Synopses & Reviews
An “enormously entertaining” (Smithsonian), “clever, subtle, and adroit” account (Wall Street Journal) of how the author and his friend constructed a medieval siege engine in a San Francisco backyard. “So funny that I could not put it down” (Los Angeles Times).
It all started when Jim Paul found out he couldn't bring a piece of quartzite on the plane with him because, he was told, it could be used as a weapon. That's ridiculous, he thought, holding the rock in his hand. And then he realized that, at one time in history, it had been a weapon, and a catapult was used to launch it. So was born Paul's idea to build a catapult, a project he took on with a friend, Harry. The result is chronicled here, in a book that has become a beloved cult favorite. Building the catapult took money, a great deal of time, and many sore thumbs. But when they were done, they had re-created the Middle Ages in a backyard in San Francisco, and with it an entire era in history, as well as a way to understand human society.
About the Author
Jim Paul, author of Catapult: Harry and I Build a Siege Weapon, What's Called Love, and Medieval in L.A., is a poet and translator. A recipient of a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he lives in San Francisco.