Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ghoul Goes West” as Want to Read:
The Ghoul Goes West
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ghoul Goes West

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The Ghoul Goes West is a fantasy novelette about two brothers, both obsessed with movies—one a not very successful screenwriter, the other an academic. When one dies from a drug overdose, his brother travels to Hollywood to investigate, and make amends for not being as supportive as he could have been.
Kindle Edition, 46 pages
Published January 17th 2018 by Tor Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ghoul Goes West, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ghoul Goes West

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  19 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ghoul Goes West
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it

Movies change lives.

That’s the fundamental axiom of my faith.

Unfortunately, they don’t always change them for the better.

oh, man, i was SO THRILLED to see a new free tor short on the site today, after more than two whole months of zero free tor shorts, that i devoured this one like halloween candy even though i usually stay away from novelettes - i use tor shorties as saturday morning wake-em-ups, and committing to a fancy long novellette is too languid an introduction to the day - i gotta hit
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, short-story, free
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Melancholy, atmospheric story that gave me chills. Old Hollywood and new Hollywood aren't so different, it seems.
This is all a reconstruction, of course, colored by my own affection for Lugosi.

Yup, it's a novelette-length mash note for Bela Lugosi mixed in with threadbare ruminations about family or destiny and none of it works. One star for complete sentences, one star for a decent attempt at weirdness halfway through. And I'm being generous.
Superbly researched and emotionally satisfying. A brother travels to Hollywood to see how his brother died only to find videos that can’t be real. If you are into old Hollywood movies, you'd enjoy this even more.
Nerine Dorman
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not so much as a story, but a collection of dog ends and ghosts, redolent with the possible dreams and lost dreams, and people slipping between the cracks. Because the Hollywood we see on the silver screen is an illusion, and those spent chasing that mirage invariably face disappointment. This story spoke to me on a deeper level, itchy behind the eyes.
Beth Roberts
Once again, thank you, Tor, for providing such quality stories absolutely free for a true story-junkie like me. I have no idea how Ellen Datlow finds the time to read all these stories she puts into her amazingly endless anthologies. I've come to trust her judgment, and when Tor yields up another freebie that's been culled by Datlow I pretty much drop everything. I know it's going to be good.

This one reminded me a little bit of Excerpts from a Film, another Tor freebie I read last year: they
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it

Hollywood destrói pessoas. De mais do que uma forma. Destrói as pessoas que conseguem o estrelato e que para tal abdicam de um parte de si. Destrói as pessoas que seguem sonhos de sucesso no meio cinematográfico. Destrói os que perseguem uma obsessão.

O relacionamento de dois irmãos centra-se, sobretudo, nos filmes. Mas são também estes que acabam por os afastar – o irmão mais velho muda-se para Hollywood com o objectivo de escrever guiões, enquanto o mais
I dunno about this one. I kept reading it, waiting for something to happen, and there was a little light touch of the paranormal, but that was really it. I can't tell if this was a fictionalized memoir or what exactly was going on here. It ends abruptly, and I just really was puzzled by it.

If you want to know more about Lugosi, I highly suggest the podcast You Must Remember This, and her series about Lugosi and Karloff.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit reminiscent of Latin American magical realism, and sufficiently self-aware about its shortcomings that in the end the narrator draws a parallel between the resolution of his tale and the subject matter he's been discussing, Bailey's story has enough honesty that it's easy to forgive its missteps. The Kinks' "Celluloid Heroes" kept popping up in my head while reading this.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting story and one I much enjoyed. The writers love of old horror movies shines through and the Bela Lugosi backstory was very interesting. Alas it did not completely work for me and the ending was, no doubt deliberately, inconclusive and open.
Cat M
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-f, short-fiction
I really loved this, it's haunting and bittersweet and full of both old-Hollywood nostalgia and forever-Hollywood realism.

It's the story of two brothers who love movies, and all the ways that love both sustains and destroys them.

cw: off-screen suicide
Janet Martin
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A touching story about lost opportunities--not just to make life matter in big ways, but to keep all of us human. Haunting.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
[The Ghoul Goes West]( may be nice if you're an Old Hollywood buff, but otherwise it falls flat.
Steven Cole
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Another of the bits of free fiction from, this one left me dry. 2 of 5.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nostalgic and wistful - a ghost story about a ghost story.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Ghoul Goes West is a novelette about two brothers, both obsessed with movies. One a not very successful screenwriter, the other an academic. When one dies from a drug overdose, his brother travels to Hollywood to investigate, and make amends for not being as supportive as he could have been.
The genre of this story is "magical realism": the story is deeply rooted in real history (in particular I learned a lot about the life of Bela Lugosi, the actor that deeply affected the lives of the two
rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2018
rated it liked it
Jul 22, 2018
rated it it was ok
May 09, 2018
Chris Hyde
rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2018
rated it liked it
Jun 19, 2019
Weronika Suleyman
rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2018
rated it it was ok
Oct 13, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2018
rated it liked it
Oct 03, 2019
Anton Hammarstedt
rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • You Know How the Story Goes
  • The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections
  • Where Would You Be Now?
  • Our King and His Court
  • Into the Gray
  • Recoveries
  • For He Can Creep
  • Played Your Eyes
  • Crispin's Model
  • The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir
  • The Hundredth House Had No Walls
  • Zeitgeber
  • Blood Is Another Word for Hunger
  • Yiwu
  • Evernight
  • As the Last I May Know
  • No Flight Without the Shatter
  • The Vetting
See similar books…
Dale was born in West Virginia in 1968, and grew up in a town called Princeton, just north of the Virginia line. His stories have appeared in lots of places—The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Sci-Fiction, Lightspeed Magazine, and various anthologies. Several of them have been nominated for awards, and “Death and Suffrage,” later filmed as part ...more