cover image A Do Right Man

A Do Right Man

Omar Tyree. Simon & Schuster, $23 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-684-82929-6

Hip-to-the-punch, Tyree's (Flyy Girl) feel-good third novel follows the trials and errors of low-octane gentle giant Bobby Dallas as he realizes his dream: to have his own radio show. After graduating from Howard University, Dallas finds tutelage under a variety of black radio men (many of whom live mainly through his wide-eyed enthusiasm) and pleasure in the company of a number of women with whom he enjoys fleeting affairs. It isn't until Dallas nerves himself to scrap the neoconservative slant of his radio show and reinvent himself as hip ""Radioman"" that his career and love life fall (magically) into place. The novel never questions this flip-flop: Tyree seems to share his hero's devil-may-care view of politics as mere fashion statement. Political questions aside, Dallas's sky-rocket ascent in radio beggars credulity. ""What if everything doesn't go right?"" he continues tiresomely to ask--as if the reader could possibly forget that Tyree is making sure that everything does go right. In fact, only Tyree's good humor and ear for dialogue keep this story from devolving into a fairy tale. (Nov.) FYI: Flyy Girl will be issued in Scribner paperback in November.