Official Review: Apocalypse TV by Thomas Allbaugh

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Apocalypse TV by Thomas Allbaugh

Post by Cecilia_L » 10 Jan 2019, 11:11

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Apocalypse TV" by Thomas Allbaugh.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Would you ever agree to participate in a reality television show? What if the program was promoted as being centered around faith, but there were glaring discrepancies? Apocalypse TV by author Thomas Allbaugh follows college professor Walter Terry's involvement in a reality show about religion that may have a hidden agenda.

After visiting their dying father in hospice care, Walter and his sister, Melissa, are at a nearby diner when they are approached by a talent scout who works for a reality show. Despite assurances that the siblings are naturals, Walter has strong reservations about becoming involved in the show described as "an investigation into American religious ideas." However, his university teaching job is in jeopardy and in a state of vulnerability, Walter agrees to participate in Race to the Apocalypse. He and Melissa join the other cast members in a series of bizarre challenges that don't appear to have much to do with faith at all. From the onset of filming, Walter feels targeted and misunderstood and becomes increasingly suspicious of the show's creator, David Thorndike, and his motives. As production of the show continues, Walter's reputation, marriage, and even his life are threatened by the public's perception of so-called reality.

I have occasionally experienced love-hate relationships with reality shows which is one of the reasons I rarely watch them and prefer to read instead. Though I was immediately intrigued by the premise of the plot, the book encompassed so much more than I expected. The author's evocative writing style challenges readers to consider conflicting perspectives related to social issues and faith. Equally admirable is his ability to convey spiritual principles through fiction revolving around reality television and the potential havoc it creates. The result is a book that leaves an impression that lingers long after the last page is read.

The character development is another strength of the book. Though not particularly likable, Walter is relatable. Deeply flawed and ever the academic and skeptic, he is the type of character readers can picture debating controversial issues. However, I grew impatient with Walter's incessant self-analysis which slowed the pace of the book. I felt the author sufficiently established this particular character trait of the protagonist eliminating the need for frequent reminders. Even so, this was only a minor distraction in an overall enjoyable read. Additionally, the book was professionally edited.

Therefore, without reservation, I rate this thought-provoking read 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers who enjoy books about faith and how it relates to social issues. It will also appeal to fans of reality shows. On the other hand, readers who dislike the debate of controversial topics or an introspective writing style may prefer to pass on this one.

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Apocalypse TV
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Post by nonamer_miss » 12 Jan 2019, 06:20

I like reality shows but I am also aware that some of them are scripted but I have not watched a reality show based on faith so this seems intriguing.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 12 Jan 2019, 08:32

nonamer_miss wrote:
12 Jan 2019, 06:20
I like reality shows but I am also aware that some of them are scripted but I have not watched a reality show based on faith so this seems intriguing.
Yes, the concept is what attracted me to the book. Thanks for your comment. :tiphat:

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Post by SamSim » 12 Jan 2019, 09:11

I love a premise that allows for lots of exploration of human nature and makes the reader really "think about what they think," so to speak. Thanks for another great review and an exciting recommendation!
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Post by Jessacardinal » 12 Jan 2019, 11:12

Although the plot seems intriguing, I see nothing but red flags. I have a hard time imagining anything good coming from a faith-based reality show. I feel as if the show would make a mockery of religion. Nonetheless, because of your rating, I am curious about this book.
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Post by Darlynn_Tebogo » 12 Jan 2019, 13:23

I read a sample of the book and really struggled to connect with the premise. I just wanted to take a look at another person's perspective of the book and I must say that you summed it up nicely. I was also annoyed by the introspective writing style used in some parts of the book. Great review.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 12 Jan 2019, 13:36

SamSim wrote:
12 Jan 2019, 09:11
I love a premise that allows for lots of exploration of human nature and makes the reader really "think about what they think," so to speak. Thanks for another great review and an exciting recommendation!
Thank you. I appreciate your comment. :tiphat:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 12 Jan 2019, 13:38

Jessacardinal wrote:
12 Jan 2019, 11:12
Although the plot seems intriguing, I see nothing but red flags. I have a hard time imagining anything good coming from a faith-based reality show. I feel as if the show would make a mockery of religion. Nonetheless, because of your rating, I am curious about this book.
Jessa, I agree, and the protagonist in the story had the same concerns. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 12 Jan 2019, 15:45

Darlynn_Tebogo wrote:
12 Jan 2019, 13:23
I read a sample of the book and really struggled to connect with the premise. I just wanted to take a look at another person's perspective of the book and I must say that you summed it up nicely. I was also annoyed by the introspective writing style used in some parts of the book. Great review.
I understand what you mean Darlynn. I was slightly hesitant when I selected the book myself. Thanks for your kind comment. :tiphat:

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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Jan 2019, 18:33

I'm kind of curious about the angle that the author comes from in regards to religion. That might make a difference as far as whether I read it or not. It sounds interesting for sure. Thanks.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 12 Jan 2019, 18:48

kandscreeley wrote:
12 Jan 2019, 18:33
I'm kind of curious about the angle that the author comes from in regards to religion. That might make a difference as far as whether I read it or not. It sounds interesting for sure. Thanks.
Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Onyinye Excel » 13 Jan 2019, 06:31

I empathise with Walter.Being misjudged in the name of 'reality' is quite a tough one. How did he get out of it?

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Post by kdstrack » 13 Jan 2019, 09:52

I agree with you - books over tv! You have written an intriguing review and this sounds like an interesting story line. I will happily add this one to my list of books TBR! Thanks.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Jan 2019, 11:57

Onyinye Excel wrote:
13 Jan 2019, 06:31
I empathise with Walter.Being misjudged in the name of 'reality' is quite a tough one. How did he get out of it?
Thanks for your comment, but answering your questions would be revealing a plot spoiler! :no-spoil:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Jan 2019, 11:58

kdstrack wrote:
13 Jan 2019, 09:52
I agree with you - books over tv! You have written an intriguing review and this sounds like an interesting story line. I will happily add this one to my list of books TBR! Thanks.
Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. :tiphat:

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