ssejig's review

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3.0

I have been interested in the PTL because I live near the CUT and my interest has expanded to the wider religious field. This book was interesting but would have been better served by being cut down by about 100 pages. At least 50. There was a LOT of extraneous information that felt like filler. There were several times where I thought, "Oh, it's coming to an end" and, when I looked, there were still a hundred pages left. Other than that, this was a nice book with a lot of behind-the-scenes.

sophronisba's review

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4.0

I thought this was a fascinating deep dive into the PTL story. The outlines of the saga were familiar to me--the peak of their influence was during my childhood; I remember watching their show at my grandmother's house, and I think one of my aunts even sent them money! I knew they were charlatans, of course, but I didn't realize the depth of their grifting until I read this book.

It's hard not to feel for Tammy Faye, who mostly seems childlike and desperate. She went on to become a gay icon (who would've guessed that?) and died fairly young. On the other hand, Bakker learned nothing from his disgrace and never changed--most recently he has been trying to sell magical cures for coronavirus--so it's much more difficult to work up sympathy for him.
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