Back in 1973 Johnny Carson made a joke about a toilet paper shortage. The next morning many of his 20 million viewers rushed out to their local supermarkets and cleared the shelves of toilet paper. And of course we all know about Oprah's legendary power to turn obscure books into overnight best sellers and unknown people into media stars.
Talk show hosts like Johnny Carson and Oprah inspire almost religious fervor in their audiences. Television is indeed a powerful medium.
As the novel opens, Krystal is the hottest talk show host on TV. She has it all—fame, a successful clothing and perfume line, a best-selling book, and Chandler Davis, a good-looking ex-soap hunk, for a manager and lover. But Krystal’s empire is beginning to show cracks in the foundation. Her product sales are beginning to slip, a serious competitor has arrived on the scene, and her Nielsen ratings are in free-fall.
Then, literally, a miracle saves her career. A blind woman’s sight is restored on the show and suddenly the “miracle” is being discussed on everything from Good Morning America and 20/20 to countless blogs. Krystal is back on top. But is it a miracle, a medical anomaly, or a hoax? Everyone wants to know: does Krystal have the power to restore sight to the blind?
Toss into the mix Reece Kagan, Krystal's sleazy, unscrupulous producer and a man who is obsessed with keeping the show on top at any cost, and the Reverend Darius, a conman, scripture-spouting Brooklyn storefront minister who specializes in miracles on demand—and you have Network meets Elmer Gantry, a black satire novel which examines two of our most influential institutions in America today: religion and television.
- Michael Grant, August 2011
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