Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mini-Review of “Follow the Money" (A Collection of Interconnected Short Stories) By Ross Cavins

Ross Cavins is a first-time author who has put together a rollicking collection of short stories that are all cleverly interconnected. The central thread that runs through the ten stories is a stash of three million dollars with which a variety of characters play a game of “hot potato.” If I had to choose a biblical principle that encapsulates this redneck romp, it would be: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Cavins has created a motley crew of ne’er-do-wells, con artists, and Carolina trailer trash that are both hilarious and pitiable. If this book were to be illustrated, it would have to be done with snapshots from “The People of Wal-Mart”! Beginning with the kidnapping of the teenage daughter of a televangelist, the ransom money passes from person to person and from story to story in a pattern of schemes gone wrong and idiotic actions that could lead to nominations for “The Darwin Award.”

While many of the characters are admittedly a bit cartoonish and over the top, I recognized each one as a prototype of real people I have met in line at the Krispy Kreme or at the buffet steam table at Shoney’s. Cavins, using rapier wit and a sardonic sense of the ironic, serves up a platter that includes a good portion of most of the seven deadly sins. I laughed out loud at several of the shenanigans. This is a fun read and one that will have you looking a people differently the next time you are traveling through the south. Or, if you are living in Dixie, you may see people through a different lens the next time you patronize a 7-11 or Dollar General.



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