Claudia Putnam's Reviews > A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
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really liked it
bookshelves: cut-above-genre, thriller

Rather brilliant. Two nits: 1. (kind of big) I don't believe that the Catholic church would have authorized an exorcism under these circumstances or with this priest, but the author was in a difficult spot with the metas he was working with (a pentecostal expurgation or whatchamacallit would have worked better, and would have been more aligned with Dad's nutcasery, but wouldn't have worked with the pop culture themes that were otherwise necessary to make the book come together. So I forgive Tremblay the squidgery he had to do here. 2. Someone complained that Merry was too smart- seeming for her age, but I thought she seemed too immature for 8. But what would I know, having ACTUALLY raised a genius kid, LOL. My kid was much more contained, thoughtful, cautious, and poetic at that age. I don't think of an 8-year-old as someone you would "scoop up." Embrace, or snuggle, yes. I can't picture an 8 year old as someone who could run around between people's legs. But that could be me.

But, given the twist at the end, which is only a possible, because there are still potential rational explanations, which is what's great about it, we really can't assess anything at all. Unreliable narrator to the max! Merry is trying her best (we think) to remember something that can't possibly be remembered clearly not only because of the issues with trying to remember something of this nature clearly but because of the cultural overlay. Plus the whole question of "reality TV" and "reenactments," which has made the narrative unreliable from the start, creating false memories for everyone.

And nothing can be validated because she is the only survivor. Who knows if what she says happened is just something she came up with as a way to make herself not the victim? As Rachel says, even it does not line up with crime scene facts.

Nothing aligns.

It's not even a story, because in our society at this point, no one even knows or cares what a narrative is anymore. Entertainment doesn't require narrative or sense, only sensation.

Yeah, so this book is good. Maybe I should give it 5 stars.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 1, 2016 – Finished Reading
March 27, 2016 – Shelved
March 27, 2016 – Shelved as: cut-above-genre
August 20, 2016 – Shelved as: thriller

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