News: A Tale of Too Much Information and a Girl by Simon Plaster


Reviewed by Chris Phillips

News:  A Tale of Too Much Information and a GirlThere are the classic Who, What, When, Where and Why in this comic thriller. The cast of characters is settling in for their new situations. They think that nothing much should be happening to upset that world, yet, they are surprisingly wrong.

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This tale of innuendo, gossip, lies, misdirection and intrigue comes across authentically as a comedy of errors and misinformation. The premise is simple enough and just subtle enough to provide a good base.

Ma Foster provides housing for her “girls,” Bella, Chloe and Kitty. Currently the three in residence are missing. Ma makes a big deal about it. She even goes to the local newspaper when the local police do not act on her fears. She does catch the attention of the out-of-work detective, the new editor of the local newspaper and last but not least the town itself.

The central character is Henrietta, who was named after the town in question, Henryetta, Oklahoma. Henrietta has a lot going for her these days, she has moved to the big city, OKC, OK and landed a job with the local TV. station. Although this does not help your journalistic career, it does get her in the middle of news and events of the day. The usual players for Henryetta are Wynona Sue, Henrietta’s hairdresser mother stars in a “reality” show, see later. Her husband, Professor LeHough, a local bug expert is bald from a surprise shaving. Rodney, Henrietta’s boyfriend, camera man buddy and overall best friend is pulled and tugged by Henrietta and her immediate boss Miss Peg. Harold Mixon, the owner and editor emeritus of the local weekly newspaper, just recently put online is trying to have a pleasant and quiet Labor Day weekend with his friends at the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.).

The other main characters are Gigi Carpenter, a feminist reporter turned editor of the local newspaper. Max (Maximo) Morgan a would-be gum shoe private detective with a penchant for old murder mysteries, especially Dashiel Hammet’s “Fat Man” tales. Then Deano DeBoffo as the “reality” show director trying to shot a pilot for a new show. Finally, Shatner Lapp, as a newsman, publisher, editor and all-round good old boy, comes to town to aid in his Princeton buddy’s newspaper problems.

Once these people get involved with the gossip laden townsfolk, the misinformation flies. With more rumors then the facts probably warrant, the three missing girls become more and more objects of speculation and intrigue while very little factual information is given. The rumors start out mild as the missing girls are only looked for by Ma and Maximo.

These rumors and gossip finally lead up to a major “reporter war” between Shat and Gigi. The misinformation here becomes the avalanche cascading over the news and then the townspeople.
So do the missing women get found? Who ends up managing the newspaper? What happens to the hopes and dreams of a reality show? Where do each of these people end up? These and other questions are comically answered in the latest effort of Plaster’s.

For a fun read, this is the book. For those that follow Plaster, this is a must read. And for anyone looking for something to do on a lazy afternoon, this is a definite read.
4 Stars.