It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he'd already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.
Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.
Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed - until now.
Jason Arnopp is the author of the chiller-thriller novels Ghoster (2019) and The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (2016). He is also the co-author of Inside Black Mirror with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.
Arnopp wrote the Lionsgate horror feature film Stormhouse, the New Line Cinema novel Friday The 13th: Hate-Kill-Repeat, various official Doctor Who works of fiction (including the BBC audiobook Doctor Who: The Gemini Contagion) and script-edited the 2012 Peter Mullan film The Man Inside.
Meet Jack Sparks. Author, atheist, former drug addict, narcissist and one heck of an unreliable narrator. From the opening page, we know something terrible happened to Jack. We find ourselves on his travels for his next book about the supernatural, or more like he is out to prove it doesn't exist. Which is how we end up in Italy watching a live exorcism. Jack is so convinced it is an act, he laughs and claps halfway through. Let's just say the demon who resides is not amused. Jack sets off a chain of events that will leave us all scared and the need to leave the lights on to fall asleep at night. He falls further into madness, into the demon's games that will have deadly consequences for those around him. Wait, demons are not real right.......
REREAD 2023: Even better this time round. Read it if you haven't already!
Warning: It is entirely possible that while reading Jack Sparks you’ll metaphorically die of laughter. Or of fright. Or possibly a mixture of both. But it’ll be worth it. Also keep lots of coffee handy coz this one will keep you up all night. And I am talking AFTER you have read it..
Anyway to the point, I loved this. I read it in a day. Not even a day. A matter of hours. It is utterly gripping and darkly witty to the point that you will laugh out loud and scare anyone in your general vicinity but thats fine because whilst you are scaring THEM Jason Arnopp will be scaring YOU. Quietly and without warning. The Last Days of Jack Sparks creeps up on you. One minute you are giggling at Jack’s anecdotal witticisms then you suddenly realise its very quiet where you are right now…and what was that noise? Hang on it IS daylight right? (At this point switch all the lights on just in case it gets dark while you are busy being absorbed into this horrifically addictive world – don’t say I didn’t give you fair warning)
Reading this book is akin to being insanely tickled then randomly hit on the head with a blunt object. Repeatedly. One then the other. Over and over until you emerge, blinking, back into reality. This is reality right?
Yep thats how it gets you.
So the thing is you get a lot of bang for your buck with this story. Supernatural shenanigans. Many many surprises. A lot of laughs. Chapter six-six-six just made me giggle. That just before I was hit with another creepily insane moment. Descriptively this is gorgeous, the characters are vividly alive, even the dead ones, it rocks along to THE most terrifically and horrifically imaginative conclusion and whilst you know things are not going to turn out well for Jack the author still manages to keep you on a knifes edge. I’m actually *really* happy I don’t live inside Mr Arnopp’s head right now.
Or perhaps I do.
Perhaps we all do.
No no…don’t look behind you. Or down there. OR up there. Just be very still. All may still be well.
The one thing you know on starting this book is that Jack Sparks died after writing it. So that made me curious. The story started off right up my alley. An Italian exorcism that Jack gets permission to watch for his next book. It goes way different that atheist Jack had expected.
So he bursts out laughing right at a crucial moment.
That garners him some attention that he shrugs off. Then there is that weird you tube video that someone loads up on his account.
A normal person would probably start questioning the universe. Jack is really not normal.
He definitely falls into asshole territory. Jack cares about one person. That person is Jack and Jack only. His whole world revolves around his own legend. And how many hits he can garner on social media. Then while investigating the book and all the fallout that happens along the way he ends up in California, where he is engaging with a group that believes a group can conjure a ghost from their minds or some crap like that. I got lost at this point in the book and didn't really care much anymore.
What a fun book. I loved that Jack Sparks was such a jerk (and a believable one at that) and a cleverly rendered unreliable narrator. Very good mix of fun and creeps (and, um, I have to admit to being totally spooked one night, when I spent five minutes standing in my bedroom doorway because I thought I heard something downstairs....yeah).
First, let me say that the character of Jack Sparks was easily the best aspect of this book. Snarky, unlikeable and downright obnoxious, he is not someone I would want to know, but he was so much fun to read about.
