A Head Full of Ghosts

Morrow. Jun. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062363237. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062363251. HORROR
The Barretts are an ordinary family living in a Boston suburb until older daughter Marjorie suddenly displays symptoms of acute schizophrenia. Her increasingly erratic behavior affects her whole family. Her mother drinks and tries to get Marjorie professional help, her father turns to the Catholic Church for aid, and younger sister Merry just wants her sibling to go back to being normal. Is Marjorie sick? Is she faking? Or is she possessed by the devil? Because they are broke, the Barretts take a rather modern solution to the problem by having a film crew chronicle them for a new reality TV show.
VERDICT In this brilliantly creepy novel, Tremblay (The Little Sleep) uses the clever framing device of a reporter who wants to write a book about the Barretts by convincing Merry to tell her version of the events. The author also acknowledges the books and movies that influenced his story, most obviously Peter Blatty's The Exorcist but also Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. [See Prepub Alert, 12/15/15.]
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing