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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #390 (Vol. 8, No. 37) This edition is for the week of September 10--16, 2007.

The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region, Part Four  by Will Moriaty
"The Brave One"  by Mike Smith
Book Review: The Swap by Antony Moore  by Lisa Ciurro
Goals, Part 1  by Corey Castellano
Loose in Las Vegas: Ted Mikels Update  by ED Tucker
Ray Bradbury at 87 .... VHS Grindhouse: The Undying Monster  by Andy Lalino
Maybe He Can Room With Hinckley .... Just A Coincidence .... Finally .... Passing On  by Mike Smith
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FANGRRL by Lisa Ciurro

The Swap
Antony Moore

Plot Summary:
Run-of-the-mill, pudgy comic shop owner Harvey Briscow is dreading his upcoming school reunion. He still lives in the same house, has only one friend and barely makes a living running his comic shop. If only he hadn't traded his now-valuable Superman One comic book away to "Bleeder" Odd when he was twelve, Harvey would be rich, successful and eager to show off at his reunion.

Harvey finally decides to attend his reunion and meets the grown-up Charles "Bleeder" Odd, who has morphed from a sickly target of bullies to a well-adjusted sucessful businessman. Charles doesn't mention Superman One and Harvey doesn't have the nerve to ask him about it. Harvey does work up the nerve, however, to break into Charles' home to try to steal the comic book, only to stumble upon a dead body and get sucked into a murder investigation.

About the Author:
British author Antony Moore is a practising psychologist who lives in London with his family and his brown Lab named after one of the X-Men. The Swap is his first novel. Columbia Pictures and John Cally Productions have already acquired the rights to adapt The Swap into a feature film.

What I Liked:
I identified with Harvey's reluctance to attend his school reunion and his obsession with how his life didn't work out as he had planned. Also, I enjoyed the comic book references. Moore did a good job merging the black comedy and murder mystery genres.

What I Disliked:
The ending! It won't give anything away to say that the book ended in what felt like the middle of the story. I like a little closure and hate that "unfinished business" feeling at the end of a novel.

Bottom Line: Part introspection, part dark comedy, part thriller, with a little romance and quirkiness thrown in for good measure. An entertaining read.

Rating: B+

"FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.