Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Haunting by Rob Stennett

Anyone who knows me knows I'm always up for a reading challenge...or a challenging reading. And no book has been more challenging for me than the soon to be released novel by Rob Stennett.

I say that because this story is well-crafted, engaging, entertaining and informative...but in my opinion needs to come with a warning label proclaiming "Do NOT try this at home"!

Charlie Walker is a frustrated writer, longing to pen a best-selling novel...or at least a novel that sells. He makes one last effort, quitting his job and moving his family to a small town with lower cost of living. Maybe with no distractions, he'll be able to find his muse.

Oh, and did I mention Charlie doesn't believe in God or the supernatural?

Stuck in his writing despite his best efforts, Charlie finally settles on writing a horror novel. And, since Charlie is a method writer, one who writes best through experience, he sets out to create his own "Homemade Haunting".

By summoning the supernatural through a variety of means, none of them good, Charlie encounters things that spark his creative juices. The only problem is his family is seeing things too...including his two children.

When the 'things' Charlie has invited into his home begin to take hold in ways Charlie never dreamed of, it's all he can do to UNdo what he's done...but is it too late now?

Seems Charlie believes now...but what will that mean for the Walker family? And what will happen with his novel...and does it really matter anymore?

Rob Stennett is an author I've been watching for some time. His earlier books had a view of life that I found engaging, but some found a bit off. I enjoy his gift of storytelling, and believe his stories are designed to do more than just entertain us.

He writes to make us think. Think about this world, our faith, and how the two mix...or don't mix.

This one left me a bit uneasy, though. I enjoyed it...a lot. As I said, it is well-written, well-developed, well-researched...highly believable.

And I think that's what bothered me. I thought of all of the readers who might be foolish enough to try Charlie's methods, and I ached at what they might find themselves getting into.

That's not Rob's fault, though. It's just the power of his writing. Which, I suppose, ends up being a compliment to him and to his talent.

So, with all that being said, I'm giving "Homemade Haunting" five out of five bookmarks, with a Bible as a charm...and I'm slapping my own advisory label on this one...

...do NOT try this at home! Learn from Charlie Walker...and don't be a method reader!

My thanks to Jeane Wynne for trusting me with this novel...and be on the lookout for "Homemade Haunting" from Zondervan in April 2011!!

Happy Reading!



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