Tag Archives: simon plaster

Brokla: A Tale of Things Falling Apart by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Brokla: A Tale of Things Falling Apart is the newest satirical, LOL book in author Simon Plaster’s series of novels featuring a small-town Oklahoman reporter known as Henrietta. As with other books in the series written by Plaster, he pulls no punches and he uses the actions and comments of his humorous, larger-than life characters to target several controversial topics that have been in the news in recent months and since the election of President Donald Trump. No topic is sacred or immune from Plaster’s playful jabs and satirical barbs, all related to the breaking apart of the social structure and very fabric of the United States. Plaster uses his large and motley cast of humorous characters to target subjects like the decline of TV viewership in the NFL, the resurgence of Feministas, the continued influence of the Antifa movement, the poor irrigation practices of Oklahoma panhandle farmers, the possible secession of California from the United States, the intense college football rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma and much, much more.
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The author’s female protagonist, erstwhile reporter Henrietta, started off in the earlier novels in the series with big ambitions, and she still has them in Brokla. She longs for the day when she will be assigned to writing the type of newsworthy story that could earn her a Pulitzer. At the start of Brokla, she thinks that maybe she’s finally hit on a story that is big enough and important enough to gain her the fame, and Pulitzer, she feels she richly deserves, when her boss at the local weekly newspaper, SCENE, Nigel Fleetwood, assigns her to cover a Town Hall Lecture Series where a certain Colonel Top Secret, a foreign government think tank expert, complete with a paper bag over his head, is speaking and prophesying about the future of the United States. A man Plaster calls “Agent X” sits at the same table with Colonel Top Secret, helping to interpret the foreign military leader’s dire predictions.

BOO! A Chilling Tale of Too-Too #MeToo by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

BooBOO! by Simon Plaster, featuring a cast of some of the most idiosyncratic and humorously twisted characters this side of Oklahoma City, along with his memorable female protagonist, small town reporter turned big, Henrietta, just might be one of the author’s most entertaining and LOL novels yet. In BOO!, Plaster’s latest novel, the author takes satirical jabs at a variety of subjects, including sexual mores and the “Me Too” movement. It’s a book that will delight fans of Plaster’s and anybody who enjoys reading satirical novels that point out the lighter side of controversial topics. No matter if you’re a supporter of the “Me Too” movement or a critic of it, you’ll find something to laugh and think about in the pages of BOO!

As BOO! opens, Henrietta is working in OKC writing for the OKC SCENE, and she has a new boss, Mr. Nigel Fleetwood, a man who wants to take the publication in a new direction. Affecting an English accent, Fleetwood wants the OKC SCENE to incorporate touches that have long been staples of certain UK newspapers, like including more scandalous stories about celebrities and political figures, along with photographs of naked or semi-clothed ladies.

Henrietta’s boss requests that she writes a story for the OKC SCENE about haunted houses in Oklahoma. During her research online, she reads about a haunted castle known as LeRoy’s Castle that is open to the public and features “‘almost live’ entertainment.” The Haunted Castle is beset with all sorts of rumors associated with it. When Henrietta learns that the famous Hollywood producer/director Deano DeBoffo, a character who Plaster has incorporated in past novels in the series, plans to be there soon, she senses the makings of a good news story.

Flicks: A Tale of Cinematic Docudrama, Half-Truths and Half-Fictions by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Ray Palen

FlicksThe death, or in some people’s minds, murder of the late Hollywood star and Blonde Bombshell Marilyn Monroe is at the heart of this novel…sort of. This work by author Simon Plaster is entitled FLICKS: A Tale of Cinematic Docudrama, Half-Truths and Half-Fictions. The title isn’t the only thing ambiguous about this novel. I also found it hard to nail down as far as genre for it has bits and pieces of several: Expose, Satire, Crime, Filmography… I could go on. I settled with just calling it Fiction and allowing readers to decide where they thought it best fit.

FLICKS also features many parallel narratives, most of which cross paths with each other at times throughout the novel. There is no true protagonist or antagonist, just a myriad of colorful characters. We have Hollywood filmmaker Deano DeBoffo, who is making what he refers to as a docuflick about the late Marilyn Monroe entitled The Deadly Pepper Shaker. More importantly, DeBoffo claims to have in his possession a loop of film that purportedly details the how, who and why Miss Monroe was murdered rather than being the victim of an overdose. It also allegedly depicts Monroe caught in what is essentially a porn tape with one of the characters depicted in DeBoffo’s film.

There is Henrietta — the closest thing this novel has to a moral center — who is a writer for the hometown Oklahoma City series of newspapers referred to as the OKC. She is always in search of a good story and thinks she has one that combines some of the crazier local characters with Deano DeBoffo who is temporarily stranded in Oklahoma City and not letting that slow down the research process or creation of his film.

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.

