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Nan: The Game of Trife

by Moses Miller
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Reviewed by: Michelle Bishop
September 2011


Moses Miller is a seasoned urban writer and The Game of Trife, an installation of the Nathan Jones saga, demonstrates this. The well-woven tale is pretty easy to follow even if this is the reader's first Nathan Jones novel. First, we meet Sonny the drug dealer who operates out of his fast food restaurant and we quickly learn that he has a problem, Nathan (Nan) Jones. The excitement builds from there as we are taken on an action-packed roller coaster ride worthy of a film starring the Rock. There are crooked cops, pimps and hookers, and drugs galore. And it wouldn't be an urban novel without a good girl getting involved in a bad scene.

In this fast-paced read, the bad guys seem to get away with one egregious act after another. Just when we think they can't possibly kill another person, they do it again in an even more colorful manner than before. Miller keeps the action going even as he provides the obligatory dose of church via Sister Sarah who has emotionally adopted Nan as a surrogate son. The bad guys stay one step ahead of justice but Nan gives them a true run for their money, thwarting Sonny and his henchmen every time they think they've got the drop on him. This situation swings up and down like children on the see-saw until Nan finally comes face to face with Sonny.

My normal comments about editing do not exactly apply to Miller's writing. He has a strong, confident writing style and the editing, for the most part, stands up to reasonable scrutiny. With the exception of occasional poor word usage and odd page numbering and chapter organization, Miller has produced a well-written narrative that successfully moves the reader back and forth in time with relatively little confusion. Despite being a little longer than is necessary for this type of story The Game of Trife is a fun, easy read that is well worth the time.

What did you like about the book?
Miller gives us a fast-paced story, easy to read with lots of exciting action. It almost reads like a screenplay.

What did you dislike about the book?
I found the occasional misuse of words to be a distraction from the otherwise excellent story-telling.

What could the author do to improve the book?
Perhaps trim the novel by thirty to fifty pages and keep a dictionary handy.


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