Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
Action Park by Andy Mulvihill and Jake Rossen
Add Action Park to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

Action Park

Best Seller
Action Park by Andy Mulvihill and Jake Rossen
Paperback $18.00
Jun 30, 2020 | ISBN 9780143134510

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • $18.00

    Jun 30, 2020 | ISBN 9780143134510

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Jun 30, 2020 | ISBN 9780525506294

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Jun 30, 2020 | ISBN 9780593214312

    582 Minutes

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from Action Park

Product Details


“I went to Action Park exactly once in the 1990s. I saw people with open wounds. I was asked if I was an expert swimmer by a bored 16 year old before entering a pitch dark water pipe that ejected me feet over ice cold water. I bruised my ribs on the turn of one water slide and spent the next day in exquisite pain. I never wanted to go back again. Until I read this book. Now I miss it. Why do we as a species crave danger and punishment? You won’t find the answer here, but you will find story after unbelievable story of a place that should have never existed.” —John Hodgman, author of Vacationland and Medallion Status

“The lore of the place — the scars and stitches, the wipeout tales, and the sheer notion of a theme park so slapdash, unregulated and deserving of nicknames like “Traction Park”— has inspired oral histories, a documentary and a movie helmed by no less a connoisseur of bodily harm than Johnny Knoxville of “Jackass” fame. But the truest version may be the latest … Beyond painting a compelling portrait of Gene Mulvihill, Action Park captures the frenetic energy of a place very much a function of its time: parental supervision and safety precautions — low; teen hormones, illusion of infallibility and recklessness — high.” —The Washington Post

“Action Park’s ridiculous history… is a compelling, entertaining, albeit horrifying read.” —A.V. Club

“Action Park, like Jurassic Park, brims with mortal danger, except Action Park was somehow real. If you ever worked a summer job with guys named Smoke, Puff and Ring-Ding, you’ll instantly recognize the time and place. Every page is so redolent of beer, fear, lust and chlorine that it’s practically scratch-and-sniff.” —Steve Rushin, author of Sting-Ray Afternoons and Nights in White Castle

“Every traditional amusement park exhales a whiff of the sinister, but an afternoon at Action Park was more akin to visiting the Western Front on a busy day than suffering some mild jostling in a bumper car or rattling through the Laff in the Dark. The son of Gene Mulvihill, founder of Action Park’s unique—and uniquely dangerous—concoction of violent diversions reveals its almost unbelievable and frequently hilarious history with high-hearted gusto and impressive frankness. Here was an operation founded on a strange application of the old principle that the customer is always right: if you got hurt—and hundreds did—it was your own fault. After all, one had only to look at the rides to see that most of them offered the likelihood of a compound fracture or worse. Fueling Mulvihill’s implausible success was his libertarian conviction that people are responsible for their own choices, however reckless. And there is a larger story here: a glimpse–at once chilling, fascinating, and oddly touching—of American entrepreneurial genius at its most audacious.” —Richard Snow, author of Disney’s Land

“Reading Andy Mulvihill’s chronicle of fast times at his father Gene’s amusement park resembles an actual visit: fun and hilarity one second, shock and horror the next…Alternately wistful and clear-eyed about the past, Andy’s story will be cherished by those who remember their own Coppertone-scented teen summers.” —Booklist

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Back to Top