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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

MIKE TYSON SLEPT HERE by Chris Huntington

Published in 2011 by Boaz Publishing Company

First - a confession. I know the author of this book. However, the last time I spoke to him was most likely in December of 1989. We had one class together in high school and 3, maybe 4, classes together at the School of Education at Indiana University where we discussed movies, a mutual love of reading and Roy Orbison.

But, I've kept track of Chris as a writer in magazines and newspapers - mostly essays about his new family and his globe-trotting life teaching in all sorts of places, including ten years at a men's prison in Indiana - the subject of this book.

The book Mike Tyson Slept Here is set in and around the Plainfield Correctional Facility, where Mike Tyson served nearly three years for rape from 1992 to 1995. Tyson does not appear in the book, but he was its most famous resident, seeing as how he went in at the height of his career.

Mike Tyson Slept Here is not an autobiography, but there are semi-autobiographical elements to the book. The main character is Brant Gilmour, a new teacher who just got a job trying to help the prisoners earn their GEDs at the men's prison in Plainfield, Indiana - a suburb of Indianapolis. He meets another, older female teacher and they start dating.

Most of the book is about Brant, his girlfriend and their relationship, but not all of it. This book is really a collection of vignettes about several loosely connected characters that live in and around Indianapolis. Even though the plot was not a traditional story, the book was well-served by the dialogue. Dialogue is often difficult for writers, but it flows perfectly in this book. 

The stories flow easily as well. Even if I couldn't tell where it was going, I enjoyed the book for what it was - a series of stories well-told.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Mike Tyson Slept Here by Chris Huntington

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