BOOK REVIEW: A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by PAUL TREMBLAY
Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Recently, my Google feed brought up an interview with author Paul Tremblay about his latest offering, Growing Things, which led me to purchase his 2015 novel A Head Full of Ghosts (and another book that he mentions in the interview). It took me all of one day to pour through the novel. Not because it's short, but because I couldn't put it down.
The story centers around the Barrett family and their fourteen year old daughter, Marjorie, going through what seems to be a demonic possession, as recalled by their younger daughter, Merry. Merry, an adult now, is telling the story to an best-selling author who intends to write about the actual events surrounding the story and the television show, The Possession, that filmed the events as they occurred. Also, interspersed within the book, are blog posts that break down the television episodes from a critic/skeptic's viewpoint.
I felt that the pacing of the story was great and that the character arcs worked, even though some of them felt trope-y. The jobless father turns to religion to get help while the non-believer mother turns to drinking. Obviously, if we're going to have a demonic possession, we've got to have the church involved at some point. And the television show got introduced to the family through the church. How in the hell did that happen? All of a sudden, their money problems are gone! Deus ex machina, much?
I'm not going to spoil the ending for you, because it is worth reading. However, I will say that I was left feeling confused about the actual events which I'm convinced it was the author was shooting for.