A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

"I wasn't sure if I wanted to hear such a big secret. It might not fit in my head and then it would spill out everywhere."

A Head Full of Ghosts begins as many horror stories do. The Barrett family is a pretty normal group. Mom, Dad, and sisters Marjorie and Merry live a peaceful life in their suburban home. Things change when older sister Marjorie begins to exhibit odd behavior. The doctors and specialists can't seem to find a medical explanation for her condition. Dad turns to the church and becomes convinced that Marjorie is possessed by a demon.

Given their unusual circumstance, the Barrett family does what any American family would do. They cash in on their troubles by allowing a television crew to film their life and attempts at exorcism for a reality show. What ensues is the tragic erosion of a once happy family. The parents don't agree on how to approach treatment for Marjorie, Merry is ignored by the rest of her family, and Marjorie is pushed to physical and emotional limits. Is the girl truly possessed, or is the Barrett family merely enacting a hoax for financial gain?

A Head Full of Ghosts is a refreshing addition to the horror genre. Paul Tremblay writes with a self-awareness that gives an original perspective to an otherwise familiar story. Tremblay clearly has an extensive knowledge and appreciation for all things horror. There is nothing overtly shocking or gory about this book. Rather, the story unfolds with a slow build that gives just enough suspense to keep us hanging onto every word. I like my horror stories to make me think and fill with dread. By that mark, A Head Full of Ghosts is an excellent novel that will leave you with an anxious paranoia of every little bump in the night.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2017, 13)


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8 Responses to “A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay”

  1. Thus sounds good Ethan. I love a good possession and like that this makes you think and question.

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    1. You can't go wrong with a good old fashion exorcism!

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  2. Suspense and tension are such key aspects of any read, but especially in the horror genre. I am happy the slow build up really works for this one. I don't really read the horror genre though, so probably not one for me.

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    1. I could definitely see this one becoming a classic of the genre.

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  3. Possession stories always creep me out. Zombies, aliens, slenderman - none of it fazes me. Give me the unseen and I will hide under the bed for a week!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

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    1. Hahaha! We all have our weaknesses!

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  4. I remember hearing about this for the first time a few months ago and it definitely sounds interesting! I don't read all too many psychological thrillers but I might give this one a go someday.

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    1. It is a pretty quick and fun read!

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