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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Whole Lot of Hullabaloo by Christopher Fried is A Twenty-First Century Campus Phantasmagoria. Troy Thomas has no idea what he wants to do with his life but lives a normal college life – attending class, watching the women, and going to parties. He and his best friend, Ian Mueller, meet up with potential girlfriends and everything seems to be going just fine. Until one night, at an off-campus costume party, Ian arrived dressed as a character from Miami Vice in blackface and, while all seemed well, Ian suddenly receives communication from the admin at the university that another student had complained of being offended. Threats of the local media abound and everything goes to pot as everybody seems to have become involved – even a group of militants. Troy needs to find out who he is and where he stands in all the madness and to discover whether a lifelong friendship can stand the tension.
Whole Lot of Hullabaloo by Christopher Fried is satire at its best. Although he says it is partly nostalgia for the 80s/90s pop culture, it is a stark look, albeit a humorous one, at how quickly seemingly innocent events can spiral out of control because someone somewhere is offended by something you may have done or said. It will have you laughing and it will also have you thinking but it is entertaining and shouldn’t really be taken too seriously. The characters are an eclectic mix, colorful, well-developed, and all relatable in one way or another. The plot is solid and the story moves at a decent pace. You will become immersed in it and you won’t want to put it down. I guarantee that this is one story you won't forget for a long time after you finish reading it.