Saturday, October 3, 2015

'A Head Full of Ghosts'

Autumn is now upon us, and for avid readers, it's truly the season of cuddling up on a couch/chair/bed, pulling up a cozy blanket, and sipping from a hot beverage while a few cats sleep on your legs/stomach/head.  But if you're reading a good story, you forget about the cats while your hot beverage grows cold, especially during the Halloween season.

But while I found 'A Head Full of Ghosts', written by Paul Tremblay, intriguing, it just wasn't what I thought it would be; I noticed the cats, and my tea was still hot.

It's been garnering good reviews, and although I don't always listen to critics, I do love a good ghost story.  But this time, I expected something a bit 'spookier'.

Perhaps I didn't 'get' it.  Maybe I should read it again.  But I know I'll feel the same way about the story.  It's well-written, the characters are fully realized, and it was very dark.  It did have strange moments that are hard to explain, but it seemed like a garden variety story of possession. It brought to mind a lesser version of 'The Exorcist'.

The Barretts, a family living in New England, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.  The doctors are unable to stop the teenager's bizarre outbursts and descent into madness.

Author Paul Tremblay
As their home devolves into a house of horror, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help.  He suggests an exorcism, and then contacts a production company which is eager to turn the family's plight into a reality series.  The family agrees, and they never imagined that The Possession would become an instant hit.

I do have to say that a great 'reveal' near the end was the story's saving grace. It was then that I felt the pull of it's supernatural content.

Too bad it didn't arrive sooner.

'A Head Full of Ghosts', published by Wm. Morrow (a division of HarperCollins), is available at your local library and favorite independent bookstore.  ISBN 9780062363237