Hmmm? – A Tale of Mysterious Murr-Derr and a Girl by Simon Plaster (Review #2)

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

HmmmHmmm? by Simon Plaster is the latest brilliant satirical novel the author has written featuring small-town reporter, Henrietta, who lives in Henryetta, Oklahoma. In Hmmm?, Henrietta looks for love in all the wrong places, instead finding intrigue. She also finds many things that make her, and the reader, go “Hmmm?” in a novel that has many LOL passages, along with….a murder investigation, or, at any rate, a facsimile of one, conducted by one of the many humorous and larger-than-life characters in the novel.

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Hmmm? has a large cast of characters, revisiting many from past novels in the series, like Henrietta’s overly-dramatic mom, Wynona Sue, who works at the Best Little Hair House. She is looking for the love of her life, but she has an unrealistic set of expectations and instead has a series of flings with men like Professor Alexander Lehough, who is an expert on insects, was a star witness in a trial in a previous novel in the series, Tick, and has a split personality. His other personality is Zander, and Lehough often has conversations with him.

Alexander keeps Zander subdued by drinking something from a “brown bottle of powerful potion that would put the nagging pest to sleep,” but Wynona Sue overhears her lover talking to “Zander,” or at least someone she mistakes as being “Zander.” The person is really Charlene Lehough, Alexander’s estranged wife, who left him for a new lover, Virgil Carter. She heard that Alexander won a Nobel Prize, however, so left Virgil knocked out and duct taped in Texas to return and try to get her hands on some of money that comes with winning a Nobel Prize.

Alexander does not want anything to do with Charlene, anymore, and would much rather be with Wynona Sue. Wynona Sue convinces herself that Charlene must be the “Zander” Alexander has been having conversations with, though at times, she thinks that maybe “Zander” is a male who Alexander has been having a homosexual relationship with.

Wynona Sue hires a local resident, Max Morgan, who fancies himself to be a private detective, to find out more information about who Zander is, so she will know, once and for all, the truth. “Maximo,” a big fan of novels involving private detectives, decides to become one, himself, and his exploits and misadventures adds even more humor to this highly entertaining novel..

Hmmm? by Simon Plaster is subtitled “A Tale of Mysterious Murrr-Derrr and a Girl.” It is a novel that is, in part, slapstick comedy and in part, it draws from film noir movies and hardboiled detective novels. Hmmm? is a novel that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book, though I highly recommend reading the other novels in the series, as well, because they are all gems that are well worth reading.

Hmmm? – A Tale of Mysterious Murr-Derr and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

0991448065In the new uproariously slapstick comedy mystery, Plaster has his characters up to more shenanigans in small town Oklahoma. There is intrigue, mystery, subterfuge and more.

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Take small town Henryetta, OK, add an expanding cast of characters doing unusual, however, very common things in ways that complicate and add more slapstick to this tale. Confusion and miscommunication as well as assumption and pretty outrageous logic combine to keep the reader laughing from almost the first page. This tale starts getting interesting from the first pages. Henrietta hears from her mother, Wynona Sue, that she is smitten and her suitor is equally smitten with her. However, Mom, Wynona Sue, has to string it out with “Guess Who.” In thought reply, Henrietta describes her quintessential mother and her search for that “MAN.” That was a hard one that could take a whole day and then some Henrietta reckoned. Wynona Sue was inclined to fall in love with any and every man who gave her a tumble.” With this the adventure begins.

BOOBS: A Tale of American Politics and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Ronnie Alvarado
boobsA biting, unapologetic, and at times hilarious satire of modern American culture and society, Boobs: A Tale of American Politics and a Girl by Simon Plaster, is a witty read for anyone who is fed up by the at times oxymoronic particularities of the current culture.

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The protagonist of Plaster’s satirical work is the tireless Henryetta Herbert, a newspaper reporter and life-long denizen of the small town of Henryetta, Oklahoma. The unconventional spelling of Henryetta’s name has long been a thorn in her side, and has often led her to question her true sexual orientation. Adding even more uncertainty to her sexual identity is the recent “coming out” of her high-school boyfriend, Dallas Cowboy Gaylord Goodhart to his team mate Billy Ray Williams. Adding insult to injury, Gaylie has now even asked Henryetta to be his best man, complete with a tuxedo.

Ticks: A Tale of Climate Change and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Ticks

Reviewed by Rich Stoehr

“Never Waste a Crisis”

Never let it be said that Simon Plaster shies away from the hard subjects. Quite the opposite, really – by the time he’s done, nobody is left unmarked by his double-edged pen.

In ‘Ticks‘ the topic at hand is global warming – sorry, “climate change” – and all the science and politics and bickering that comes along with it. Just as in ‘Gospel’ the lynchpin of our story is one Henryetta, a small-town reporter for the town she shares her name with – Henryetta, Oklahoma – just doing her level best to break a big story and win one of those Pulitzer Prizes.

