Craig Davidson is the author of Sarah Court and Cataract City and, under the name Nick Cutter, The Acolyte, from ChiZine Publications, which we covered here back in 2015. His newest is the definition of a breakout novel. It’s gotten rave reviews from the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, and numerous other places. As Jason Heller puts it at NPR, it’s a novel that celebrates the wonders and horrors of being a kid:
Jake Baker, the main character of Craig Davidson’s new novel The Saturday Night Ghost Club [is] a neurosurgeon, and… The Saturday Night Ghost Club is his story, although most of it takes place in the past — one summer during the ’80s, in which he turned 12. He grew up in Niagara Falls, and the town’s mist-shrouded natural monument serves as a dramatic backdrop to something bordering on the supernatural. Because as Jake tells it, he spent that summer with his eccentric Uncle Calvin and a handful of friends, practicing rituals and hunting ghosts and monsters….
The masterful segues between the narratives of child Jake and adult Jake shimmer. And even more profoundly, the book is a celebration of the secret lives of children, both their wonders and their horrors…. Hunting imaginary monsters is a grand adventure, but the most horrendous monsters can be real people. Immensely enjoyable, piercingly clever, and satisfyingly soulful, The Saturday Night Ghost Club is an exquisite little talisman of a book, one that doesn’t flinch as it probes the dark underside of nostalgia.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club was published by Penguin Books on July 9, 2019. It is 211 pages, priced at $16 in trade paperback and $11.99 in digital formats. The cover is by George Wylesol.