Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Thomas De Haven


Natural 20 is a novel that takes place between many worlds, most inside the head of Chester Gerber, the protagonist and central character. Chester Gerber has a difficult "real" world life. He graduated high school over a year ago and his best friend moved from Michigan to Baltimore to attend school. Chester himself isn't in college, has no job or girlfriend, and, since his father died, lives alone with his mother in a trailer in a dying Michigan town. To deal with this, Chester uses various means of escape—including playing Dungeons and Dragons, video games, and reading. At various times throughout, the novel follows Chester into these worlds and helps the reader understand Chester to a deeper degree by exploring the worlds he's creating. Eventually, the real world, filled with girl trouble, friendship strife, and someone close battling cancer, becomes too much, and Chester is forced to face it without escape.


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Available for download on Sunday, May 15, 2214