This time, it seems like she might have a shot at it, with a local Grassroots Association making a bid to save the planet and make a little extra scratch for themselves along the way, citing everything from “the Goracle” Al Gore to the “K-yo-to Protocol.” Complicating matters are a local professor obsessed with saving the tick population from extinction, a green activist social climber looking to save the world with a flourish of her hefty checkbook, a door-to-door salesman with a history of also-ran politics, and a country lawyer turned city lawyer, then back to country lawyer. Throw in a few celebrity guests before the ending – from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Bill Maher to Madonna – and you’ve got all the markings of a Simon Plaster tale.

Gospel: A Tale of Human Mortality and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Rich Stoehr

In the little town of Henryetta, Oklahoma, it seems that people have just stopped dying. But in ‘Gospel: A Tale of Human Mortality and a Girl,’ that’s just the backdrop.

There’s a marquee not too far from where I live, one of those signs with black, replaceable letters, where the message changes every once in a while. Lately, I’ve noticed that it reads “ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE – STOCK UP ON SURVIVAL GEAR NOW!” It reminds me of Simon Plaster’s book, and hopefully you’ll see why by the time I’m done here.

There’s a lot going on in this book – no, I mean a LOT. In addition to the no-death thing, we’ve got a “Gung Ho” survivalist boot camp for pooped business types, a new yoga studio with some pretty special brownies and unique moves, a church with a drive-thru window for their “HOT AS HELL” chili, and a young reporter named Henryetta (yes, named for the town) looking to get one of those Pulitzer Prizes by breaking a big story in her little town.

Everywhere Henryetta turns, someone’s got a new theory about why people don’t seem to be dying – everything from nitrous oxide seeping into the water supply to aliens (of course) to the End Times to hints of a zombie apocalypse. There’s evidence to support all of it, from a blistering-hot summer drought season to a woman whose ankle gets slightly chewed by a teenager, but not enough to figure it all out for sure. Henryetta is bound and determined to try, though, a search which forms the backbone of the novel.

Lifestyle: A Tale of Upscale Suburbia and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Lifestyle: A Tale of Upscale Suburbia and a Girl Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Humans do the strangest things. It’s a good thing that there are supremely talented satirists like Simon Plaster around to skewer society’s conventions and foibles. When we are too serious and full of ourselves to see the humorous side of every situation, we have…um…let the terrorists win. Or, at the very least, we have let the pompous stuffed shirts of society win. Just because they may be the arbiters of taste, and the dictators of what people consider to be fashionable, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be poked fun of, as Simon Plaster does with scathing and witty insights into the inhabitants of the microcosm of the world that is Chelmsford Heights, Oklahoma, in his latest LOL novel, Lifestyle: A Tale of Upscale Suburbia and a Girl.

Like a surgeon exposing a beating heart to operate on it, Simon Plaster exposes the hypocrisy, false pride, and pomposity of the affluent and snobby residents of the town. He does it as he has in his first two novels, Sumbitch: A Tale of Bigtime College Football and SNAFU: A Tale of Presidential Election and a Girl, through the eyes of the stalwart small-town newspaper reporter, Henryetta P. Hebert. Named after the town of Henryetta, Oklahoma, the “girl” of the title is as ambitious in her own way as any bigger-name reporter for a newspaper like the New York Times or the Chicago Tribune.

Having applied for a job working at the Weekly Weekender, in Chelmsford Heights, which she believes is a step up from her previous job as a reporter for the Henryetta newspaper, the Henryetta Weekly Herald, she finds herself instead back at work for her former boss, Mr. Harold. The newspaper’s office is located in the Chelmsford Heights Mall. She is assigned the duty of working on a Special 50th Anniversary edition of the local Weekly Weekender, but things get complicated when someone steals the newspaper’s historical archives.

Henryetta discovers that the townspeople of Chelmsford Heights have their own secret agendas, their own petty desires, and that they are not really any different from the inhabitants of the town she left of Henryetta. They are, though, even less interested in the real news of their state or the world, and are focused primarily on getting their photos in the newspapers, getting awards, and having their social functions reported in a favorable light.

There is a steamy underbelly to the life of the affluent, though. There are…things…about their town and the people in it that the uppercrust would rather be completely left out of the newspaper. For instance, a lawyer has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Chief of Police wrongfully arrested his client for shoplifting from the Chelmsford Heights Mall. If he is successful in court, liability could amount to tens of millions of dollars.

Also, a former embittered resident of Chelmsford Heights, the ex-Mrs. Chester Grossman, who now lives in the adjoining town of Fiddler’s Green, and who owns a run-down cemetery there, does her best to make the life and lifestyle of Chelmsford Heightsters difficult by making it difficult for them to reclaim the remains of their dearly departed who are buried in the cemetery. There’s more than one way to turn a cemetery into a money-making proposition, like holding the remains of deceased loved ones for ransom.

How can an aspiring career woman like Henryetta survive and even thrive living in a town like Chelmsford Heights and being required to report on such trivial social news items like “Perfect Kid of the Weekend,” “Greenest Lawn,” and “Cutest Couple”? Run out and get yourself a copy of the sensational Satirical novel, Lifestyle: A Tale of Upscale Suburbia and a Girl by Simon Plaster to find out!

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