Nicholas Kaufmann's Reviews > The Last Days of Jack Sparks

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
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really liked it

This funny, delightful, and at times truly terrifying horror novel took me completely by surprise. As characters go, Jack Sparks is a wonderful creation, one in a long list of unreliable narrators whose lies slowly unravel over the course of the story. His voice is funny and highly readable, and despite Sparks' numerous faults, it's also shockingly relatable, especially in this self-aggrandizing Internet age, where it sometimes seems the number of your social media followers is more important than your character or integrity. That charming voice is responsible for a good deal of this novel's strength, but author Jason Arnopp succeeds in telling a compelling horror story as well. Exorcisms, demons, ghosts, and gruesome deaths are all here for both the casual horror fan and the devoted horror reader alike. But perhaps the novel's greatest strength is how surprisingly touching the story becomes by the end. Jack Sparks is unlikeable from the start -- cynical, flippant, contemptuous, manipulative -- but by the end we really feel for him. I'm looking forward to whatever Arnopp writes next.
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Reading Progress

March 5, 2016 – Shelved
March 5, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 16, 2016 – Started Reading
March 26, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Chandler Smith I loved this book! Approached it with zero expectations and was pretty blown away by the voice and stylistic innovations. The wit and playfulness reminded me a little bit of David Mitchell.


Nicholas Kaufmann I agree, it was a very pleasant surprise!


Chandler Smith I really think this book could have been marketed better. What is up with the hideous cover? No hint of the supernatural or metafictional elements. It looks like a murder mystery you'd buy on one of those racks in the grocery store.


Nicholas Kaufmann I do like the cover, but I agree it doesn't necessarily convey the novel's strengths.


message 5: by Chandler (last edited Apr 16, 2017 06:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chandler Smith Obviously my opinion here is completely subjective -- anything that grabs readers is good marketing even if it didn't grab me. But I should let this be a lesson that I should not judge books by their covers :-)


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