Picks and Pans Review: Life Its Ownself

UPDATED 11/05/1984 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/05/1984 at 01:00 AM EST

by Dan Jenkins

Billy Clyde Puckett, Barbara Jane Bookman (now his wife) and their friend Shake Tiller are back in a sequel to Jenkins' Semi-Tough, the 1972 novel that made clear there's a lot about pro football that's laughable. This time Puckett gets his knee damaged, Barbara Jane goes off to Hollywood to star in a TV sitcom, and Tiller has turned into a best-selling novelist. Their old teammate T.J. Lambert coaches TCU and, with help from Barbara Jane's rich daddy, hopes to buy a couple of players who will turn the Horned Frogs into winners. This plot is just a bare-bones device on which Jenkins drapes the most wonderful, blasphemous, nasty, outrageous one-liners; the best, peppered with four-letter words, cannot be quoted in this magazine. In addition to pro football, Jenkins scores off Hollywood, television (Puckett becomes a sports commentator) and sportswriters. He also gives the appearance of an unregenerate racist and consummate male chauvinist pig. But what counts is that Jenkins is hilarious, providing more laughs per page than any other writer in the "bidness" of producing novels. (Simon and Schuster, $15.95)

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