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Author: Leopoldo Gout (Website, Facebook, Blog)
Hardcover: 368 Pages
Publisher: William Morrow (October 14, 2008)
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Ghost Radio is a terrifying novel about a ghost-story call-in radio show that inadvertently opens a doorway into the paranormal, giving voice to the dead and instigating an epic battle for the souls of the living.
From the cramped bowels of a dimly lit radio station, Ghost Radio is beamed onto the airwaves. More than a call-in show to tell scary stories about vampires and poltergeists, Ghost Radio is a sanctuary for those sleepless denizens of the night, lost halfway between this world and the next.
Joaquin, the hip, melancholy host, sits deep in a fog of cigarette smoke, fielding calls from believers and detractors alike. He is joined in the booth by his darkly beautiful girlfriend, Alondra, and his engineer, Watts. Soon what began as an underground cult sensation is primed to break out to mainstream audiences. When a huge radio conglomerate offers to syndicate the show and Ghost Radio becomes a national hit with an expanding legion of hardcore fans, neither Joaquin, Alondra, nor Watts is remotely prepared for what is about to happen.
Though a charismatic host, Joaquin remains a skeptic even as he begins to notice a curious and troubling phenomenon—he feels himself drawn further and further into the terrifying stories he solicits on the radio. Slowly he loses control over his reality and finds himself unable to distinguish between the real world and the world populated by the nightmares on Ghost Radio. He is forced to confront his past and his own mortality in order to save that which is most precious to him and repair the crumbling wall between the living and the dead.
Leopoldo Gout is a producer, graphic novelist, writer, composer, and director. He is currently producing an animated film with NBC and Curious Pictures but this is his first novel. Premise sounds very Stephan King-ish to me and since Horror is not really up my alley, I'll point you to this review instead: Bookgasm.
I do dabble a bit into horror, so this is more appealing to me. The premise reminds me of an actual late-night call-in radio show, Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell. I used to hear the last half-hour on the way to work, back when I worked on a military base and had to get in ridiculously early. It was all about UFOs and the paranormal. As in this novel, I always suspected that Art Bell was a skeptic.
And guess what? There really is a Ghost Radio. Check it out.