Ghost Radio

Published By: William Morrow

Book Category: Fiction, Horror

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Reviewed by Julie Failla Earhart

“Caller, you’re on the air.” From graphic novelist and producer/director Leopoldo Gout comes a new pen in the world of the macabre. With his first novel, Ghost Radio, Gout joins the likes of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Robin Cook as he tries to scare our socks off.

As a kid, Joaquin loved his ham radio and especially loved “trolling the six-meter band– The magic band,” listening for elusive conversations. As a teenager, Joaquin meets Gabriel in the hospital where ironically, both boys are the sole survivors of a horrific auto accident that claims the lives of all four parents. While recuperating, the boys become best friends with a special fondness for punk rock and the Dead Kennedys.

After they are released from the hospital, the boys form a punk rock band. They sneak into Mexico City, where Joaquin is from, to broadcast live from an abandoned radio station. They manage to get on the air just a large electrical storm passes, shorting out their instruments, and electrocuting Gabriel.

Readers get the information in small increments from various chapters that all contain an eerie, rather warped, drawing and a prognosticating heading. Then, and I’m not sure really how this happened because Gout spares us the boring details, but Joaquin is the host of a radio show that is called Ghost Radio where he, his sidekick/lover/girlfriend, Alondra, and their sound engineer,
Watt, invited listeners to call in with their ghost tales and happenings. This gets to be a long after while and derails the scariness of the situations.

Before Joaquin knows what is happening, he is starting to be pulled into the callers’ stories until he is the protagonist of these nightmares. Joaquin goes on the hunt for the answers to why this is happening and falls into a creepy sub-cult of Toltenics.

Gout had a good idea for Ghost Radio going in, but somewhere the plot took a turn toward the just-too-weird to be real. On a back blurb, James Patterson said this book “reminded me of the early Stephen King– Carrie and Pet Sematary and The Dead Zone.”

To me, Ghost Radio did not come close because of its inability to have ever actually happened.

Armchair Interviews says: Consider this reviewer’s comments.

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