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A Head Full of Ghosts

av Paul Tremblay

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,32210510,623 (3.76)67
"The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's bizarre outbursts and subsequent descent into madness. As their home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts plight for a reality television show."--Book jacket.… (mer)
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engelska (103)  italienska (1)  Alla språk (104)
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A Head Full of Ghosts centers around twenty-something Merry Barrett as she tells a writer named Rachel the story of what happened to her family when she was just eight years old. Rachel is going to write a book on the Barretts. When Merry was eight her fourteen year old sister Marjorie started exhibiting symptoms of demonic possession.

After treatments from the doctor didn’t work, the family obtained help from the Catholic church. After observing Marjorie, Father Wanderly got permission to perform an exorcism. On top of all this, the Barrett’s got a tv documentary deal so there was a film crew living in their home for a few weeks filming the family daily. The Barrett’s agreed to the documentary which aired weekly and made them somewhat infamous because they needed the money. The exorcism is aired on tv.

I enjoyed how the author pulled me in here, Merry tells a terrifying story and I was on the edge of my seat while reading. She’s an endearing character and you want her to be okay but she is an unreliable narrator so you never truly know what happened.
I wondered where Paul Tremblay would go with the story because halfway through I started thinking this book could easily start to resemble a retelling of The Exorcist which is of my favorite horror novels. I was not disappointed. This one does throw nods to The Exorcist but manages to remain original.

The book culminates into a nice cringeworthy twist at the end that left me speechless. The twist is what seals the deal. I also enjoyed how the book plays with you a little as you read, you never really know what is truly going on. I wondered whether Marjorie was really possessed or mentally ill or maybe both. I feared for Merry and her interactions with her older sister in that state were scary but also sad.
A Head Full of Ghosts was fantastic horror and I recommend it to fans of the genre. This one is not for the faint of heart some of the scenes are shocking. Ugh, the basement scenes. I wanted to hide under the covers.

https://bookwormnai.wordpress.com/2021/04/16/a-head-full-of-ghosts-by-paul-tremb... ( )
  bookworm_naida | Apr 19, 2021 |
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay is a horror story that has us questioning what is happening continuously throughout the story. The story is told in flashback form by Merry, the youngest daughter in the family. At the time she was eight years old so we question whether what she says is accurate. It is obvious that she wasn’t totally sure of what was going on as her fourteen year old sister, Margaret, starts to exhibit signs of schizophrenia. While her mother opts for traditional medical help her out-of-work father turns to the Catholic Church in the belief that his daughter is possessed by a demon. Finances are tight and these stressed parents are easily convinced to allow a television crew to invade their house and put their private lives on display. The show is called Possession and even includes an exorcism that escalates into a shock fest. But is Margaret really possessed or mentally ill? Margaret continually warns Merry to beware, that people are going to be killed, but is it herself that she is warning Merry about or, perhaps another member of the family.

The author raised the level of tension slowly but surely until by the end of the book the reader is white-knuckled and the anxiety level is high. He cleverly inserts references to other well-known horror books, like The Yellow Wallpaper, The Haunting of Hill House, and, The Exorcist, and freely borrows images from Japanese horror films. A Head Full of Ghosts is a layered, nuanced rather gruesome story. I did find it a little slow in places, but overall this was a very well done horror story. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 8, 2021 |
Really enjoying this so far.

Review coming soon.

Here it is!

Kindle book. Not an ARC.

I am of two minds a bit about this book. Conceptually, I found it complex and interesting to watch as it dissected itself and explored the horror genre and even how this particular story fit into that genre. References to classic novels, stories and movies abound and I just loved it. The characters were complex and believable and even realistic, which is even harder to pull off. Without giving away anything I found the fact that one of the characters reexamines the events of what happened to not only be interesting, but original and sort of experimental in a "breaking the 4th wall" sort of way. The crash of psychology into religion into the supernatural was well played and explored. Tremblay is a very talented writer.

Now comes the other side to the story. The plot. Specifically the horror plot and was it scary. I felt that the first third to one half had the perfect combination of creepy manifestations and character development. The scenes between the sisters were particularly unsettling. After that point I think the novel got bogged down under the mechanics of the reality show plot line and the development of all of the characters. It was too much. The pace slowed down so much that the actual exorcism was a bit anticlimactic, although there were plot twists that were compelling and surprising. That’s as close to a spoiler as I like to get.

As I always say, mileage may vary and you may disagree. I think the more horror you have read, you may agree more with me about the plot aspects, because we have seen this show before and we have certain expectations, especially when it comes to how bat shit crazy an exorcism is supposed to be. At least as far as fictional exorcisms go which is the only kind I would have any interest in attending.

4 stars. I will read more by this author. ( )
  ChrisMcCaffrey | Apr 6, 2021 |
3.75*
This was seriously effed up story that will likely keep me thinking about what actually happened. I was hooked enough to wonder what was happening and to want to keep reading, but there came a point about halfway through that I almost stopped caring. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to know the end of the story, but after being told some key parts by one of the main characters, it kind of muted the ending for me. It also didn't help that there was a blog post before each part of the story which completely gave away what was going to happen. I almost wish that the blog post was sporadically spread out throughout the telling or that is wasn't there at all. It didn't feel needed since everything was explained by the main character through her first person perspective. I plan to read some other Paul Tremblay in the future because this was just plain freaky in some parts. He sure knows how to write some suspense! ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
I loved this story. The Barretts' oldest daughter Marjorie exhibits signs of schizophrenia. Her father's unable to find work and the family needs money. Doctors are unable to help the family, so the father turns to a priest who says he thinks Marjorie is possessed. The priest also contacts a reality show production company who then convince the Barretts to allow them to document everything on camera and create a show out of it titled "The Possession."

There are natural callbacks to The Exorcist in this novel (it is specifically mentioned by name, in fact), but I felt a stronger connection to The Exorcism of Emily Rose because of the psychological vs. supernatural aspect. The addition of the reality show is a perfect modern twist on a classic demonic possession tale.

My biggest issue with the story were the blog entries of the show fan that were peppered throughout (spoilers prevent me from identifying the relationship of the blogger to the story as a whole). Although fan blogs are known for snark, these sections read like someone who is not naturally snarky trying to write snark.

Other than the blog entry sections, this novel is near perfect. It's also a perfect length. It's a complete novel that tells a complete story, but is nowhere near the unnecessary double-stuffed size of a modern Stephen King or Joe Hill book.

Great read. ( )
  Isaac_Thorne | Mar 12, 2021 |
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Osmanski, JoyBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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My memory, she was first to the plank, and the B-movie played in the aisle. - Future of the Left, "An Idiot's Idea of Ireland"

It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please! - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Do you wanna know a secret? Will you hold it close and dear? This will not be made apparent, but you and I are not alone in here. - Bad Religion, "My Head Is Full of Ghosts"
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For Emma, Stewart, and Shirley
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"The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's bizarre outbursts and subsequent descent into madness. As their home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts plight for a reality television show."--Book jacket.

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