Editor’s note: The following synopses of books, each of which has Maine ties, were provided by the respective publishing companies:

“Playing Bingo,” by Andrew Bennett; Heritage Printing of Farmington; paperback, 358 pages; $17.50.

“Playing Bingo” is a complex work of fiction about two men who are apparently suffering from some sort of mid-life crisis. As the title suggests, “Playing Bingo” is, in fact, about bingo, although it is not until the latter part of the novel that the game plays a prominent role.

Rogers Kirby, prominent think tank mathematician, has become disillusioned with life within the military-industrial complex.

He decides to develop a mammoth worldwide, super bingo game. In the midst of this, his grandmother, who raised him, dies.

He travels to New Hampshire to settle her estate. While there, he spends an afternoon working on a formula he has been thinking about. Because the formula is purely an act of fancy, it is set aside and forgotten – for the moment.

The first part of “Playing Bingo” is devoted to developing the character of Rusty Clark, a harried, desperate logger from Maine.

According to statistics from the U.S. government, the logging profession is the most dangerous job in the world. Bennett draws from this environment to create drama and to establish a basis for this character’s motives.

Bingo is not allowed in Maine, but Rusty hears that he can participate in New Hampshire, where his cousin lives. It is very near to where Kirby’s grandmother lived. Thus, the stage is set.

When the chancy world of logging meets up with the high stakes game of chance, questions arise.

How much of this world is determined by random luck and how much by something else? Bennett says he doesn’t feel the need to answer these questions, only the need to present them in a realistic, entertaining manner.

Bennett is a longtime resident of Buckfield.

“Playing Bingo” is available at Mr. Paperback in Lewiston, The Book Burrow in Auburn, Books ‘N’ Things in Oxford and The Book Nook in Livermore.


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