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REVIEW

"A book any Disneyphile would love!"

The time is the fairly close future and the Disney company is on the ropes. Through bad investments, poor planning, and lack of clear guidance on the part of management, the stock price is at an all-time low and a hostile take over is at hand by a man named Arnold Garth. Garth is a ruthless businessman whose first act will be to break up the company and sell off the assets, dismantling the corporation that was built on a mouse. To the members of "the Circle" there is only one thing left to do.

It's time to wake up Walt.

The premise of "Waking Walt" is that the old urban legend of Walt Disney being frozen just before his death is true, and that he's been in cryogenic storage for the past forty years. One of the circle is a former doctor, and he takes the lead in attempting to steal an experimental drug that is said to be a miracle cure for lung cancer. When he's unsuccessful at the theft and has stroke in the process, his nephew, Harry Poole is brought in to take his place. The rest of the circle is too old to be doing so much running around. Nearly fifty himself, Harry isn't your typical run of the mill hero but that doesn't stop Lisa, one of the circle's granddaughters from taking an interest in him, though romance isn't really what this book is about.

Harry must help out Lisa, her grandfather, and the rest of Walt's inner circle to pull off a miracle and thaw out Walt so he can save the company before it's too late. As if cheating death wasn't enough, they have other problems. There are several people who have no interest in seeing Walter Elias Disney come back from the dead... and they aren't particular who they have to hurt in the process.

In addition to the action adventure plot of getting Walt out of storage, treating him for his cancer, and evading the bad guys, the book is filled with information about the Disney Company. Some of these are historical facts, and others are the kind of tales that long-timers in a company like to share over cocktails or dinner. And when the resurrected Walt is telling the story the reader almost feels like they really are getting it from the horse's mouth.

The author knew that Disney had his faults and shows the man as he was, with sometimes-extreme prejudices, but he also shows a man capable of learning, and in serious love with the future. When Walt sees some of what has become of his dream you feel cheered at the parts that worked and sad over the ones that didn't. This is a book any Disneyphile would love, if only for the stories most of which have been documented before, but never so poignantly.

The book is exciting and action-packed, and very well written. The characters were interesting and charming. This isn't a romance as the plot isn't about a man and woman relationship, but "Waking Walt" is an excellent book, different and a lot of fun.

Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted June 6, 2003

SUMMARY

WAKING WALT is a spellbinding take on one of America's most enduring urban legends. Could it be true; Walt Disney was never cremated and buried at Forest Lawn as the official story goes? Imagine that, for nearly 40 years, the great entertainment genius has been in cryonic suspension, waiting to return when a cure for his lung cancer is found. Now, an experimental drug being tested looks like the answer. The waiting is almost over. Then, disaster strikes!

In a déjà vu nightmare for The Disney Company, a ruthless corporate raider launches a takeover attempt, planning to sell off the company's assets to the highest bidders. And this time there are no white knights in Disney's corner.

But the Circle is still there, the small group of confidants who helped Walt escape death and who have been guarding him and his secret ever since. Even though they're all old men now, they're not about to let Walt's company be torn apart without a fight. And they know just who can lead them. However, as they scurry to wake him, the Circle discovers there are powerful forces that want the dead to stay dead. But they don't know Walt Disney!

 

Waking Walt
by Larry Pontius

iUniverse
June 6, 2003
ISBN #059525425X
444 pages
Trade Size
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