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A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts

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This is an expert, claustrophobic psychological horror story that throws you into the heart of an ordinary American family struggling to deal with something that starts off disconcerting and then inexorably spirals down into something inescapable and horrifying. Something that may or may not be supernatural.

We hear the story from Merry who, some years later, recounts what led up to the awful events that made her family notorious. Merry has an older sister Marjorie and they live at home with their mum and dad. Dad has lost his job and there are the usual tensions and misunderstandings that twine around any family. Especially when seen through the eyes of one of the children. From the opening pages it is Merry’s relationship with Marjorie that is the source of the tension and the fascination. Marjorie is definitely a bit odd but she’s also imaginative and very engaging. But she’s getting odder, her relationship with Merry more disconcerting. And she begins to talk of the ghosts in her head.

Tremblay’s skill is that is that he maintains a sense of ambiguity, of the ordinary and of the quirky, while remorselessly building the tension and the fear. He’s especially good at vividly working in the stories that Marjorie has in her head into the overall narrative. If you love Stephen King then it is clear that there are things here you’ll find to enjoy . But Tremblay also builds the paranoia of family relationships in a way that fans of Gillian Flynn will relish. This is very scary but also scarily readable. ~ Simon Spanton


A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Mariorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to halt Moriorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.


'A Head Full of Ghosts scared the living hell out of me, and I'm pretty hard to scare.' Stephan King

'Whether psychological or supernatural, this is a work of deviously subtle horror.' Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A Head Full of Ghosts

About the Author

Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay is a multiple Bram Stoker Award finalist and author of the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. He has served as the president of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous year's-best anthologies. He has a master's degree in mathematics and lives outside Boston with his wife and two children.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th September 2016


Paul Tremblay

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Titan Books Ltd


400 pages


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Horror & ghost stories



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