Monday, June 8, 2009

Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher - My Review

“Sometimes, on some days, horror and misery and suffering find their place and a life to terrorize. And thus, a tale is told, grim and unrepentant, with no happy ending.” (p.332)

Travis Thrasher introduced me to the genre of Christian horror stories with his tale, Isolation. Not long after reading that story, I had the chance to talk with Travis, and I learned that part of the inspiration for his horror story was a struggle he was having in his own faith walk – about feeling isolated from God. His second horror tale, Ghostwriter, is even more terrifying, and although I’ve not had the chance to ask Travis, I suspect that once again he is exploring a truly terrifying place – unbelief.

Ghostwriter is particularly haunting, because the main character is a multi-published author (like Travis Thrasher) named Dennis Shore. Dennis has lost his wife to cancer, and her death seems to have taken everything meaningful from his life including his ability to write. In fact, the horror of death, the fear of not knowing what, if anything, follows death, seems to trump any horror that Dennis can create and place upon the page. Then, amid the struggle to write the next great story, Dennis gives in to desperation and does something he never thought he’d do…and the time has come to pay for that error.

Is Dennis losing his mind? Is he being haunted or hunted? Oh, dear reader, this is not an easy tale to read. It’s dark and terrifying and just plain scary. It begins subtly, but the fear and tension build as the story is told, and I promise you this…you will NOT want to read this alone or in a quiet house, or without a lot of bright light…or especially at bedtime. Dennis Shore is caught amid a spiritual battle not of his creation and certainly not within his control. He stands to lose everything – his present life and his eternal soul.

Once again, Travis reveals to the reader that our lives and all that lies within them - from the moment of birth to the moment of death - is not something we control. Horror and fear DO visit our lives, and in those dark moments we will either believe God’s promises and find hope, or we will disbelieve God’s promises and find terror that is beyond definition. Truth is embedded in this tale. Real truth. And sometimes there is no happy ending. That’s real too. But nothing in this world happens that God cannot redeem – even the horror and fear – and Travis gives us a peek at that too. He’s good.

*there is mild language throughout, and some scenes contain uncomfortable descriptions of violence

It was during third grade after a teacher encouraged him in his writing and as he read through The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis that Travis decided he wanted to be a writer. The dream never left him, and allowed him to fulfill that dream of writing fulltime in 2007.

Travis Thrasher is the author of numerous works of fiction, including his most personal and perhaps his deepest work, Sky Blue, that was published in summer of 2007. This year he has to novels published, Out of the Devil’s Mouth, and a supernatural thriller, Isolation.

Travis is married to Sharon and they are the proud parents of Kylie, born in November, 2006, and Hailey, a Shih-Tzu that looks like an Ewok. They live in suburban Chicago.

Please visit the author's website to learn more about his work!

1 comment:

Kate McDonald said...


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