Sunday, May 22, 2005

Book Review: Turn Four by Tom Morrisey

Book ReviewTurn Four is the only book by Tom Morrisey that I have actually managed to read through. I browsed through Yucatan Deep and didn't think it sounded compelling, and read about forty pages of Deep Blue before deciding that some of the author's character descriptions were a little more detailed than I felt appropriate for the Christian fiction genre. I read no further and don't recommend the book.

However, Turn Four takes the reader into the world of stock car racing with NASCAR. I wondered how an author of books about deep sea diving found his way to a book about stock car racing. It turns out that Tom Morrisey was a feature writer for several NASCAR-oriented racing magazines for more than two decades. He expertly uses his experiences of those twenty-plus years to spin a realistic racing world that anyone familiar with the world of NASCAR racing can appreciate.

But there's more than racing to Turn Four. Morrisey takes the reader inside the lives of a racing family and the unmistakable role that religion plays in NASCAR. NASCAR is a rare gem in the world of sports in the way it incorporates religion into all that it does. Each race of the NASCAR season is preceded by an invocation. More than one former NASCAR Winston Cup champion (as I believe they should still be called for winning the championship prior to the introduction of Nextel sponsorship) openly professes a faith in God, and Bobby Labonte actually has "John 3:16" inscribed on a taillight of the Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo.

But none of that says much about Tom Morrisey's Turn Four. I found it to be a realistic depiction of what I imagine a racing family lives with, as well as a story with a compelling enough plot to keep me pushing toward the finale.

I say, read it, and then tell me your thoughts.


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