Now Playing… Again by Patrick J. Dunlavy

Just as John Carter bumped his head and was transported to Mars to become a warlord in the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, Bryan Powers, the protagonist of Patrick J. Dunlavy’s conjectural novel, Now Playing… Again: A Novel of Second Chances (, 272 pp., $35, hardcover; $19.95, paper), gets a bump on his head and is transported back into his own past to be allowed to get a re-do on the big high school football game his team lost.

What does this have to do with the Vietnam War? It is made clear at the end of this novel that it is a tribute to PFC James Vincent Vinciguerra, the author’s best friend from high school “who died in combat on January 25, 1970, in Vietnam.”  I won’t spoil the ending of the novel for potential readers as to whether they won the big game this time or if the best buddy is saved from dying in Vietnam in 1970.

Dunlavy, who spent 28 years working on Wall Street, has offered to donate a portion of the proceeds of this book’s sales to Vietnam Veterans of America in memory of Vincent Vinciguerra.

—David Willson