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Guestbook: Ghost Stories
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Guestbook: Ghost Stories

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  29 reviews
What haunts us? What can’t we let go of? A tennis prodigy collapses after his wins, crediting them to an invisible, not entirely benevolent presence, until one day he vanishes. A series of ghosts appear at their former bedsides, some distraught, some fascinated, to witness their unfamiliar occupants. A woman returns from a visit to Alcatraz with an uncomfortable feeling. T ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Riverhead
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Showing 1-30
3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was home, visiting my parents for the weekend with my daughter, Alice. My parents were happy to see her and gave Alice toys to play with that I'd never seen before – old dolls and plastic baskets. When I asked where they had come from, my father said they had found them in the free area at the dump. After lunch one day, as Alice played in the living room, my mother told me a ghost story.Sinforosa

So, to begin with, which is the more disquieting idea in that passage above? That your mother wa
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5+ out of 5.

Surprisingly frightening, full of imagination-stoking fragments or tales that light up the darker corners of your mind for just long enough to wonder if you're really alone there. Some of the more traditional stories have their own strengths -- a tennis prodigy whose uncanny abilities are perhaps due to an imaginary friend who might not be so imaginary, a cellphone-video one-page ghost story -- but the real powerful stuff comes from Shapton's juxtaposition of photography and text, f
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A haunting, shimmering treat. Weighs heavy on the heart.
Callum McAllister
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leanne shapton: a legend
Delany Holcomb
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a printmaker, historian, and bookseller, this book brought together everything I enjoy and adore and fit inside the binding of a book. This work flows like a museum and is curated so carefully with its stories that it performs for itself. An enchanting read!
Chris Haak
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strange, dark and wonderful!
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, owned
"Ghosts. Not ghost stories" -- a perfect line for a haunting book. What one might think is a book about ghost stories, it's really an exploration of the ghosts in every day life. That loneliness and haunted feeling a person can have, almost unexplainable. Filled with moments of lush writing and intricately built sentences intertwined with creepy-esque, haunted photography -- Guestbook: Ghost Stories is a wild ride. There are some incredible stories thrown in there (the tennis player story being ...more
Alyssa Staples
Haunting, beautiful, minimal, innovative, quietly terrifying. Utilizes text, photography and artwork to provide small glimpses into the lives (and afterlives?) of people, places, and things. Enjoyed every page of this book and will be reading again.
Vikki VanSickle
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A thought-provoking visual delight that contemplates the many ways that people or places can be haunted. Something meaty to ponder and dwell over on a lazy afternoon.
Sian Lile-Pastore
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Weird, strange and eerie. Beautiful book
Becky Grayson
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was interesting but not my cup of tea. Some of it was just truly confusing. Maybe I'll pick it up again in a couple of weeks and try again.
James Beggarly
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a curious book of non-traditional ghost stories, told with drawings, pictures and sparse writing. If you can enter the spirit of how the work is presented, you can find many rich rewards.
Rhiannon Watkins
I won an ARC copy of this book in a giveaway. All opinions are my own.


This book was very... strange. I went into it expecting something along the lines of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark but that isn't what it is in the least. It might just be because I'm not used to surrealism, but I found quite a few of the stories to be pretty confusing and didn't see what they had to do with ghosts. A lot of them I just found to be very sad. That being said, there were a few stories that creeped
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A half-written, half-illustrated-with-drawings-and-photos art book that succeeds best when linear (the story of tennis pro Billy Wilmington being haunted by his imaginary friend Walter - so creepy) and less so when it’s illustrations accompanied by vague lines of description (I know grainy black and white photos of old beds are scary... and?). Some of the segments fell right in the middle, and those were pretty enjoyable: a compilation of thrift store dresses with short monologues from women who ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to Penguin Random House for the ARC.

This is one of the strangest books I've read in a long time. I picked it up thinking WTF?? and then couldn't put it down. I don't think the blurb does the book justice, but then again, I can't think of a way to adequately describe the experience of reading it. Compelling. Enthralling. Baffling. Creatively inspiring. I can't wait to see the finished product, since the ARC only has black-and-white art.
I'll definitely be tracking down Shapton's other
Jillian Doherty
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating collection of stories, some paranormal, some ghostly, some whimsically haunting.

The brilliant layouts, photos, and illustrations bring each piece to life. This is a collection you will want to hold in your hand and explore with reflective (reading it digitally still offers an impact, but having the intimacy with the stories will allow for the full brilliance of each voice).

Galley borrowed from the publisher.
Judy Ann
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disapointed in this book because I do like ghost and paranormal stories. . It is mostly photographs, very little writing in depth. I would have enjoyed it more if the stories had been written from beginning to end. As an example if I went into a bookstore looking for books. I would pull this book from the shelf, skim through the book and then put it back I received this from goodreads.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was some real f#&ked up shit in my opinion. This book had no plot. Was just a wtf did I just read after every story.

I'm very dissatisfied with this book. I know alot of people liked this book. But this book was just not for me.

I'm a huge fan of mixed media format style in books. But this was all over the place.

I felt like with every story I was walking into the middle of a story being told and then for some crazy reason walking out of the room before the ending.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
This is a quick read, but I was compelled to reexamine each piece over and over. Like a ghost story, at first glance they were unsettling. Upon further thought, the text and illustrations or photos came together in a different way to reveal new layers to the experience. I received an ARC from the publisher but will be buying a finished copy for my library.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-kindle
This is definitely an experimental collection. Many stories are told in pictures only. Some are vintage clothing listings! My favorite was the story of "Blue Byron."

All of them are haunting in their own ways.
Lorri Steinbacher
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love everything Leanne Shapton does, so I am really powerless to review it. She entwines the visual with the ephemeral with beautiful language and creates a story out of the mists.

Recommended for Shapton fans and for readers who don't mind shadowy narrative.
Truly bizarre and brilliant
James Taber
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A very strange book, and I have to admit that I understood very little of it. What I did get, though, was beautiful and haunting. Something tells me this will linger with me for a while.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
melancholy and bewitching and like a warm, ghostly hug all at once? her visual art is so incredible. a treasure, really!
Donna Foster
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
Loved the retro style pictures that went with the stories.
Kathy Webb
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book in a GoodReads giveaway - thank you to everyone involved.
This is a very non traditional book - it is filled with photos and illustrations instead of lots of
Kathy R
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
Very eerie, haunting and unusual book. I received this book in a Riverhead Books Giveaway.
rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2019
rated it liked it
Apr 13, 2019
Heidi Northover
rated it did not like it
Apr 16, 2019
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Leanne Shapton is an illustrator, author and publisher based in New York City. She is the co-founder, with photographer Jason Fulford, of J&L Books, an internationally-distributed not-for-profit imprint specializing in art and photography books. Shapton grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, and attended McGill Univesity and Pratt Institute. After interning at SNL, Harper's Magazine and for illustat ...more