A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS Playing Merry hell
released OUt NOW! 400 pages | Paperback/ebook
Author Paul tremblay Publisher titan books
Take one adolescent girl, add some blasphemy and sexual deviance, and top it all off with lashings of pea soup. The tropes of demonic possession stories are so well-worn now you’d think no one could ever make them scary again. But Paul Tremblay might just have managed it.
His novel embraces the clichés, using their very familiarity to, paradoxically, manufacture an atmosphere of dread and uncertainty. Here, pop culture is just another force for evil, and nothing is quite what it seems.
Fifteen years ago, Merry’s older sister was taken ill – mood changes, green vomit, the works. While the girls’ mother suspected schizophrenia, their father called a priest. And the priest called a TV network. Before they knew it, the family were at the centre of a controversial TV show. Now, retelling her story to a biographer, Merry must battle to separate her childhood memories from what she’s seen on TV, in an attempt to find out what really happened to her sister.
Tremblay piles on the layers of ambiguity to craft a story that’s a joy to unpick. And its final sting is guaranteed to keep you up at night. Sarah Dobbs
This book is dedicated to author Shirley Jackson. Our Book Club on p40 may give some clues as to why…