Flip-flop is a transcendental thriller and hard-edged love story revolving around a journalist's investigation into the firebombing of a newspaper office. The writer(tm)s quest for the truth takes the reader on an electric trip through mind, time and the undertow of America(tm)s counterculture.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Flip-Flop?
Flip-flop is punk fiction Dec 5, 2001
Flip-flop is a punk literary novel that is driven by a faced-paced suspense-charged plot line. It's well-crafted entertaining fiction.
The primary plot of Flip-flop is laced with several subthemes, including a hard-edged love story, an exploration of America's counterculture underclass, and a touch of mysticism. The novel also is spiced with quirky, yet well-developed believable characters.
On another front, Flip-flop explores undiscovered country in the publishing industry in that it is set against the backdrop of an alternative newspaper.
I also think there's a waiting list of Richard Brautigan fans - "Trout Fishing in America" - who would find Flip-flop a comfortable companion.
Underneath it all, though, is the real literary engine of the book: a quest for redemption and an understanding of the nature of truth. In essence, Flip-flop is a modern version of the Cave Allegory - penned by Plato; spoken by Socrates.
The lead character, a counterculture journalist named Jake West, at the beginning of the book, is like one of the prisoners in the cave, chained to his spot, his eyes fixed on a wall in front of him, with a fire behind him casting shadows on the wall. These shadows are all West and the other prisoners know of the truth.
However, a tragedy shatters West's chains and propels him on a quest for the real truth, which exists outside the cave. Through both an inner journey (a flashback) and an outer journey (his journalistic endeavors), West discovers the real world illuminated by the sun. Unfortunately, in order to share that truth, West realizes he must return to the cave.
Socrates: "And is there anything surprising in one who passes from divine contemplations (sunlight) to the evil state of man (the cave) ... if, while his eyes are blinking and before he has become accustomed to the surrounding darkness, he is compelled to fight in courts of law, or in other places, about the images or the shadows of images of justice, and is endeavoring to meet the conceptions of those who have never yet seen absolute justice?"
In the end, it is the reader who must determine whether West has found redemption and the truth.
An Unflinching Portrayal of Characters Living on the Margins Dec 4, 2001
Bill Conroy takes us on a rollicking ride into the world of alternative journalism, where a city spills its secrets to those who are close enough to ground level to receive them. "Flip-Flop" is an unflinching portrayal of characters who live on the margins, dabbling in self-destruction until their search for truth leads them unexpectedly to enlightenment.
Bill Lueders, News Editor Madison Isthmus
A Vivid Story of what the Press Could -- and Should -- Be Dec 4, 2001
"Flip-Flop" is the perfect book for anyone who sees the media as little more than pre-fab grins and bullet-proof hair. Author Bill Conroy takes us on a trip with the rogue adventurers of Milwaukee's underground press. It's a strange, exotic tale of high crimes, misdemeanors and pot-smoking crusaders. Conroy knows the turf well; he's been there. What results is a vivid story of what the press could, would and should be -- if only it understood the powers of a six-pack and a joint.
Pete Kotz Editor The Cleveland Scene
To the Edge and Back with Conroy Dec 4, 2001
"Flip-Flop" author Bill Conroy writes like Elmore Leonard on speed, using crime fiction as a vehicle to explore what happened at the turn of the century and how we wound up driven to where we are today. Conroy takes the reader to the seedy world of the 1980s punk counterculture, to the edge -- and back; but not without first giving you a taste of something you know you shouldn't be getting into."
Jeff Worman Staff Writer & Artist VIRUS, Milwaukee's News and Arts Monthly
Gripping Fiction that Dares to Reveal Truths Dec 4, 2001
Bill Conroy is a journalist who writes, as fiction, the truth that so many tame media outlets are afraid to print and broadcast. Flip Flop depicts the degradation of government, journalism and society, occasioned by the Republican Party's maniacal War on Drugs and disdain for Democracy.
The book was great. I love it when you read a story cover to cover without putting it down. It was gripping.