- File Size: 776 KB
- Print Length: 248 pages
- Publication Date: June 21, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0106HSI0A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Bookmaker Kindle Edition
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|Length: 248 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The title character and narrator of the book, Trent Oster, has nothing to do with the assassination. Instead, he's working in California as a bookie, when one of his customers (who naturally owes money) approaches Trent with a proposition. The customer's grandfather, Preston Walker, is dying of ALS in Mississippi and has an important story to tell. If Trent, an aspiring writer, will go to Mississippi, talk to Walker, and write up the man's life story, he can make more than enough money to square the debt. Trent agrees, and naturally, Walker's story has to do with Walker's involvement with the Kennedy assassination.
I'm certainly not going to give away Fraser's theory of the assassination, except to say that he ties a lot of other historical events into his theory, most of them in a way I'd never read before. And, based on my own admittedly incomplete knowledge of these events, the story seems to make sense. Of course, with a story this big to tell, Walker isn't about to sit down and start blurting it out to a total stranger, so he spends nearly the entire first half of "The Bookmaker" getting to know Trent.
By "getting to know," I mean primarily going to University of Mississippi football games while Walker can still get around and getting drunk and smoking pot with the Walker a lot. Trent moves in to Walker's guest house and begins to spend some time with Walker's very attractive granddaughter as well. While this would undoubtedly be quite an interesting way for most single men in their early 20's to spend a couple of carefree months, reading about it for dozens of pages at a time is not all that interesting. Further, neither Trent nor any of the other supporting characters, except Preston Walker, are all that interesting or well developed. The only mildly interesting information in this portion of the book is Trent's description of how big time sports betting works, as he shows Preston how he makes his living, and that information is only really fascinating for those who are already interested in gambling or football.
Eventually, of course, Walker gets around to telling his JFK story, and it's a terrific story, but the way that author Fraser recounts it is quite frustrating. Trent conducts a series of interviews with Walker, which mostly consist of Walker telling his story, interrupted occasionally by a question from Trent. However, these interviews are very terse and to the point. Walker tells his story as quickly and directly as possible, depriving readers of what they really want in the book, the juicy details. These interview segments rarely take more than four or five pages and are separated by lots of filler as Trent talks about what he does between the interviews. Hard as it may be to believe, a description of an Ole Miss football game takes up more space in the book than do the key meetings between the various conspirators. Afterwards, readers are asked to believe that the various interviews that, combined, would probably make a good magazine article instead become a lengthy book-length manuscript.
"The Bookmaker" should have been 300 pages about the Kennedy assassination conspiracy and 30 pages of framing material. Instead, the book is 30 pages about the conspiracy and 300 pages about some mostly uninteresting, shallow characters who spend most of their time drinking, smoking pot, chasing women, going to and betting on football games, and talking about those subjects. Because the Kennedy material is so clever and original, I'm going to give a mild recommendation for "The Bookmaker." But readers pressed for time should just fast forward through any chapter in which the name "Kennedy" does not appear. That way; you'll finish the book in an hour and won't miss a thing.
Grammar police report: The apostrophe in USA English is used for 2 purposes: 1. The indication for a contraction, usually placed where 1 or more letters together have been omitted. Examples: The contraction "have not," reduced to "haven't"l." The "o" in "not" is omitted & an apostrophe put in its place. Next example - The contraction that occurs when "I have" is reduced to "I've," in which the 1st 2 sequential letters of the word "have," the "h" & the "a," were omitted, & the apostrophe replaces both of them. NOTE: There are some contractions where 2 apostrophes are needed, however, most of these aren't proper usage. An example might be a combination of "would," "not," & have," which would be written as, "wouldn't've," as the missing letters are in 2 different words (not sequential). The 1st apostrophe replaces the "o" in the word "not," (wouldn't), then the 2nd apostrophe replaces the letters "h" and "a," which are sequential in the word, "have," (wouldn't've) 2. An apostrophe indicates possession, or ownership, in nouns (names a person, place, or thing) but not pronouns (replace the noun, example, "hers" indicates ownership of an item by a female BUT there is no apostrophe here). So, let's say, "Jay's girlfriend is Darla," (His girlfriend is Darla, using a pronoun), or this possible exchange, "He asked his friend which female was the toddler's mother," & Matador pointed to the tall, dark haired girl in the yellow sundress & pointed, replying, "Tucker is hers." (if you want to get a contaction & a possessive that look identical but aren't grammatically the same, try this reply: "Corynn's [contraction of "Corynn is"] over there in the red sundress. The boy is Corynn's [possessive] son."). HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE: If you say to yourself, "Corynn is" & it doesn't fit, the word isn't a contraction. If you say to yourself, "Corynn owns," or "Corynn has" & it doesn't fit, then it's not a possessive. THIS BRINGS ME TO THE US OF PLURALS, meaning "more than one,'' as opposed to "having" or "owning" (as is the case with possessives). Consistently, I see signs misusing apostrophes when plurals are meant. Corporations who wouldn't allow the use of contractions in their signage have no problem using an apostrophe denoting ownership when they mean to use the plural form of a noun. This same aggravating misuse of an apostrophe where a plural is meant makes me want to ask, "Who proofread this book?" Anyone proofreading a book should have caught this misuse & corrected it. He or she should have also taught the difference to the author, in hopes of having less work when the author put out another book, as he apparently plans to do. If the proofreader enjoyed having things to correct, she or he should have at least seen to it that the book didn't go to published form with this glaring error. While I can see everything else in the "grammar & usage" category being relegated to the characters' educational levels, it wouldn't excuse the main character, who allegedly has a college degree in an era where there was still some concern about correcting grammar & usage errors at the collegiate level - yes, even in CA. Example of misuse of an apostrophe where a plural is meant: "Jay had plenty of tattoo's." It should be, "Jay had plenty of tattoos." Note, there is no apostrophe needed for the plural of the word "tattoo." It's not "tattoo's," the tattoo doesn't own anything in this sentence. Now, if you wrote, "The left tattoo's eye-catching color scheme made it stand out," the apostrophe is correct. The tattoo "owns" or "has" the eye-catching color scheme. You can't say that "tattoo" is used as a contraction in the sentence. An apostrophe + s as a contraction would mean the word with which the word "tattoo" is combined would have to end in the letter "s," meaning "is." The sentence, "Jay has a lot of tattoo's," would mean reading it as, "Jay has a lot of tattoo is," which makes no more sense than a possessive does. In the sentence, "This tattoo's the most popular one we have in our book," if you wrote it, "This tattoo is the most popular one we have in our book," it still makes sense using the apostrophe. If you omitted the apostrophe in either of the last 2 samples, it would be wrong, but using the apostrophe in the first sentence is also wrong. AND IT DETRACTS FROM THE STORY.