As a piece of contemporary horror, I loved how the author weaved social media and technology into the story. The story felt relevant and modern, yet still decently creepy.
I loved the part at the beginning surrounding the exorcism, which was intense. The ending was equally strong, pulling the whole story together with a satisfying conclusion.
I would absolutely recommend this witty, dark horror novel to anyone who appreciates the genre.
The Last Days of Jack Spark is definitely a very odd book. However, it's not a bit scary. At least I do not think that. I actually found it to be more tragic, a black comedy kind of book, well without much comedy. A book about guilt, life after death and possessions. And, there were moments when I found the book a bit dreary.
However, it also had some really great moments, or rather it ended with a bang. I love that ending, if the rest of the book had felt as good as the ending, then I would have loved the whole book. But, alas, I found the story, especially when Jack was in L.A to be the part that I least enjoyed. But, then came the ending, then everything started to make sense and that's when I started to enjoy the story. And, that's when I started to feel sorry for Jack (let's face it, he's a jerk for 95% of the book).
I liked the style of the book; The Last Days of Jack Spark being the manuscript that Jack left, and interviews with people that met Jack and recorded conversations, etc. I liked how Jack's memories of events contradicted everyone else. If it just had been scary, then it would have been a marvelous book. Sure, it's gory and all, but not scary. But, I guess for people not that used to horror is this book scary to read.
So, not a personal hit for me, but not a bad book. I basically like the style of the book, and the unusual story and the ending were terrific!
I want to thank Orbit for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!
This book is a mixed bag and so are my feelings about it. At first, this was everything I wanted: Scary. I mean, terrifying. Possession horror. My favorite. Dark Comedy (black comedy/satirical/laugh-out-loud funny) Found footage/files! Yes! Love that! Modern (social media is a big component here) Fast-paced (never a dull moment) Great dialog and fresh/experimental formats (sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't =*House of Leaves*)
...but then towards the last part of Part Two, the honeymoon phase was over and my feelings waned. I think this has to do with the protagonist Jack Sparks. I don't think I've hated a character this much in a long time. Jack is many things but above all else, he's a narcissistic, egotistical asshole. In the beginning, it's funny--I mean, who belly laughs during an exorcism in a church in a foreign country? But soon, I found myself getting irritated and frustrated by Jack--and this is where I throw my hands up and say, "I know! I know this is how it's supposed to be!" So don't come at me in defense of Jack Sparks in the comments. This is my honest experience, okay? It's not up for debate. This is a what, 336 page novel where the reader is asked to tolerate an insufferable asshole. It just wore me out. Towards the end, I was ready for it to be over, and that's not a fun feeling. But for at least 200 pages I was greatly entertained and terrified! This one got me nervous to turn the lights off one night. So all this being said, I would recommend this book to any horror lover because it's a good time but my recommendation will always come with the caveat that Jack Sparks is annoying and spending a whole novel with him was a bit of a chore but everything else, the originality, writing, storyline, EVERYTHING else is spot on. I'll show up for more Jason Arnopp for sure.
If you asked me what horror novels I’ve read recently that are 1) creepy, 2) fun to read, and 3) highly addictive, right away I could probably name a few of my favorites including M.R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts as well as Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts. Now I’m happy to have another title to add to my best-of list, and this amazing book’s name is The Last Days of Jack Sparks.
As the first line in the novel’s blurb states, its protagonist Jack Sparks died while writing this book. What we’re reading now is the manuscript of his gonzo style exposé of the supernatural that he was working on right before his mysterious death, which drew plenty of attention due to the eponymous writer’s cult fame and active presence on social media. Jack Sparks was one to throw himself wholly into his research, as witnesses to his cocaine addiction after his last book Jack Sparks on Drugs can attest. Jack Sparks and the Supernatural was meant to be his comeback tour de force, reminding his fans that he still has what it takes.
Jack, however, makes no pretense at objectivity. He doesn’t put much stock in ghosts, demons, or anything of the supernatural, and makes no effort to hide his skepticism or contempt while sitting in on an exorcism in rural Italy on Halloween, laughing and tweeting out snarky remarks the whole time. But everything unravels for him after that trip though, starting with a disturbing video appearing on his YouTube channel that he doesn’t remember uploading. Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, Jack becomes obsessed with the occult and plunges deeper into his investigation, embarking on this harrowing journey that will eventually kill him.
