Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Player Related - Shadrach Linscomb

By Shadrach Linscomb                                                    fileId:3096224744635561

View House Publishing Co.

ISBN: 978-0-9663420-6-2

171 Pages 

Click to buy: http://www.viewhousepublishing.com/bookstore.html

USA Book News Finalist Shadrach Linscomb's newest novel, Player Related, just might be this year's winner! I sat stunned at the surprise ending, not expecting or wanting the book to end as it did. But that ending is part of what makes this a most memorable book!

Jake Robinson was a player. He "stood six feet tall, and weighed a hundred and ninety-five pounds. He was a handsome man, but not drop-dead-gorgeous, who was soft-spoken and had a way of making a woman feel comfortable around him." (p. 2) So comfortable, in fact, that the women, most times, were the ones that initiated sex with Jake. In fact, Jake had a routine pretty well established--Faye on Thursday, Tanya on Friday-well, you get the idea...  Seven women loved him. And readers will enjoy being voyeurs as Jake spends his nights with a college student, a married woman, a single mother with a son, and his other ladies.

But Jake was getting older. Sex was no longer the driving force in his relationships and he was having second thoughts about what he was doing with his life. Oftentimes, he would decide to end a relationship and would begin a conversation with good intentions; however, when the lovely lady for that evening sang her siren song, he stopped to listen and followed.

There was another person who loved Jake too. Devon Miller was Tanya's son, and during their relationship Jake and Devon had become close, had enjoyed doing things together. Tanya felt that a decision needed to be made; that she could not go on seeing Jake, without giving consideration to what that relationship meant to Devon.  Little by little, Jake realized that he needed to make a firm commitment to them, or break it off so that Tanya might find another man who would be willing to be Devon's father.

Jake had only one male friend, Terry Jones; that is, until his wife called Jake and asked him to come visit her one night...

Player Related is a fun, sexy book.  But there is a different side of Jake's life where his thoughts were in turmoil and confusion. We all recognize it--when and how do we turn from a player's life and move on to accept and develop a long-term loving relationship and family? I found this underlying dialogue the most revealing about who Jake Robinson really was.  And I liked that Jake--a man committed to his job working with young teenagers and a man who was trying to reject the life of brief sexual encounters that were being daily thrown down in front of him.

Linscomb has written a book that could be the "story of my life" for many, many of today's young people.  It is real, open and, if accepted in the way it is written, tells the well-known story that many face on their own.  How do we be somebody other than a "player" in a society where sex is available anywhere and at any time? The book is well written and seems to be directly from the journal that Jake kept. The female characters, especially, are liberated, aggressive, and selfish...or sensitive, caring, and loving--you hate some of them and love the others.  Reading Jake's thoughts about them lends a realism for his audience that includes flashbacks of sexual abuse as a child.

I thoroughly enjoyed Player Related. Anybody who wants to read about sexual pressures and values facing young adults will certainly consider this a must-read!