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Radio Activity Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Radio Activity



Morrow, 2004, 23.95, 306 pp.
ISBN: 0380977591

In 1970s Bismarck, rock and roll deejay Rick Shannon loses his job when his station is sold. He is despondent and concerned about finding work in a changing business climate in which corporate intrusion has led to one size fits all play lists and patter must be politically correct as defined by big brother owner.

Desperate to remain in the field, Rick accepts work as the late evening host Buddy Miles in McRae, Mississippi. However, upon arriving in town, he learns that the station's general manager Clay Stubblefield expects Rick to serve as the program director. Rick agrees to stay on as program manager only if he also receives the night spot replacing local legend "Captain" Jack Carter. Though the reader ironically knows, Rick wonders why the Captain left town without taking his valuable record collection. Rick investigates what happened to his predecessor helped by a tape that the captain took of Clay implying sexual misconduct and potential illegal drug activity. If Rick is not careful he might learn the hard way how the old boy method works on interfering outsiders.

This is an engaging look back at an era in which radio is changing from local to regional and national. The amateur sleuth aspects of the tale are fun though the tension is more of a slow dance than a hustle. Rick is terrific as the outsider while Clay and his cohorts give southern living a sinister name. Bill Fitzhugh furbishes an insightful tale starring a fine protagonist who deserves a second gig from his new haunt in Gulfport.

Harriet Klausner

This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Radio Activity

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   white collar fraud or theft General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   TV/radio talk show host Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Bill Fitzhugh Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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