At its heart, The Last Days of Jack Spark is a ghost story, but what amazed me was its refreshingly original premise and structure. We’re told that our protagonist’s last book is published posthumously, with much of the work undertaken by his brother Alistair who pulled together all of Jack’s research and rough drafts. The final book is also supplemented with notes, reports, and transcripts of interviews conducted with people Jack had contact with in his final days.
This additional content also reveals much about our protagonist: that he’s a bit of an asshole. Not that readers couldn’t already tell that from Jack’s own pompous, overblown narrative. Armed with a cutting sense of humor, he’s often flippant with the people he works with and disrespectful of their beliefs. He’s also a narcissist who frequently plays up his own importance in his writing, twisting the situation to make himself look good. Not surprisingly, this makes Jack one hell of an unreliable narrator. And yet, while the differing accounts give us multiple versions of a single event, we have to ask ourselves who we can trust. Most of the other characters have plenty at stake as well. Perhaps they too are out to protect themselves, like Alistair who has good reason to discredit his brother’s scathing accusations of him, or other supernatural experts who have their professional reputations on the line.
What really happened to Jack Sparks? The story will keep you guessing, with plenty of mind-bending twists and shocking revelations along the way. As the horrors begin to take their toll, Jack’s mind becomes more and more unstable, which really starts to come through in his voice. When the impossible occurs, we can’t help but wonder whether it’s real or just a result of Jack’s deteriorating sanity. In a way, that’s almost beside the point; what’s important is how effectively author Jason Arnopp has created terror out of that uncertainty. Tensions rise to a crescendo as we approach the story’s climax, where Arnopp springs on us the most brilliant surprise of all. This book featured one of the best conclusions I’ve ever read. Though we all knew Jack Sparks was going to die, the ending still managed to catch me off guard. It was horrifying, clever, and just perfect.
The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a book every horror fan should read. For two days my life was entirely consumed by this this gripping page-turner. Even now that I’m finished the book, I still can’t stop thinking or talking about it. Seriously, if you’re looking for some spine-tingling entertainment, especially for the Halloween season, run don't walk to your bookstore and check this one out right the hell now.
Jack Sparks is a journalist, author, skeptic, and all around arrogant tool. When he journeys to Rome for his book debunking the supernatural, he unwittingly sets a series of terrible and tragic events into motion.
When she speaks, her voice is lilting and childlike, in direct contrast to her words. "You cock-cucking prick," she tells the priest,...
This book literally has everything: exorcisms, intrigue, humor, creepiness, twists, turns, and moments of legit darkness. It was everything I wanted and more. I'll definitely be on the look out for other works from this author.
A big thank you to my friend Kealan for recommending this one to me. It wasn't on my radar, and I wouldn't have picked it up without him. You rock!
This book is such a creepy delight that I sincerely don't want to spoil a single thing about it. I buddy read this with my friend Emily, and now she's saying it's one of her favorite books of the year. I think I have to agree with her, but I just finished it last night, so my brain is still furiously processing it. Go into this without knowing anything. Read the blurb if you like, but stay away from reviews. Of course, if you're reading this it's kind of a moot point.
There is so much to love here. It's hilarious and genuinely creepy in parts. Like, questioning if it's a good idea to walk into the pitch black bathroom at 3am, and having to reach out blind with your hand to find the light switch, creepy. I actually did that. I had a moment at 3am after reading this book late into the night. It's sincerely hard to creep me out these days, so kudos to Arnopp.
And Jack is such a fantastic character. He's a jerk that isn't even the slightest bit likable, and that makes for some truly funny moments. This book is the perfect blend of serious horror and comedy. I couldn't put it down.
Well...I put this on my "Fantasy" shelf. It may not be an exact fit, but this novel isn't really an exact fit for any of my shelves. With a touch of horror, some mystery and a bit bio-fiction this is a kind mixed bag genre-wise. That said it's a good read.
Did I enjoy the book? I think I have to say the jury is still out on the use of the word "enjoy". I can only say (without giving spoilers) that this is a very well constructed and "interesting" read. I'd suggest you try it if you think you'd like any of the above listed "types of books".
