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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
The plot premise behind Gregg Norman’s highly engaging book, Bingo At The Legion, resonates easily with readers while Norman’s treatment is handled deftly and pleasingly. The main character, Grady Locke, returns to his small hometown after having bolted suddenly years before, leaving family and friends and a devastated lover to deal with the aftermath of his poorly explained disappearance. His return is predicated at the urgent request of his younger brother after the mysterious passing of their parents, an event relevant to the plot but not its focus. What becomes most relevant is the unexpected revelation that Grady’s young love, who also left town after drastically reacting to her abandonment, has recently returned to town and taken up residence with her mother. She is displeased by Grady’s reappearance in her life, and therein lies a fascinating story when Grady wants to stay.
What raises Bingo At The Legion to literary excellence is the writing skill of Gregg Norman. When dealing with a familiar plotline, Norman enhances the experience by creating truly unique and compelling characters. These characters move the plot much more than do the individual events, and these characters embody Norman’s tale with its deep humanity and immensely personal interest. Dialogue between and among them is pitch-perfect, and they are treated as complex, highly nuanced individuals. Add to this Norman’s fantastic way of telling a story, compact and yet fully descriptive, and the reader finds himself immersed in small-town life. All the time rooting for a sympathetic protagonist and his girl, of course.