, and unforgettable.Packed with sharp wit and compassion, Mary Helen Stefaniak has written a rousing, perceptive, and utterly original novel.