Opry: A Semi-Musical Tale of Honky Tonk Lifestyle
By: Simon Plaster
Publisher: Mossik Press
Publication Date: May 2017
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
We begin with a line that sums up life, as well as the writing community: God Bless Satire! And, most definitely, those who bring it. Among these few greats is author Simon Plaster. Taking readers to the Oklahoma City stockyards, here he opens the door to a massive joint where the beer is flowing and the KaraOkie contest is heating up. A place aptly named, Honky Tonk.
We begin with Henrietta, who’s sitting inside the building of the OKC SCENE News Group. She’s there for a job opening, and feeling just a little bitter about it. After all, she’s young, has a heck of a resume, and had, up until recently, a big job with a TV network, a boyfriend, and a really cool apartment. Now fired, her boyfriend has run off to Wyoming to be a real cowboy, and she can no longer pay rent. So she finds herself wondering how on earth she’s going to deal with being nothing more than an entertainment reporter covering the nightlife of some small-scale OKC district. But, beggars can’t be choosers. What she gets, however, makes her drool. She is into serious reporting and likes danger, so when she gets appointed to the Stockyards City scene, her pulse races at the thought of covering the news in an area where dark and shady creatures can be found.
There is one place called Honky Tonk which isn’t one of those “happy” party clubs, yet everyone wants to go. The owner, “Moon” Mullins, is currently running a contest which allows all wannabe country stars to have their shot. Jewel McAdoo is basically a shoe-in to win it all, but that becomes difficult to do when she up and disappears under seriously mysterious circumstances.
Once Jewel’s singing partner (as well as a partner in the bedroom), Chad Puckett is dying to win this contest in order to head to Dollywood. But would he eliminate his own past lover to do just that? What about a City Councilwoman who seems like she will do anything to get rid of Honky Tonk for good? We even have a suspect sibling of Jewel’s who literally hates her sister (not to mention her own husband’s cheating ways). But whoever has 'dunnit' (whatever ‘it’ may be), Henrietta the reporter will stop at nothing to solve the mystery and unmask the most evil being of them all.
Broken up into an overture and acts instead of those hum-drum prologue and chapters, every character gets their moment in the sun and time in the shadows, which creates a memorable story. No reader will know what the author has up his sleeve, but all will be singing with glee when everything is brought to light. Perhaps you’ll even head to the closest “honky-tonk” you can find to grab your own brass ring. Of course, if you happen to be living in a state like Maine, locating one of those establishments may be harder than finding the Lost Ark. Advice: Move South.
Quill says: As it was in the beginning...God Bless Satire!