4. Shock Talk: The Exorcist Files by Bob Larson (2001)
Length: 241 pages
Started: 10 January 2013
Finished: 14 January 2013
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 July 2008
Why do I have it? I like horror and Bob Larson is a new author for me.
At her wits' end, Jenny Owens doesn't know where to turn. Her twenty-two-year-old daughter, Allison, has moved back home with a two-year-old daughter of her own. Jenny, who loves her daughter and granddaughter deeply, does her best to support, encourage, and help Allison in any way possible, but the situation is rapidly getting out of hand. Allison is acting more like a rebellious teenager than a responsible mom.
After numerous attempts to reach her daughter, Jenny makes one last desperate move to connect with her wayward daughter; she calls The Billy McBride Show - tabloid TV at its worst - hoping to reconnect with Allison somehow. The topic: "Families Out of Control". Billy McBride is a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred TV host - more interested in television ratings than counseling - however, Jenny believes that Billy can help her get through to Allison.
Billy McBride's engaging smile and easygoing manner masks a deep pain which he has carried since childhood - his father's abandonment of him. This pain has left him open and vulnerable to Allison's own harsh life experiences. Billy knows the basic routine of shock television: tease the topic, badger the guests, shock the viewing audience.
When Allison suddenly attempts suicide during the broadcast, Billy's ratings skyrocket. However, Allison's desperate act brings Billy no excitement for the ratings bump, only a deep sense of sadness for both Jenny and Allison. Despite himself, Billy finds that this desperate young woman and her mother's shared plight has touched something deep within his heart and he hopes that he will be able to help them somehow. However, nothing could have prepared Billy McBride for the evil that he would encounter.
I have to say that while this book started out rather well, it turned out not to be all that frightening to me. I found that the situations that the characters were placed in were perhaps not totally unbelievable, but certainly entirely improbable, in my opinion. I like many horror books that deal with possession and spiritual warfare, and have absolutely no problem with reading books that feature strong Christian themes. However, Bob Larson - who happens to be a well-known exorcist himself, apparently - might be able to write about the supernatural competently. However, in my opinion, the author doesn't integrate reality with the supernatural very successfully.
I give this book an B+! I have one other book by Bob Larson on my bookshelf called Dead Air which I would certainly like to read at some point. I am more than willing to give Bob Larson another try, so I am hopeful that Dead Air will capture my attention better than Shock Talk: The Exorcist Files did.
B+! - (89-85%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight