Friday, March 18, 2011
Rob Stennett's Homemade Haunting ~ Reviewed
Homemade Haunting: A Novel [Paperback]
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (March 15, 2011)
Charlie Walker doesn't believe in God or the supernatural. But Charlie's views change when he takes the biggest risk of his life---he quits his job to write the novel he's always wanted to write. The problem is that Charlie is a method writer. Since he's writing horror, he needs to experience horror. Charlie begins to dabble with the supernatural and experiences the paranormal around his house. Messages appear on mirrors, furniture moves, and his kids start seeing things. Charlie is so lost in his book that he can't see how it's affecting his family. He thinks if he just stops, it will all wash away. It doesn't. Friends convince Charlie that his only choice is to find God to save his family and home. Charlie becomes the unlikely hero in a supernatural battle. As he fights for his home and family, he meets his guardian angel and the demon assigned to him. Is Charlie going crazy? Is there really a supernatural war taking place around Charlie's home, the neighborhood mailbox, and local swimming pool? Homemade Haunting is a comedy, thriller, and allegory---just the type of story expected from Rob Stennett.
A driven author takes six months, with his long-suffering wife's blessing, to write THE novel. Their entire world and future hinges on this novel. If Charlie could just have six months to produce this sure-to-be-exquisite and best-selling novel all of their dreams will come true. They will be able to escape the cheap, wood-paneled, mildew-scented rental. Charlie might be able to get his job back -- or maybe, just maybe -- they could live off the book --
Okay. Anyone who's attempted to write for money is already thinking....AUGH!!!! SCARY!!!!. But hold on...there's more. Charlie discovers he's a method writer...i.e. he feels the need to really "feel" what the characters feel, that way he can truly write what he knows. That's great except he writes horror. His family's upheaval, new schools, moving down, financial pressures, loss of friends/neighborhood give him great "food" for writing killer first chapters. But then his writing falls flat, right when it should be getting very interesting. Charlies' research leads him to dig a little deeper into the thrills and chills that he is wanting to translate onto the page. This gives ample opportunity for the reader of this story to mentally scream. "No! Charlie. Don't go into the BASEMENT!"
To crank up the tension a little more, Charlie doesn't really believe in the supernatural...any of it, ever since his mom died of cancer while he and his dad were at church lighting candles for her healing. So no God would let a little boy down, would ignore a little boy bargain for the life of his mother, right? So no god, no satan, no little green men...and Charlie is certain of that.
This book is not going to appeal to many readers. However, I loved it. But I love quirky or deep and a combination is the perfect storm. And this is the perfect storm. If you hate chick or lad lit, quirky or sarcastic you will probably want to stay far away. Class A Chickens will either want to avoid Home-Made Haunting outright or buy extra lightbulbs and a few packages of adult diapers. If you can't deal with the idea of a Christian label putting out a book that includes instructions on using an Ouija Board, or have qualms about the lost acting lost, you should probably not put it on your to read list. However. Fans of Ray Blackston or Michael Snyder should find plenty to appreciate. And horror fans. If you like your horror with a lot of humor, then you might want to look into it, too. The Christian aspects are fairly light as in there's not a lot of preaching. But spiritual content is pretty hefty as in it gives the reader some things to think about.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer
Charlie Walker doesn’t believe in God or the supernatural. But Charlie’s views change when he takes the biggest risk of his life—he quits his job to write the novel he’s always wanted to write.
The problem is that Charlie is a method writer. Since he’s writing horror, he needs to experience horror. Charlie begins to dabble with the supernatural and experiences the paranormal around his house. Messages appear on mirrors, furniture moves, and his kids start seeing things.
Charlie is so lost in his book that he can’t see how its affecting his family. He thinks if he just stops, it will all wash away. It doesn’t. Friends convince Charlie that his only choices is to find God to save his family and home.
Charlie becomes the unlikely hero in a supernatural battle. As he fights for his home and family, he meets his guardian angel and the demon assigned to him. Is Charlie going crazy? Is there really a supernatural war taking place around Charlie’s home, the neighborhood mailbox, and the local swimming pool?
Snappy. Brow raising. Quick paced. The thing I loved most about this book was the writing. Author Rob Stennett knows how to wield a pen—or keyboard, as the case may be—cutting in dialogue and internal monologue with keen sharpness. I especially appreciated the off-the-cuff humor, and yes, I may have even chuckled out loud once (a rarity).
Make no mistake, though. This is a horror novel. Things that go bump in the night are showcased in all their glory. The closer I got to the end of the novel, the more I wondered if and/or how this tale would be redeemed with a satisfying, happy ending. Don’t worry. It does. But you’ll be kept guessing until the very end.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this to young teens. There’s so much occult information in here that I foresee their curiosity radars zing off the screen. But older teens, especially the vampire/zombie crowd, and definitely adults will appreciate the handling of things unseen in Home Made Haunting…an interesting excursion into one family’s descent into the supernatural.
Reviewed by: Michelle Griep