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5.0 out of 5 stars I'd listen to Fitzhugh's radio station every hour of theweek
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.
Published on July 15 2004 by dchristine

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A 78rpm author spinning at 33.
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...
Published on June 18 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars I'd listen to Fitzhugh's radio station every hour of theweek, July 15 2004
This review is from: Radio Activity (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
This review is from: Radio Activity (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
By 
D. Moore (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Radio Activity (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
This review is from: Radio Activity (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
This review is from: Radio Activity (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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5.0 out of 5 stars In Fitzhugh's hands crime doesn't pay - but its lots of fun!, May 1 2004
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Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Radio Activity (Hardcover)
In his previous novels mystery author Bill Fitzhugh has used various industries as backdrops for his stories, including pest control, biotechnology, organ transplantation (both human-to-human and animal-to-human), country music, and advertising. In RADIO ACTIVITY, his latest effort, Fitzhugh sets his sites on the radio industry.
Rock and roll deejay Rick Shannon has seen better days. Media giant Clean Signal Corporation (a jab at real-life media monster Clear Channel) has gobbled up the radio station that had provided him with gainful if less than glamorous and far less than artistically satisfying employment. His vast and precious record collection turns out to be worth far less where he is, in Bismarck, North Dakota, than it would be elsewhere, which is exactly where Rick would like to be. So when he is offered the seven-to-midnight shift on classic rock station WAOR in McRae, Mississippi, he packs his stuff into his pick-up and heads for yet another radio gig, his fifteenth in twenty years.
What Rick finds in McRae is ultra-smarmy WAOR station manager Clay Stubblefield. Clay informs Rick on his arrival that he has already been promoted to program director, the position having been vacated thanks to the disappearance of notorious cokehead Jack Carter. Rick accepts the news with something less than full enthusiasm. But a man without a paycheck is easily swayed.
At Clay's invitation Rick moves into Carter's abandoned mobile home. After settling in Rick finds a reel-to-reel tape, apparently hidden by Carter, of a telephone conversation between Stubblefield and an unidentified man. The blackmail-worthy chit-chat on the tape, coupled with Carter's sudden absence, leads Rick to suspect that Carter may have been using the tape in an ill-fated plan to siphon cash from the unctuous Stubblefield. Rick's growing curiosity about Carter's fate and the truth behind the tape proves as powerful a lure as the abundant blue eye shadow preferred by Traci, WAOR's deliciously trashy receptionist.
The story that ensues deftly combines all the necessary ingredients of a first-rate murder mystery with a remarkably detailed and fascinating dissertation on the definition and nature of classic rock, the current state of the radio business, and the homogenization of America as big media's search for the all-important mass audience dilutes what's left of local and regional color to the muddy charcoal gray of the asphalt parking lots that are rapidly becoming the dominant feature of the American landscape.
Fitzhugh's reputation for memorably off-center characters and crisp, comical dialogue is fully in evidence here. But having come of age in the era when AM top 40 began to give way to FM album-oriented rock (it was called underground or progressive music back then), I was particularly enthralled by the remarkable detail in which the music of the era was discussed. Fitzhugh, through protagonist Rick Shannon, mentions bands and songs that I haven't heard since I was a teenager, and the effect was an odd mix of nostalgia for those times and anger at what bean-counters and market research types have done to rock and roll. A couple of recent newspaper stories about the wildfire success of satellite and Internet radio coincided with my reading of RADIO ACTIVITY, and the thought of the pending demise of whatever rock and roll radio has become added an extra dimension to my enjoyment as I rooted for Rick Shannon to solve the mystery of Jack Carter's fate and make a success of the truly classic rock format he has devised for WAOR.
RADIO ACTIVITY offers plenty to satisfy mystery fans and music fans alike. The research into the history of the music of the late sixties and early seventies rivals that of the technical research that goes into Tom Clancy novels. But the information is blended seamlessly into the story, or more to the point, into Rick Shannon, which makes his character all the more interesting. And Rick is but one of a menagerie that includes good ole boys, cranky roadhouse waitresses, bent cops, assorted local ne'er do wells, and some eccentric good guys for balance. In Fitzhugh's hands crime doesn't pay, but it rocks, and it's a hell of a lot of fun.
--- Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rich Mix, April 26 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Radio Activity (Hardcover)
Fitzhugh scores bigtime with his new book...great music history, a keen understanding of radio's future, superb characterizations (the station manager is to be found everywhere), a keen sense of suffocating small town culture with an eye for essential human values. Well-paced, well-plotted. Nice thing about Fitzhugh is that he entertains and informs...much more important writer than Tim Dorsey, et al. I couldn't put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fitzhugh Goes Low Key with the Start of a New Series., April 24 2004
This review is from: Radio Activity (Hardcover)
Rick Shannon is a dinosaur. In the every changing face of mass pleasing corporate radio Rick is a classic rock DJ who cares about both the quality of music and staying true to your listeners. Of course, this makes him nearly unemployable. So when shady station general manager Clay Stubblefield calls with an offer, Rick has no choice but to travel down to good ole' McRae, Mississippi to take the job. But with that job comes a mystery. What happened to Captain Jack the former program director, and what's with the mysterious recording that Captain Jack had hidden in an old Chicago boxset? Thus Rick adopts the persona of Buddy Miles, private investigator and with the help of the alluring and properly made up station receptionist, Rick is definitely going to get to the bottom of it.

In Radio Activity, Bill Fitzhugh has stepped away from the slapstick goofiness of such fun novels as Pest Control, The Organ Grinders and Heart Seizure and has created a down to earth and surprisingly low keyed tale of corruption and intrigue in a local radio station. Like Kellerman's Alex Delaware or James W, Hall's Thorn, Rick Shannon is Bill Fitzhugh's voice. A character destined for the multi-novel series treatment and one with lots of potential. Yet, there is another character here, and that is the music. Fitzhugh let's us in on the discussion of what "classic rock" really is. Is it the everyday hits we here played over and over on out radio's or is it more than that. Fitzhugh tackles a topic that he really knows and loves and makes us start to love it. Now, I'm a little young for that particular genre, but it made me want to run down to my parent's basement and sort through all their old vinyl's looking for hidden treasures.

For fans of Fitzhugh this novel is more along the lines of Fender Benders, which was one of my favorites in this writer's collection. I for one cannot wait to see what advertures Rick Shannon gets into next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Rock Trivia Galore, April 24 2004
By 
Larry A. Hollar "Author" (La Junta, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Radio Activity (Hardcover)
Who is Tommy Bolin and is "Teaser" any good? That is just one of many questions I'm asking myself after reading Radio Activity. Anyone into classic rock will enjoy the great references, the trivia, the professional selection of music to be played on a classic rock station.
The music and the radio business intrigue is blended with a fine mystery. Bill Fitzhugh has honed his writing skills while maintaining his great sense of humor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first two, April 13 2004
By 
Konrad Kern (OFallon, MO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radio Activity (Hardcover)
See storyline above.
I keep waiting for Bill Fitzhugh to write something as funny as his first two novels (Pest Control, Organ Grinders), but his recent novels just haven't quite done it (Maybe Tim Dorsey spoiled it for me).
I've read all his novels and still enjoy his story-telling and his ability to draw you into the plot. They are fun and fast-paced and definitely easy to get through.
Recommended.
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Radio Activity by Bill Fitzhugh (Hardcover - March 18 2004)
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