To Squeeze a Prairie Dog

An American Novel

Fiction - Literary
332 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2018
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Author Biography

Scott Semegran is an award-winning writer of humorous fiction with a dose of heart. BlueInk Review described him best as “a gifted writer, with a wry sense of humor.” His latest book is a comic sendup of state government—an entertaining slice-of-life story that’s humorous yet uplifting at the same time—titled To Squeeze a Prairie Dog: An American Novel, which was the 2019 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Winner: Silver Medal for Fiction - Humor/Comedy and the 2019 Texas Author Project Winner for Adult Fiction. His previous novel, Sammie & Budgie, was the first place winner for Fiction in the 2018 Texas Authors Book Awards. His book BOYS was the 2018 IndieReader Discovery Awards winner for Short Stories. His other books include The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood, The Spectacular Simon Burchwood, Modicum, and Mr. Grieves. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, four kids, two cats, and a dog. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

To Squeeze A Prairie Dog: An American Novel is a work of literary contemporary fiction by author Scott Semegran. Melding the genres of modern day folk tale with both satire and humor, the book centers on our unlikely hero, J.D. Wiswall. Working for the state government in a data entry department, J.D. becomes aware of a cost savings program where he could obtain a share of ten thousand dollars. When a scheme is developed to help the team win, however, the idea serves as a spark that sets off everyone around the department and beyond into the wider media. A whole series of secrets and lies is unveiled, all of which threaten to stop Unit 3 claiming their original prize.

As settings go for novels, this one was pretty strange but ultimately really different and refreshing to read. Viewed as a tale of camaraderie and the secrets that other people keep, the work that Scott Semegran puts into the intricacies of his large cast of characters is very impressive. The prose flows well and the dialogue is humorous and realistic, particularly for me in the tale of the alcoholic wannabe rock star Brent Baker who kind of stole the show. The plot certainly requires the concentration of literary fiction readers to keep track of it, particularly as more and more characters join the scene, but it all builds to an accomplished tale that’s well worth sticking with. Overall, To Squeeze a Prairie Dog is a recommended read for fans of humor, drama, and office politics.