Kenny Rogers and Michael Blakely‘s new novel What Are The Chances is reminiscent of the country and western movies of the seventies and eighties, flicks like W.W. & The Dixie Dance Kings, Urban Cowboy, or Songwriters. This ode to the outlaw country movement is full of bar brawls, hustles, and hard drinking. It takes you back to the Texas of 1975 as if it was kicker Heaven.
In What are the Chances, the main character, Ronnie Breed, is a country-influenced rock star in the Graham Parsons mold (or Rogers when he was with The First Edition). Swindled out of most of his money by his old manager, he decides to reinvent himself as a country singer. To promote the new band, he and his cousin, Dan, concoct a plan involving a TV show that will feature Ronnie playing both music and cards in the first televised Texas Hold Em’ tournament. The scheme also involves Ronnie’s pretty new manager, his spunky girlfriend, a shady oil man who cheated their uncle, a promoter who is a cross between John Hammond and Ernest Hemingway, and, of course, Momma.
Told from Ronnie’s point of view, the book has a rollicking charm. Wry humor is woven throughout and the authors do a good job of keeping the story together. As Texas musicians, Rogers and Blakely being offer fun insight into the business and this freewheeling period in history. There’s even a bar fight at the Gilley’s honky-tonk and Freddy Fender shows up to play “Wasted Days & Wasted Nights’.
What Are The Chances is a two-fisted, whiskey guzzling, drawl and twang novel that never loses its sense of fun. It’s good ol’ boys with hearts of gold teaching the city slickers a lesson or two. It encapsulates the spirit of seventies’ country. It would make Momma proud.
Meet the Gambler here at BookPeople this Saturday, September 21st at 1PM! Tickets are required to attend the Meet & Greet and are only available in-store and via bookpeople.com. Tickets include a copy of What are the Chances. Rogers will be available to meet fans and pose for photos. Visit bookpeople.com for more info.