Sunday, July 1, 2012

Play Him Again by Jeffrey Stone

It's the Roaring Twenties but silence remains golden for Hollywood. Sound is expensive. Only two studios have installed sound equipment. Matt Hudson, the preferred bootlegger of the film industry, wants to produce a talking picture but neither sound studio will lease him their facilities. After Hud's oldest friend, con man Danny Kincaid, dupes a gangster who controls a small movie studio into buying a bogus sound device, the gangster gets wise and Danny ends up dead. To settle the score, Hud runs another con to play the gangster again. A con that will either avenge Danny and land Hud a studio, or get him killed.

Considering what an exciting time this era was, there were so many possibilities that could have been taken with this book.  Personally, I was a little let down.  It starts off quickly, grabbing you with an intense murder.  Then it quickly fades to stilted description and pages of history that, well to be honest, bored me to tears.  Other than the opening scene, the book moves so slowly that you have to force yourself to keep reading.  I kept trying to make the characters into actual people in my head, but the best I could come up with was a black and white comic strip.  Actually, turning this book into a black and white comic book isn't a half bad idea.  All of the unnecessary description and history would be cut out and it wouldn't harm the characters at all.  

I kept waiting for the pace to pick up, but sadly that didn't happen.  I was presented with murders in the beginning and immediately told why.  The rest of the book was just inane droning while the characters attempted to figure everything out.  This could have been an amazing short story, but I really feel like it was taken to extremes in padding in order to make it a more acceptable novel length.  Although while I didn't care for it, you may - so if the Roaring Twenties is something that is intriguing to you along with suspense, definitely pick it up.  You may love it!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Shawn


  1. Sorry to hear this was disappointing. Based on the description, it had so much potential.

  2. I liked this book. I think the author presented a really good story. I think if he works at it, the next story should show a little more polish. It's pretty good if you like gangsters and old Hollywood.


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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