Short Review #17: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (2015)

Rating: 3 out of 5⭐️
Title: A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel
Author: Paul Tremblay
Published: 2015 (William Morrow, HarperCollins, New York)
Pages: 286 (Hardcover)
Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Supernatural
CW: violence, religious motifs, sexual content
Link Here

My borrowed copy of A Head Full of Ghosts next to a cup of coffee

Hello! To continue my tour into spooky novels since it is spooky season, I read A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay this week. It has finally cooled down weather-wise at the moment in Arizona, which is a miracle at this point… So now I can finally say it’s starting to feel like fall, which equals spooky season!

Ideas. I’m possessed by ideas. Ideas that are as old as humanity, maybe older, right? Maybe those ideas were out there just floating around before us, just waiting to be thought up. Maybe we don’t think them, we pluck them out from another dimension or another mind” – Paul Tremblay, A Head Full of Ghosts

I saw a lot of mixed reviews about this novel before I went into it. I knew I wanted to read a book by the horror author Paul Tremblay, who has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards, because I’ve been hearing about him a lot. But honestly, I couldn’t decide which one to read. I went with A Head Full of Ghosts, because it seemed to be one of his higher rated ones and it looked good. Side note: I might read The Cabin at the End of the World one day by Tremblay, but I’m not sure yet. I was between that one, and the one I’m currently talking about.

A Head Full of Ghosts is a novel about a dysfunctional fictional family who went through an exorcism that was filmed for a reality TV series for their oldest daughter, Marjorie. The story is mainly told in the perspective of the younger sister, Merry, looking back on the circumstances of the events. Marjorie was suspected of having schizophrenia when she starts to display bizarre behavior at age 14, which soon led to the family believing she was possessed by a demon and needed an exorcism. As Merry comes to terms with what happened as an adult after she agrees to sell her story to a publisher that will be turned into a book, her story becomes a lot stranger and will have you second guessing.

I enjoyed this book for the most part. The story was creepy, and entertaining as hell. But I was not a fan of how the blog portions of the book were written. It was kind of difficult to get through at times, and the writing was jumbled and manic. I imagine that was maybe done on purpose for character development (maybe), but it was still hard to read through, especially since it went on for multiple pages at a time. I loved the suspense elements, and the storytelling itself was well-done.

Why should you read this book? If you’re looking for a spooky supernatural horror novel that reads like reality TV and leaves you guessing the character’s motivations, this is the book for you.

I give this book a 3 out of 5!


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