The story of J. Frank Norris and his paranoia was so compelling that I found myself researching on the internet for more information. The narrator's voices for the various characters added much to the story, particularly his very accurate interpretation of Norris.
Vassar graduate, living in Mexico and retired.
This nonfiction account of true crime held my interest. The Narrator brought the characters to life using just the right amount of emphasis and Southern accents. Several times I laughed out loud.
Very interesting history and entertaining listen.
For better or worse the basic story is not at all dated. The self-promoting genius possessed by Dr. J. Frank Norris would still play quite well to those of us who remain eager to see the conspiratorial plots being launched by the supposed bogeymen of the age. Maybe Dr. Norris would have difficulty finding an audience for his rants against "Romanists" (Catholics) today, but I am sure he would be more than willing to serve up bowel of hate aimed at more modern scapegoats. The too close for comfort similarity of the protagonist to the fear-mongering firebrands of the intervening history has no doubt contributed to this story being buried by time.
I remember the name of J. Frank Norris from a Baptist history course, but it was not a figure that was dwelt on for long. I found this to be a very intriguing book that has a lot to teach us today. Norris had a rare combination of passion, charisma, and zeal that helped him rise to prominence. I think what this book can primarily teach us is that any pastor should find himself with a large flock should have a system of accountability so that his ego does not go unchecked.
I also thought Norris's making of conspiracy theories in order to rally his congregation had much relevance.
I would recommend this book both for its historical value as well as for the fact that it is a very thrilling story.
Interesting story about the seductions of power, smallish town politics, and the earliest days of broadcast religion.
I am a native of the area of Texas highlighted in the book, and I've been fascinated by the historical details given in this book aside from the deeply interesting story of J. Frank Norris. The author does a great job of keeping your interest while outlining the background for each facet of the story. The narrator is impressive with his different voices--however, I don't think he's actually understood the difference between a southern accent and a Texas accent. He makes the guys sound like southern gentlemen instead of rednecks! I highly recommend the book. It's a great listen.
Found the book to be very interesting. Read well and written well, with many details. Historical stories are my favorite, and this one did not disappoint. I highly recommend it!