We have here a novel set as a posthumously released book by the eponymous Jack Sparks (a pseudonym). The book is introduced and commented on throughout (foot notes) by Jack's brother. The thing is that both these narrators are very much the epitome (epitomes?) of the "Unreliable Narrator".
The book, supposedly put together from notes, recordings and text from Jack and finished just before his death tells the story of our thoroughly unpleasant, egotistical, abrasive writer Jack Sparks. An apparently well know broadcaster and writer Jack has always "lived" the subjects of his books (including Jack Sparks on drugs during the writing of which he got hooked on multiple drugs).
Now he's writing Jack Sparks on the Supernatural...so he's getting, involved. He is so involved he goes to an exorcism and...well, that's a major spoiler so...
I must say that this book gets a mostly positive reaction from me. The plot has some interesting twists and turns and while all of them may not be surprising, the writer puts them together so they fit perfectly. There are no uneven seams.
So, I can recommend this one. Try it yourself...and let me know what you think would you?
The Last Days of Jack Sparks is an original, genre-bending, terrifying new novel by Jason Arnopp, a book that defies descriptions and explanations. It follows a very unlikeable journalist and writer as he tries to prove that there’s no such thing as ghost, or any other supernatural entity. Jack sees it as his mission to debunk any claims of supernatural encounters and he’s often very rude as he goes about it.
Jack himself, however, is not to be trusted. With titles like Jack Sparks on Gangs and Jack Sparks on Drugs (which earned him a long stint in rehab for cocaine addiction), he is a social media darling and willing to do just about anything to stay in the spotlight. Lately he’s been planning a book called Jack Sparks on the Supernatural and writing a list of hypotheses on paranormal phenomena, his so called SPOOKS list, which stands for Sparks’ Permanently Ongoing Overview of Kooky Shit, and he’s rather vocal about it.
In no uncertain terms, Jack Sparks is an egotistical, power-hungry, emotionally stunted jerk. He has feelings for his roommate and best friend Bex, but he’d rather die than do something about it. He is estranged from his family and infinitely rude to his brother. Like all the best anti-heroes, however, he becomes likeable along the way and we can’t help but root for him as he struggles through curses, haunting and his own denial.
We see Jack not only through his unfinished book, but through other people’s eyes as well. A prologue and epilogue written by his brother Alistair, various emails from friends and business contacts and different accounts of certain events all show that Jack’s version of events simply cannot be trusted. As he slides down into strange behavior and lots and lots of alcohol, the two versions of any event described become more and more distant.
Early in the book, his and ours both, Jack Sparks writes: “None of this is remotely unnerving, scary or – most importantly – convincing. My jeans remain unsoiled. My heebies are jeebie-less. There are no willies up me.” The feeling (or lack of it) doesn’t last long, however. Not long after, a video appears on Jack’s YouTube channel, a video he himself most certainly did not post, and the most terrifying time of Jack’s life begins.
Trust me when I tell you, this book will not allow you to sleep. Firstly, you’ll feel compelled to turn those pages until you learn the truth behind Jack’s ramblings. And secondly, even when you do, you’ll be much too frightened to turn down the lights and just sleep. This book offers it all: laughs, excellent plot and nail-biting excitement. I highly recommend it to all horror fans and for those who are looking for something strange and original to read.
For the majority of his relatively short life, British journo' Jack Sparks was considered by most to be a disagreeable prick. Prone to upsetting all and sundry, pretty much everyone who ever met the man considered him to be a shallow-minded, unreliable media-whore with an unhealthy fixation on all things Jack Sparks.
Jack's collected papers have now been banded together by Jason Arnopp, and they offer an insightful peek into the last days of a man who remains an enigma to his hundreds of thousands of media followers - even those who knew him personally, they never really knew him.
The events which finally curtailed Jack's life have always been steeped in mystery. Now, thanks to the efforts of Jason Arnopp, the truth has finally been uncovered. In a bizarre set of circumstances, involving ghosts, demons, possession, and the very nature of reality, the truth of this tragedy can finally be revealed.
As you venture into this story you'll quickly realize that Jack Sparks was an asshole. But stick with it, and you'll learn that, yes, Jack was an asshole - but he was an asshole with layers.
Great job, Mr. Arnopp, a real fun read. Oh, and when they make the movie, you should definitely play Jack Sparks.
