Elizabeth Hunter's Reviews > The Ghost in Love

The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Carroll
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's review
Apr 13, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: uncat
Read in April, 2009

I adore Jonathan Carroll. In some ways he reminds me of Italo Calvino, with his deeply specific imagery and language that it simultaneously plain and yet evocative of poetry. The other author he reminds me of is Billy Collins.

The Ghost in Love is very much a love story, an explosion of the idea that our past and our many selves all come to bear on our present lives and loves. He takes commonplace ideas about love and self and airs them out, exploring the meanings they take on in our lives and making them real through his own style of magic realism and encouraging us along the way to love ourselves and each other and treasure all the great moments of our lives.

The only flaw here is the pacing. In the first 3/4 of the book, the action moves from place to place, time to time, person to person in ways that are always clear, but left me feeling like I was reading about a ride on the bumper cars. Then things slow way down and the ending takes many pages of people standing around talking to play out. The other thing that occasionally bothered me was a tendency to have important questions answered by two people going off together for a whispered conversation and coming back to say "ok, got the answer, let's go!" For both these reasons, I think I will need to re-read this before I return it to its owner.

I wish I had read this in the throes of a breakup or a new relationship--it has the potential to be a very exciting book of ephiphanies in either state.

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