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Radio Activity [Hardcover]

Bill Fitzhugh
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 18 2004 Fitzhugh, Bill

Rick Shannon is an unemployed FM rock DJ considering a change in career. But just as he begins selling off his record collection, a job offer comes from a small station in Mississippi, where a DJ recently stopped showing up for work.

After discovering an audiotape that might explain the fate of the missing DJ, Rick decides to look into the matter. Sensing a new career path, he assumes another identity: Buddy Miles, PI, naming himself after the one-time drummer for Jimi Hendrix.

The result is classic Fitzhugh. A wickedly funny amateur investigation that turns up blackmail, murder, arson, and a major FCC violation. The suspects literally come out of the woods, ranging from a divorcé who rents construction equipment to a former local beauty pageant queen (Miss Tire & Auto Parts) to the station's general manager and the president of a local personal finance company (who has peculiar ideas about collateral).

This smart, satiric, southern romp of a novel draws heavily from the author's own experience as a Mississippi-born FM radio disc jockey from the 1970s. An offbeat and hilarious whodunit that redefines the meaning of classic rock.


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Product Description

From Booklist

Fitzhugh takes things down a few notches in his latest, which has more radio than activity. Disc-jockey Rick Shannon, rendered a hapless nomad by the heartless homogenization of corporate mass media, is at the point of selling blood or--worse--vinyl when a lil' ol' rock station run by a big ol' jackass hires him on as their new program director, replacing a man whose sudden disappearance and untimely incorporation into the red earth of Mississippi sparks an ambling amateur investigation, stirring up less than the usual quota of quirky characters and plot twists. The result is a kinder, gentler, more laid-back and consequently much less funny version of Carl Hiaasen. There are glimmers of down-home charm here and there, but the author's real enthusiasm is reserved for loving and lengthy descriptions of classic-rock trivia, play lists, song sets, and segues. Lacking the wit or heart of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, Fitzhugh's story is upstaged by its own killer soundtrack, but that is in itself a recommendation of sorts for a select audience. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Bill Fitzhugh worked at several FM rock radio stations in the 1970s and 1980s. Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, he prefers The Band, Little Feat, and Van Morrison to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Iron Butterfly. The author of numerous screenplays and five comic novels, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and his record collection.


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It was hard to say which looked more depressed, the seventies-era shopping center or the man pulling into its parking lot. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover
I loved all the classic rock references and the info about how a radio station is run and how a dj's work is done. The mystery was enjoyable enough but it was the music info that I really loved. I will definitely read the next in the series. I'm assuming that's where he's headed given the ending of the book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A 78rpm author spinning at 33. June 18 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Bill Fitzhugh is one of those authors whose books always go to the top of my to-be-read pile. However, this one is disappointing in every way. While the characters are likeable enough, the plot is almost nonexistant. It meanders. In fact, the book doesn't really end. It just slows until the paper runs out. It is as if Mr. Fitzhugh had to write something, anything, to fulfill a contract. Perhaps it was just an excuse for him to let us all know that he is well versed in the radio business and that he can easily remember obscure music trivia.
This book is so unlike his others, I am going to assume it's a one-off mistake and his next book will be back up to speed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Comedy Thriller June 1 2004
Format:Hardcover
Great stuff as ever from Bill Fitzhugh. As well as the usual endearing characters, a fun plot that breezes along, and plenty of smiles, there's also tons of interesting stuff about classic rock and radio stations which had me reaching for my CD wish list. Bill Fitzhugh has a real knack for making even his not so nice characters likeable, and sometimes even loveable. Left me with a good feeling for days after I finished it. Can't wait for the follow up.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Love Bill Fitzhugh - but this one stinks May 29 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I'm an avid reader and I got addicted to this author back when I first read Pest Control. However, I never even finished this book I was so bored with it. I really didn't care how it ended. It just didn't have the snappy wit I've seen in other books and the story just wasn't interesting. Needs to go back to the drawing board.
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1.0 out of 5 stars LOW WATTAGE-VERY WEAK SIGNAL May 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
WITH RADIO ACTIVITY,I HAVE NOW READ ALL OF MR.FITZHUGH'S NOVELS.THIS ONE IS THE MOST DISAPPOINTING.I'M USED TO A GREAT READ AND A THOUSAND LAUGHS.NARY A ONE IN THIS BOOK.IT WAS WORK GETTING THROUGH IT.POSSIBLY HE HAS GONE THE ROAD OF OTHER GOOD FICTION WRITERS AND HAD SOMEONE GHOST-WRITE IT FOR HIM BECAUSE THE WELL OF IDEAS HAS DRIED UP.
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