Book Review: Hershey’s Mr. Mean Streak

When an Army man cons an old lady out of a 127-million-dollar lottery ticket and moves into a California mansion, he transforms into Mr. Mean Streak. Mr. Mean Streak, John C. Philips-better known as JP, is a lawless family man who perceives himself to be both law and justice.

Throughout Mr. Mean Streak, author John Hershey injects a malevolent attitude into his main character, and constantly contrives creative situations that enhance the worse than mischievous nature of the character. Interestingly in the process, there is a growing attachment that is formed between the reader and the spiteful JP.

JP and his gang of goons-who originate from such places as the army and professional sports-seek to humiliate and destroy the lives of ordinary human beings. JP and his buddies make a mockery of law abiding citizens by planting hidden cameras, trapping construction workers in portable toilets, and unearthing the deepest secrets of random individuals-if for no other reason than for the wicked joy of ruining someone’s life.

The fact is that any character worth despising as much as JP-is a character who has been perfectly sketched and fleshed as despicable by the author, as evidenced by JP’s idea of fun: to dissolve the moral values of innocent individuals. For example, JP suggests that a priest’s commercial be interrupted by an X-rated film so that the priest’s image will be in shambles. Bizarre to be sure, yet this is JP’s job and it is accomplished through reckless behavior and by the heckling of society.

By chance, four women meet at a bar, all of whom are victims of Mr. Mean Streak’s erratic behavior. Sue van Wagoner, Joanie, Kim, and Janis become known as the Meanlettes. After they identify John Phillips as the perpetrator behind their calamities, the story takes off at breakneck speed.

Ultimately, Mr. Mean Streak revolves around the battle between good and evil, where good translates into the revenge-seeking Meanlette gang, and evil, of course, is carried out by JP and his goons. This is a must read for all thrill-seeking age groups who want entertainment in every turn of the page. The book can be ordered at Amazon.com, BN.com, and almost everywhere books are sold.

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