La novela tiene una narrativa ligera y que engancha lo suficiente como para no despegarte de la trama. Ahora bien, una de las pegas que tiene es una parte de la trama, me parece demasiado rebuscada. Lo suficientemente rebuscada como par que eche al traste el resto del relato. Tiene muchos elementos paranormales y está cargada de humor, por otra parte, se nota que el autor es periodista, ya no solo por las influencias del mismo personaje, el cual también es periodista y le va el metal. La similitud con el autor es apabullante. Volveré a leer al autor, aún así espero que no la termine liando con una trama que al final resulta de lo más rebuscada. Joder, con lo bien que empezaba la historia y lo absurdo de su final.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I always want horror that surprises me and this one really did. I love it when a book ends up having a smart, sneaky structure that you don't realize is so smart and sneaky until the end when you get to spend the last portion of the book feeling satisfied as it all comes together.
I certainly didn't expect this book to surprise me. At the beginning the book is presented to us as a kind of found document, a manuscript left behind by a famous writer after his death. His brother and his editor have added a few additional documents and notes for context. But if you start the book already knowing Jack dies, it sure seems like you know how this story will go.
You know even more how it will go once you meet Jack. He is one of those stunt writers, the kind who do something ridiculous solely for the purpose of writing about it and making fun of everyone he encounters. His new book, the manuscript we're reading, is about the supernatural. But really it's just a plan to debunk and disprove stories people claim involve ghosts or demons. It starts with him observing an exorcism in Italy and I can understand why some people might bail at this point. Because Jack is obnoxious and utterly full of himself. As sometimes happens in horror, you start to root for the ghosts to win, because the rules of horror morality require someone as narcissistic as Jack to die.
But there are some signs along the way that things are more complicated. We see from some of the additional materials that Jack lies and fabricates in his book, and while this is often to make himself look better, it isn't always. We start to have questions about what Jack is leaving out. And those questions really need to hit for you to stay with it. But you should! Because not only will Jack get his comeuppance, there's also all the questions we have that need answering.
This book didn't feel like anything I'd read before. Part of that is the style, which is more like PALE FIRE than anything else. Unreliable narrators don't show up as often in horror but this book certainly makes the case for it. I don't even really want to quibble about the last third, which you have to wonder how Jack could even write, because I wanted to read it so it needed to exist.
I did this on audio, which had a good reader. You could really distinguish the characters (and many, many accents were required) and he didn't do that annoying high-pitched thing when he voiced women. It was a fun way to encounter the book and it didn't appear to lose anything with respect to the notes and annotations, though I can't say for sure. Thanks to Kristina for recommending this one to me, I would never have found it otherwise!
Sin duda alguna se va a posicionar entre mis lecturas favoritas de este año.
Hace unas semanas contacté con Obscura Editorial y me envió este libro para reseña de entre los de su catálogo, libro que por cierto tenía ya en mis lista de deseos 😍
Y...¡¡qué pedazo de libro!! Tanto la historia en sí que es impredecible como la edición. Nos encontramos con un libro en tapa dura con una edición muy cuidada y plagada de pequeños detalles en la narración que hace que la lectura sea toda una delicia.
Los últimos días de Jack Sparks nos narra precisamente eso...sus últimos días de vida. Ya sabemos que va a morir pero la manera y la formas han sido toda una aventura en la que no ví venir nada. Jack Sparks es un periodista bastante peculiar, escribe libros sobre las investigaciones que realiza y lo hace al modo de Samanta Villar; lo vive el mismo para así poder documentarse y empaparse de todos los aspectos. En esta ocasión quiere adentrarse en el mundo de lo paranormal. Para ello y para empezar decide presenciar un exorcismo, en el cual mantiene una actitud bastante irrespetuosa y sarcástica, y a partir del cual empiezan a desencadenarse una serie de acontecimientos bastante perturbadores. Jack es una persona egocéntrica, irrespetuosa, sarcástica y pone en duda todo aquello que no pueda explicarse mediante la ciencia, por lo tanto en esta ocasión quiere hacer ver que todo es falso y una pantomima y...¿tendrá razón?
