Paul Tremblay is the author of No Sleep till Wonderland, The Little Sleep, and (with Stephen Graham Jones) Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly. His latest, A Head Full of Ghosts, has perhaps the most intriguing premise for a horror novel I’ve read in years — and it’s getting some of the most breathless reviews of the year, as well. Is it worth the hype? Here’s the lowdown from Nathan Ballingrud:
I just finished Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts. The hype is not hyperbole; this book is outstanding. Creepy, surprising, occasionally funny, always compassionate, and both a love song to horror fiction and an interrogation of its assumptions, this easily stands as one of the best horror novels I’ve read in years.
I’m definitely looking forward to this one. Here’s the description.
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.
To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.
Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface — and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.
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A Head Full of Ghosts was published by William Morrow on June 2, 2015. It is 304 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover, and $12.99 for the digital edition.
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