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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The life of a star athlete is never easy. So much is expected of them and they are often in the limelight. Shut Up and Listen! by Reid Fischer is an intense story that delves into this premise. Ethan Hackett is the star point guard for the Kansas City Tornados. He is considered a rarity in the NBA on account that he is the second shortest player in the league. He may be prone to injuries, but his great play has helped his teammates to play better. But outside the court, his personal life is not faring well. His marriage to Nicole is anything but blissful, as Nicole often suspects him of womanizing. It comes to the point when she hires Heath Pronger, an expensive investigator, to tail Ethan. Nicole goes missing and Ethan gets a text message blackmailing him to commit turnovers or his wife dies. Now Ethan is torn between saving his wife or betraying his teammates.
It makes sense that Shut Up and Listen! opens with the Tornados having a match with the Memphis Grizzlies as well as revealing the Tornados' standing for the current season. Reid Fischer grabs you to give you a sense of what’s at stake and why you should care. He immerses you in Ethan’s pressure-filled world both on and off the court. And that’s the thing about an athlete’s fame that Fischer really understands. The pressure here is what amplifies the plot’s intensity. This is not exactly a cautionary tale about the high price of fame, but more of an examination of a fictional profile that may well apply to any celebrity. As you step into Ethan’s experience, you taste his pain and anger and that makes you arrive at the conclusion that fame and money are not always the answer. It’s a riveting tale about corruption, trust, and relationships that you don't read about every day.