La narración de la historia me parece maravillosa, está contada desde la perspectiva del propio Jack antes de su muerte y por las anotaciones y entrevistas que realiza su hermano Alastair. Es decir, nos encontramos ante el borrador de su libro en la que se añaden citas, correcciones, transcripciones, conversaciones de whatsapp...lo que hace que la historia cobre vida y te metas de lleno en ella. Ha habido partes que me han sacado una sonrisa porque coincido en pensamiento con él, otras que pensaba que era un tremendo capullo y otras en las que un escalofrío me ha recorrido el cuerpo. Cuando empiezas a entender por donde va la historia (y no sólo tú sino el propio Jack Sparks) no puedes sentir otra cosa que congoja, entiendes aspectos que hacen que vayas hilando todo en una historia de puro infarto.
"You should ask yourself, Mr. Jack Sparks, what the Devil thinks of you."
Holy hell, I loved this book. I buddy read this one with my friend Mindi, and we both adored it. This one easily made its way onto my favorite reads of the year list.
I'm not going to do an extensive review on this one because you really don't need to know more than what the synopsis tells you & I don't want to ruin anything. This book has everything - it's funny, it's creepy, and the story was completely captivating for me. I loved the characters, the story, everything. READ IT NOW.
4.5 stars. Jack Sparks is a walking synonym for obnoxiously self-obsessed, irritating, callous, arrogant and narcissistic. He's also completely compelling as he narrates his efforts to find material for his latest and third book. Jack is a celebrity who claims to be a journalist, and uses his social media presence to locate subjects for his book, in which he will disprove the supernatural, while constantly posting the latest developments of his "research". Jack Sparks decides to disprove the supernatural, and while watching an exorcism, things slowly begin going off the rails. Strange, odd and somewhat menacing and deadly things happen after, including a creepy video that's appears on Jack's YouTube account, and take Jack around the world as he attempts to debunk . He meets a variety of people, among them a fascinating woman Sherilyn Chastain, a combat magician (how cool is that job title?), and a group in L.A. attempting to run a psychic experiment. Jack Sparks is awful, and lies frequently, and is definitely an unreliable narrator. Interestingly, his brother Alastair provides an opening, several footnotes and an afterward for Jack's book. It's clear the brothers had a difficult relationship, but I also found myself wondering what was Alastair not telling us. The author gives us both sides of a childhood incident that precipitated the years of problems between the brothers, but I found myself suspicious of both men's versions, including their feelings about each other as adults. I loved the layers of story and the way the story was told. There's a pretty constant series of deaths and mild horror, which includes Jack's manners and attitude. And despite Jack's rather monstrous behaviour, I totally enjoyed this book, no doubt aided by the terrific narration on the audio.
A very solid 4.4, can't really justify the fifth star, however the last forty pages were wild and crazy, scary as shit, and fun as hell. Had a whole John Dies at the End thing going on but it worked well and was a very entertaining read. Sometimes I'm reading and the story lines are so mind blowing and Twilight Zone-y and I'm like, goddamn, how is this shit done with words?!?! I saw upon completion that this is being made into a movie, I feel sorry for anyone who only watches that because there is no way to mimic the awesomeness of this book in movie form. So read this if you like having fun.
In 2014 Jack Sparks died in mysterious circumstances. This is the account of his final days.
Jack, a pop culture journalist, was a fearless rebel. He had been researching the occult for his new book. He had already caused a huge Twitter storm by mocking on a exorcism he had witnessed. There was also a short footage he claims was not his making.
I found this funny and at times terrifying.
I would like to thank Net Galley, Little Brown Book Group UK and the author Jason Arnopp for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jack Sparks is a writer of such volumes as, “Jack Sparks on Drugs,” “Jack Sparks on Gangs,” and now, “Jack Sparks on the Supernatural.” This, we learn almost immediately, was to be his last work as he died while writing it and this book takes us back; using fictional notes from his writing and updates and interviews from his brother, Alistair, to explain what happened to end Jack’s life.
I really like novels which have an unreliable narrator and it is pretty clear, fairly early, that Jack Sparks is not to be trusted. Opinionated, egotistical, confrontational and generally difficult, Jack’s character is larger than life from the first. We learn of his early life and his difficult relationship with his brother, with a central incident where Alistair locks him inside a small, windowless room in their childhood home, nicknamed the ‘black hole,’ and how he got a job at just eighteen on NME, before becoming a writer and media personality. The media, especially social media, is essential to Jack Sparks – he is nobody, or nothing, without affirmation and his constant updating of social media sites gives him the attention he craves.
