Friday, August 1, 2008


Oblivion is the first novel I have read by Jay Bonansinga. It is more or less a new riff on the Exorcist template. Spoilers a’plenty to follow.

A defrocked priest is accosted by a former altar boy (get your minds out of the gutter. The ex-Father hasn’t been a priest for twenty years, but his former protégé wants him to perform an exorcism. He isn’t told where the exorcism is or for whom it will be performed, he is just whisked onto a jet, flown across the country, and driven blindfolded to an estate, where he is to perform an exorcism on the demonically-possessed house. (It actually seems like a haunted house, so the exorcism is doomed from the start, but I guess that is unimportant. The main twist of the book is the haunted house turns out to be ……wait for it….The White House! Yawn. This finishes off the old willing suspension of disbelief. Throw in a subplot about the ghosts wanting to start a nuclear war, and you’ve got a hybrid haunted house – action thriller. This destroys any since of mood, and the attention wavers long before the predictable ending.

In spite of the ho-hum plotting, I thought Bonansinga does show evidence of being a capable writer, and I will give him another shot, but I just can’t recommend this one. Unless the haunted White House thing intrigues you, in which case, knock yourself out.

I am patting myself on the back for getting all the way through this without making a single snarky political comment.

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