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Emmys 2017
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Book Review: 'Son of a Preacher Man'

Posted on

Son of a Preacher Man

Current Status:
In Season
Philosophy and Religion, Memoir

We gave it a C

The Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker scandal of the ’80s was American tragic farce at its grandest, and nobody knows it better than their son. With this slight but well-meaning memoir, Bakker — a heavily tattooed reformed alcoholic who’d be far more comfy preaching in the Bowery than at PTL services — offers his tale from a new perspective: the scared, pudgy kid unable to reconcile a loving home life with the shady goings-on that eventually led Dad to federal prison. There’s a fascinating story here, and the excoriation of former family friend Jerry Falwell will be manna to all Tinky Winky defenders. But Bakker buries the good stuff under so many tent-revival platitudes that his life story begins to feel like an endless sermon. C