The Impossible Fortress (CD-Audio)

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Staff Reviews

Three boys, one goal. The year is 1987 and three teenaged friends: Billy, Alf, and Clark discover that Playboy magazine has just released an issue with their dream woman, Vanna White on the cover. The boys decide that they must get a hold of this magazine at all costs. And so begins the plan: seduce the daughter of Zelinsky's convenience store, Mary Zelinsky into giving away the stores security code. Nothing could get in the way, except for maybe true love. This laugh out loud coming of age story will have you reminiscing over your own teenage shenanigans and leave you with wanting more adventures with Billy, Alf, and Clark. — Nicole, Chicago ORD

Successfully walking in the footsteps of bestselling novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is the 1980's computer gaming induced The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak. The plot introduces a fourteen year old boy swimming in adolescence attempting to not only win the grand prize of a game programming contest, but to also heist the most recent newsstand copy of Playboy featuring Vanna White with his buddies. With Operation Vanna and Zork's programming type adventure in full swing, author Jason Rekulak keeps the reader knee deep in an enjoyable nostalgic 80's jargon experience.

— Mike, Albuquerque

The Impossible Fortress made me feel really nostalgic (old but not in a bad way.) I liked that the main plot of the boys trying to get the Playboy was so background to the boy trying to overcome everyone's expectations of him in a time when being good at computers was more of a novelty. I thought the pacing was really clever and I anticipate that when it goes to paperback it'll be a big seller.
— Jacob, Denver

February 2017 Indie Next List

“You don't have to remember the 1980s to deeply 'get' this sweet memory trip back to the decade when video games, personal computers, and mixtapes were new. But if you did come of age in the 1980s, look out. All those awkward boy/girl moments, all those songs that comprised the soundtracks of your make-out sessions and your break-ups, all the wonder of your first encounters with MS-DOS buried deep in a far corner of your memory... Jason Rekulak will bring it all back to you.”
— Carol Spurling (E), Bookpeople Of Moscow, Moscow, ID


A love letter to the 1980s and to nerds everywhere—The Impossible Fortress will make you remember what it feels like to love someone—or something—for the first time.

Billy Marvin’s first love was his computer.

Then he met Mary Zelinsky.

Do you remember your first love?

It’s May 1987. Fourteen-year-old Billy Marvin of Wetbridge, New Jersey, is a nerd, but a decidedly happy nerd. Afternoons are spent with his buddies, watching copious amounts of television, gorging on Pop-Tarts, debating who would win in a brawl (Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. or T.J. Hooker?), and programming video games on his Commodore 64 late into the night. Then Playboy magazine publishes photos of their idol, Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White, Billy meets expert computer programmer Mary Zelinsky, and everything changes.

“A sweet and surprising story about young love” (A.V. Club), and a “quirky, endearing, full embrace of the late eighties” (USA TODAY), The Impossible Fortress will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you remember in exquisite detail what it feels like to love for the very first time. Heralded as one of the most anticipated novels of 2017 by Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, and, The Impossible Fortress is a surefire “unexpected retro delight” (Booklist, starred review).

About the Author

Jason Rekulak was born and raised in New Jersey. He has worked for many years at Quirk Books, where he edits a variety of fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children. The Impossible Fortress is his first novel. To learn more and play a version of The Impossible Fortress game, visit

Product Details
ISBN: 9781508228806
ISBN-10: 1508228809
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Language: English