From the beginning of his work on, “Jack Sparks and the Supernatural,” Jack is keen to disprove that ghosts exists. Going to Italy to witness an exorcism, he refuses to take it seriously. However, when a YouTube clip appears on his account which creates a furore, and appears to show a ghost, he is thrown into a more and more frantic search for the truth. This novel takes us from Italy to Hong Kong to Los Angeles, as Jack Sparks attempts to find material for his book, while not being quite able to shake off the feeling that he is being haunted…
Funny, creepy and original, this is a very unique horror book. Jack Sparks is, in many ways, utterly unlikeable. He is deeply in love with his flatmate, Bex, but is unable to accept that she sees him just as a friend. As things spiral out of control, we are taken on whirlwind tour of those involved in the supernatural, as well as Jack’s paranoia. A great read and very enjoyable. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
6 ungodly enjoyable stars! this is hands down the best horror/suspense novel I have read in years. if not ever. Jason Arnopp is a badass, and in Jack Sparks he has created the epitome of the character you love to hate. I only wish I could go back and read it again for the first time.
A while back I read Arnopp's short story or maybe a novelette about a haunted home of sorts. It was cute, but it certainly didn't prepare me for the awesomeness of this book, a proper length one and well worth the page count. And I know I already used the word awesome, so now I have to think of synonyms to avoid sounding repetitive, but this book...this book was really something. It's been some time since I read something that was effort to put down, though the aforementioned page count makes it necessary at times. This self and otherwise documented (epistolary in a way) description of a downfall of the social media celebrity writer/journalist had such a frenetic manic energy. It puts one in mind of maybe John Dies at the End, only this one featuring a profoundly despicable protagonist who nevertheless (credit to Arnopp) makes a strikingly compelling narrator. Jack Sparks, the egotistical maniac, lying scumbag and an all around bastard, once a music reporter (Arnopp must have drawn from real life experience here), now an author of popular self revolving quest type of books is after his latest subject, debunking the supernatural. Pity Jack is his own proverbial worst enemy, respecting nothing, loving nothing, unable to control that giant ego of his...things are bound to get out of hand, way way out of hand. By the time a morality lesson gets delivered and settled in, Jack will hop time and place to set things right, but timing's a b*tch and the devil's in the details. What a fun ride this was. Arnopp's done a lot of screenwriting, so the man must know thing or two about pace, and this was paced perfectly, picking up the speed as things started spiraling out, shifting perspectives at just the right times so that the readers' perspectives can change to reflect and appreciate the way Jack's perspectives change. Veritable rollercoaster of madness, supernatural and otherwise, with enough gore and guys for horror fans, suspense for mystery fans and excitement for thriller fans, drama for serious readers and really just a great fun mash up of ingredients for the perfect literary feast. Immensely entertaining, terrifically enjoyable. Most enthusiastically recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
The exorcism scene and the haunting sequences are truly batshit insane. So vivid and intense, I don’t think I can compare them to anything else. It probably would have been one of my favs of the year, had I not struggled with the writing style at times. I think the author is amazing at creating really uniquely vivid action sequences and freaky imagery, but I just found myself not fully engaged throughout the rest of the book for some reason.
Regardless, this is one I won’t soon forget and will highly recommend!!
Oh wow. What a great book!!! The protagonist is disgusting in the way Patrick Bateman was, although their narcissistic ways comprise most, if not all, of any similarities between these two men. Jack is enough to bring bile up from the depth of our stomachs in his numerous examples of the many ways in which he is vastly superior to all other people. Yet amazingly, the author somehow gets us to like this guy...to start to relate; to develop a kinship. Oh, there is so much I can say to sing this book's endless praises. Instead, I urge you to take a peak yourself, at the 1st few pages only. If you are not drawn to obtain the book in its entirety fairly soon after you examine these beginning pages, I'll be shocked. I don't even remember another exorcism/demon possession story that hit me like The Last Days has. It's such a witty book! I recommend it at the top of my lungs! The best scary book I've read this year, without a doubt!
