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Book Review: Sumbitch: A Tale of Bigtime College Football and a Girl by Simon Plaster

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In Sumbitch by Simon Plaster, the NCII has been created to solve the problem of the declining participation of colleges in the NCAA. NCII stands for National Conference for Inmate Institutions. There are two big pluses to this solution. The first one is that it will raise money to help pay for the inmate’s room and board. The second plus is that it will be much less expensive to promote. On the other hand, there are people who will do anything to play football, even if it means committing a crime. It is hard to imagine that someone would be desperate enough to do this knowing that they will end up locked up. However, having the opportunity to play at the Big Penal Conference on a team like the Texas Chain Gang or the Oklahoma Wild Bunch proves to be exciting to many men.

As with all sports, politics and greed play a huge role in this story. The NCII attracts a lot of attention, even from that of small town reporter Henryetta Herbert. Hoping to get a story in the New York Times, Henryetta takes a break from writing real and fantasized obituaries to work on writing about this new organization. One of the players is very endeared to her. Believing in his innocence Henryetta is determined to help prove his innocence and get him off death row. The problem with her involvement is that she doesn’t realize that he might not want to be proven not guilty at this time.

Sumbitch made me laugh out loud. Seeing how much drama has been involved with college football, it was fun to take a break from the real news and enjoy this satire. The author Simon Plaster does a fantastic job of creating eccentric, entertaining characters. The story is lively and fast paced, and the scenes are very creatively written. I think that Sumbitch by Simon Plaster would be the perfect gift for someone who needs a football fix during the off season.

(Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views)

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