You Can Fly by Chuck Rosenthal


“Peter Pan in Topanga! In the tradition of the best American fabulist fiction and classic bedtime lore, Chuck Rosenthal reconstructs the lineage of the ultimate Lost Boy and a recovered rite of passage—with tenderness, fierce intellect and humor.”

—Jazmin Aminian, publisher of Letters at 3am Press


Kiddy lit, at its best, is subversive and terrifying. It teems with archetypes that are shrouded in the gossamer vestments of innocence. We who have read such tales to our children have seen through that fabric into the dark and gooey libidinal stuff of which they are the issue. Chuck Rosenthal’s Blakean sequel to the Peter Pan tale is both discomforting and exhilarating, like irony and flight.”

—Richard Katrovas, author of Swastika into Lotus


“In Chuck Rosenthal’s comic re-visioning of the Peter Pan story — when the “new Pan” sets off with Tinker Bell to Never Never Land and encounters his father’s old nemeses – we are taken to a magical place that is at once familiar and new. I laughed out loud and was moved to tears.  Rosenthal’s retelling is full of relevant meaning for any time; his perceptions of life and family are not only humorous but also touching, full of pain and surprise.”

—Ronald Alexander, author of The War on Dogs


“It’s high time we all took another romp through Never Never Land, and Chuck Rosenthal’s You Can Fly: A Sequel to the Peter Pan Tales is the perfect vehicle for just such an adventure.  Wiley and shrewd, Rosenthal flies us through a magical world of gypsies and pirates, princesses and reckless boys (the lost ones), a crocodile (with a good heart), mermaids—the whole shebang.  Simply put, You Can Fly is a blast to read—on your own or with a child near and dear to your heart.”

—Mona Houghton, author of  Frottage & Even As We Speak


“Everyone who has read the Peter Pan books or seen the movies will relish this imaginative visit to Neverland. Rosenthal goes after a complex and sometimes darker version of that enchanted island, with all of its familiar inhabitants, along with some new ones, and the result is a book richly steeped in magic, evil, humor, and the power of love.”

—Rod Moore, author of A History of Hands (Juniper Prize for Fiction)


“Leave it to Chuck Rosenthal to understand that when Peter Pan finally ages he’ll end up in Topanga Canyon — anyone who knows Southern California will feel a flash of recognition! Rosenthal’s electric-guitar prose holds true to his story’s title and let’s you feel it too (because you know somewhere deep inside, where this writer reaches, it is true): You Can Fly. But we need to be reminded. Chuck Rosenthal is the story-teller to do just that.”

—Michael Ventura, author of Letters at 3 a.m.


“Chuck Rosenthal continues to reinvent the old story of the child who must step past the threshold into adulthood, where life will teach a lesson for wanting to find out something. You Can Fly should be included in the book bag of every high school student, borrowed from the bedside table of a friend’s hip mom, stolen from a friend who has loaned it, and serialized page by page in the Last Whole Earth Catalog. Its pages should be thickened by ocean fog, stained by suntan lotion. Made into a screenplay, it should be rolled up, tapped on a boardroom table for emphasis, to say that this is a story that will not grow up, that the offspring of this legend is the next big thing.”

—Kevin Cantwell, author of One of Those Russian Novels


“Accolades to Chuck Rosenthal for “You Can Fly, A Sequel to the Peter Pan Tales,” and as readers we fly.  We soar with Peter to “Never Never Land” where we retrieve our innocence in this enchanting, suspenseful, and wise fable.  The journey is brought to life by the extraordinary writing of Chuck Rosenthal who carries us there with his talent, humor and tenderness. It’s a seamless story told with an alluring and poetic narrative.  His writing lives up to all the magic in “Never Never Land.” Reading this novel was a sheer joy! Thank you Chuck Rosenthal!  I am young again.”

—Paul Lieber, author of Chemical Tendencies and producer and host of “Why Poetry?” on Pacifca Radio.


“Lovable, irreverent, touching, energetic, rich with hallucinatory weirdness and whimsy, and resonant with mythic undercurrents, Chuck Rosenthal’s You Can Fly is an exploration of adulthood as a mode of boredom, a mode of growing away from unmediated curiosity and joy into everydayness, a form of piracy, a giving-up on the idea that everything and nothing should be taken seriously, and only the impossible things are probable.”

—Lance Olsen, author of Dreamlives of Debris


“Chuck Rosenthal’s biting wit has always been the perfect foil for his wonder-like sense of children. You Can Fly is the update Peter Pan has been waiting for for a century.”

—Daren Wang, author of The Hidden Light of Northern Fires