2.5- Jack Sparks is an drug-addicted prick, and a famous journalist to boot. He is writing a book on the supernatural, even though he's an active non-believer. But then some spooky things start happening to him while working with a team of paranormal investigators in LA.
From there, I’m not even sure what I read, but whatever it was I didn’t love it. I just couldn’t get into this book’s shenanigans. There's unexplained time travel, floating demon heads, and exploding bodies. I’m a huge horror nerd, but I had to force my way through every chapter.
I liked the concept of Jack Sparks quite a bit, but for me, the execution was all over the place. I think the author was trying to give off a Shaun of the Dead meets Fear and Loathing vibe, which I appreciate. However, he tried to write all his own rules and it just ended up feeling like a sticky mess.
El mundo de lo paranormal está ahí. Esperando que te adentres en sus misterios, en sus secretos, sus miedos. Puede ser tan solo un simple modo de entretenimiento. También un modo perfecto de ganarse la vida, montando a su alrededor una estructura del ocio y entretenimiento que aproveche todo lo oscuro para poder llenarse los bolsillos. Este mundo se aprovecha del desconocimiento de lo que hay en el más allá para generar una inquietud irracional que arraiga en nuestras cabezas y que al final nos complica el dormir por las noches. Está claro que la ciencia y sus principios han ido demostrando a lo largo de la historia que los charlatanes esotéricos, los supuestos endemoniados, la presencia de seres de otras dimensiones y todo tipo de fantasías oscuras son meras supersticiones irracionales. Y parte de esta historia va de eso. En este libro conoceremos la vida de Jack Sparks, más en concreto, sus últimos días puesto que recientemente ha fallecido. Y lo ha hecho de la manera más cruel e inexplicable. A lo largo de su último trabajo ha tratado de demostrar que todo lo que concierne a estos mundos merecen una humillación pública y multimedia, aprovechándose de su popularidad en la redes. Sparks es un ser elevado a los altares por los millones de seguidores que tiene en sus redes sociales, a la vez que un escritor de método al que le gusta vivir de manera intensa sus escritos adentrándose en lo más profundo de los temas que quiere tratar. Pero al mismo tiempo es un ser despreciable. Una de esas personas a las que odias nada más ver. Un tipo que no tiene respeto por nada ni nadie más allá de su ego y que, consciente del poder que le otorga su popularidad, se vanagloria de ello. Desde ese punto de vista, en esta novela nos adentraremos en las notas de su último trabajo, conociendo las entradas de su diario y observando desde su punto de vista sus últimos días de vida. Eso hace que el morbo y las ganas de conocer la realidad de lo que ha pasado te haga adentrarte cada vez más en una pesadilla vista desde los ojos de un ser tan tóxico y nocivo como Jack Sparks, capaz de alterar la realidad para ajustarla a su ego. Sparks escribe su diario para sus seguidores, los seduce y juega con su complicidad, riéndose de todo lo que le va ocurriendo aunque no termine de encontrarle explicación. Claro, todo eso hace que te pases la novela extrañado ante unos hechos que no tienen explicación, pero guiado por un narrador que te engaña, te distrae y que le resta dramatismo a los horrores que van pasando ante sus ojos. Sin embargo esta divertidísima y aterradora novela Jasón Arnopp es consciente de todo eso y va complementando la narración con entrevistas, mensajes, opiniones de todos los implicados que tuvieron relación con Sparks para que el lector vaya sacando sus propias conclusiones. Eso, que en apariencia no es novedoso, consigue que poco a poco te hagan menos gracia las ocurrencias de nuestro protagonista y, sobre todo, que el miedo ante lo que está ocurriendo en todo momento te vaya contaminando mucho antes de lo que esperas. Porque esta novela nos presenta muchos momentos de esos que harán las delicias de los que amamos el terror. Presencias fantasmasles, investigadores de lo paranormal, exorcismos, videos siniestros, sangre, mucha sangre y una serie de detalles en su desenlace que es mejor no conocer y que redondean una historia que entusiasma y aterra. Cada mínimo detalle que lees está colocado de manera quirúrgica dándole un sentido a una historia que va más allá de su despreciable protagonista. Una de esas novelas que tienes que leer si te gusta pasarlo mal con una historia de terror llena de sorpresas.