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'The Otis Ring' by Andy Johnson

"The Otis Ring" by Andy Johnson, Deadpan Press, hardcover

Andy Johnson takes his first swing at being an author in "The Otis Ring," which explores "the challenge of lying in a bed of one’s own making."

"Unnerved by sobriety and crushed by the loss of family life, a Louisiana lawyer staggers forward in solitude, unable to take the edge off," says the book's synopsis. "By turns funny and bittersweet, 'The Otis Ring' is a wry take on failure, despair, perseverance, and acceptance."

With a curious mix of memoir and fiction, the story is told through a cast of characters, including the author and his children, a hearing-impaired psychotherapist, a lamentable ghost, talking lizards and a wise yard gnome.

Johnson is a graduate of LSU and the LSU Law Center. He practiced law in Lake Charles for 26 years, retiring in 2008. He lives in Baton Rouge, where he serves on the board of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, teaches reading with Volunteers in Public Schools and, he says, "generally, tries to be of use." He is the father of three and grandfather of two.

The book, and upcoming events, are at andyjohnsonbook.com.