Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books on Tape

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books on Tape

Article excerpt

"THE PLAN" A novel by Stephen J. Cannell (6 hours, abridged, Dove Audio, $24.95)

The author, who is the head of the Cannell Studios in Los Angeles, is better known as creator of hit television series than as a novelist. Among the 35 shows that have emerged from his imagination are "The Rockford Files," "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "The Commish."

As a novelist and narrator, he has my vote, if this story is any indication. It concerns a long-term Mob plan to assume control of a TV network and then back a dark-horse candidate for president.

Not only is the story well-plotted, but the action screams out on every page. Cannell has developed strong characters on both sides of the tenuous line that divides good and evil. Then, as a bonus, he has inserted the slightest touch of mysticism - not enough to nag at anyone, just a dollop in the possibility pot.

The main contenders are two schoolboy chums, Ryan Bolt and Mickey Alo. Bolt, a good-looking athlete, eventually becomes a big-time TV writer-producer. Alo, who keeps from being a toad only because he has hair, develops into a ruthless power broker, a job he inherits from his father, a Mafia don.

When Bolt's career hits the skids, Alo hires him to do a documentary on presidential candidate Haze Richards, the man he wants in the Oval Office. In a short time, Bolt discovers that there is something wrong with the Alo plan, and the ruthless fun begins.

Considering how TV can make all the difference in a presidential campaign, this story might cause some nightmares and not because of the rough language.

Dove Audios can be found in bookstores or ordered by calling (800) 328-DOVE. "DARK SUN: THE MAKING OF THE HYDROGEN BOMB" By Richard Rhodes (6 hours, abridged, Simon & Schuster, $25)

The author, who in 1988 won a Pulitzer Prize for "The Making of the Atomic Bomb," reads the sequel himself. The story is interesting but lacks the drama that made the first book so spell-binding. …

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