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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting thriller, December 27, 2005
This review is from: Turnpike Flameout (Hardcover)
Jonah Eastman is a special kind of pollster. He does not just collect data and report ad nauseam as to what average American believes. Instead his job is to impact the polls in favor of his client whether it means obtaining support to place a hazardous waste dump inside a child care facility or insuring the election of an idiot to the senate (obviously will fit in nicely with the standards of that club) by painting an even more moronic portrait of the opposition. Truth or ethics are not factors; only wins are important regardless of the means count; if you need a reference just ask the Reagan White House.

Public relations "Practitioner" Cindi Handler hires Jonah to help her client; former TV child star turned into New Jersey's number two rock star after the Boss, Turnpike Bobby Chin. Recently his private plane crashed nearby, but he walked away. Now, he is the prime suspect in what is considered a kidnapping and probably a murder of a vanished sculptor Christian Josi, who was creating an unflattering statue of the former star. Trying to help an egotistical jerk surrounded by has-beens and never-beens and chased by music journalistic vultures makes working the Reagan White House seem simple.

The fourth Jonah pollster tale is an exciting thriller starring an intriguing individual whose expertise is an interesting spin. The story line is owned by Jonah as he reflects on life while trying to turn opinion in favor of pathetic Turnpike Bobby who instead thinks he needs an upholsterer and a lawyer more than an impact pollster. Though the support cast including the Turnpike behaves like aging garage band members seeking the Fountain of Youth (except for Jonah's intelligent wife and Cindi), Jonah's endeavors make for an intriguing look at how images and icons are created.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic mystery with food for thought, January 22, 2006
This review is from: Turnpike Flameout (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from cover to cover. My kids kept asking me what was so funny because normally I don't laugh out loud when reading mysteries. The plot moved along at a good pace and the characters were amusing but also interesting in the context of our celebrity-obsessed culture. On my next flip through the pages of People magazine I'll have a much better idea of what motivates a lot of these folks AND what motivates me to keep reading about them!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore "Publishers Weekly", March 30, 2009
By 
Hershel Parker (Morro Bay, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Turnpike Flameout (Hardcover)
TURNPIKE FLAMEOUT deserves better than the PUBLISHERS WEEKLY review. I hoped for a moment that the critic meant to type "wildly diverting" and that "mildly diverting" was a typo, but the whole review is pretty snotty. But again, I've been to a rodeo in (the very real) Cowtown, N.J. and have simple tastes. So it's March 2009 and I've lost my pension: at least I got to laugh out loud while reading this book. Don't let PUBLISHERS WEEKLY keep you from trying this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew murder could be so much fun?, January 10, 2006
This review is from: Turnpike Flameout (Hardcover)
This novel worked for me on several levels. First there's the mystery, then there's the comedy and finally there's the insight into celebrities and our celebrity obsessed culture. The mystery is first rate; I didn't figure it out until the characters did and I like that in a novel. Since I am not one for a straight-up crime novel, I loved that this was laced with truly comedic moments. I laughed out loud and even snorted. Don't read this on the train 'cause people will stare at you while you chortle. Finally, this novel made me think about the culture of celebrity. Why is this culture so obsessed with celebrity?

The author offers insight and answers that must have been gained in his daytime career as a Crisis Management Expert. Since the other reviewers have covered plot, I won't do that here except to say that "Turnpike Bobby Chin" could've easily been named "Train-wreck Bobby Chin." I was similtaneously repelled and fascinated by him. Have you seen "Breaking Bonaduce?" Can't change the channel but you feel so gross after watching it...

Any-who, I highly recommend "Turnpike Flameout." Order it soon and enjoy-just not on a crowded train!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN, FUNNY, CLEVER AND INTRIGUING, January 17, 2006
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This review is from: Turnpike Flameout (Hardcover)
Dezenhall's real-life expertise on how spin doctors can manipulate public opinion give this fabulous novel a unique twist. The story is loaded with wit and humor. It is also filled with wisdom that causes the reader to think - something that is a rare experience in the world of fiction.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. You will, too.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fame is awesome...until it kills you, January 8, 2006
This review is from: Turnpike Flameout (Hardcover)
Dezenhall's latest is a laugh-out-loud comedy about a cry-out-loud tragedy. The tragedy is the career and personal flameout of indecipherable Jersey-born rocker, Turnpike Bobby Chin, who fakes his own fatal plane crash in the South Jersey Pine Barrens. Turnpike Bobby once had a "moment" when one of his songs ranked higher on a billboard chart than one of Springsteen's lesser ditties in the early 1980s -- a moment Bobby pathetically clings to a quarter century later. Bobby, you see, is in desperate competition with Springsteen, but Springsteen doesn't know who Bobby is.

On one hand, Dezenhall's ear for comedy left me in hysterics -- especially Turnpike Bobby's misheard lyrics -- but his mastery of how the media can be manipulated on behalf of a well-paying reprobate like Turnpike Bobby got me thinking. The story line about the conveniently missing au pair could have been snatched right out of the Natalee Holloway/Aruba mystery headlines. Whether you want to laugh or ruminate on the state of our star-struck civilization, Turnpike Flameout will get you there.
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Turnpike Flameout
Turnpike Flameout by Eric Dezenhall (Hardcover - December 27, 2005)
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