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Head Full of Ghosts

Head Full of Ghosts

A Novel

eBook - 2015
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Baker & Taylor
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of what at first seems to be acute schizophrenia, but worsens until they believe it is actually demonic possession, asthey become the center of a reality TV show.

HARPERCOLL

WINNER OF THE 2015 BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King's The Shining, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, and William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.

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 descent into madness. As their stable 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. With John, Marjorie's father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface'and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.


A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends domestic drama, psychological suspense, and a touch of modern horror, reminiscent of Mark Z. Danielewski’sHouse of Leaves, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, and Shirley Jackson’sThe Haunting of Hill House.

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 descent into madness. As their stable 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. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.



Baker
& Taylor

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when 14-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of what at first seems to be acute schizophrenia, a condition which only gets worse, leading them to believe it's actually demonic possession, as they become the center of a reality TV show.

Publisher: [United States] :, Harper Collins Publishers,, 2015
ISBN: 9780062363251
0062363255
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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FPL_Lori Oct 23, 2020

Merry Barrett is 8 years old when her older sister, Marjorie, begins to exhibit signs of mental illness. Believing she may be possessed by a demon, the Barrett family employs the help of a priest to perform an exorcism. Since the family is also in need of money, they agree to allow this part of their lives to be made into a reality show. Part horror and part psychological suspense, Paul Tremblay's A Head Full of Ghosts borrows elements from classic horror novels like The Exorcist and The Shining. Told by an unreliable narrator (Merry was 8 years old when events occurred) and including some twists and turns- it also borrows elements from modern psychological thrillers. Highly recommended for fans of horror and psychological thrillers.

e
EljayJohnson
May 20, 2020

Apparently I'm a Paul Tremblay fan; this is my second book by him and I thoroughly enjoyed it, just like I enjoyed The Cabin at the End of the World. I don't read much scary stuff so I think my threshold for being frightened is pretty low. This story of 14-year old Marjorie and her family is told from the POV of little sister Merry, now a young adult but 8 years old at the time of the events she's describing. Marjorie is either experiencing a terrible psychotic break or is possessed by a demon - and her financially strapped parents sell her story to a reality TV show. That's some great parenting there.
I had a number of delightfully creeped out moments, and I was engrossed and in the dark throughout.

sit_walk Nov 18, 2018

Another of Tremblay’s “is it real or is it supernatural” psychological thrillers. Strong plot and excellent characterization.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Sep 30, 2018

Dark and creepy story of a maybe-maybe-not possession. Perfect Halloween reading!

CRRL_MegRaymond Jan 25, 2018

Is fourteen year Marjorie schizophrenic? Or possessed by a demon? Either way, a reality TV show wants film rights.

n
nidus
Jan 03, 2018

Enjoyed this book. The handling of the point-of-view of an eight-year-old girl was the most skilled part and leads me to say that it was quite readable without being extraordinary. Three stars.

p
Petruccellius_Rex
Oct 27, 2017

The most intriguing aspect of this story is the question of what the truth is and what actually happened. The "possession"/possession is filmed for TV with all the exaggerations, suggestions and nuances that come with it, which affects Merry's recollection years later as she tells the story to the reporter and works through it in her pseudonymous blog. Incorporating the unreliability of memory was clever and mirrors our own conflicting opinions on what's happening. I really enjoyed the blog posts discussing each episode spliced between the retelling of actual events. And yeah, there's a twist, but overall it fell flat for me. I didn't feel any atmospheric buildup, characters were pretty banal (kid-Merry was insanely annoying for me, but that's beside the point), and I would've liked some introspective passages for each character at various points - for example, give us an insight into the confessional bits. Also, the cover is creepier than the book. Ultimately: meh.

c
Cedowns2
Mar 26, 2017

Was a bit put off with the blog writing and the slow build-up to the story. I was even thinking about returning it without having finished reading the story. However, the writer is good as far as invoking imagery that can really put you in the settings. And the wrap-up was so good that I went back and read all of the parts I'd skipped.

k
Kmum1
Mar 11, 2017

Sometimes book covers just don't live up to the book. Came across this book by chance, read the cover and was totally intrigued. I started this book but literally had to force myself to sit down and read it, skipping ahead and reading little blurbs I kept thinking that it was going to get better (and maybe it does judging from the other reviews) but for me I just couldn't get there. Only made it about a third of the way through.

b
bayougal
Jan 02, 2017

Just a truly excellent book, start to finish.

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VV12
Nov 11, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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