This book is definitely a reader’s book, or maybe a writer’s book? I’m never really sure what the difference is, but either way it’s a tome that really pushes you to focus on what you’re reading as there are quite a few heavy philosophical arguments and references within the novel, and it pushes you to question what is and isn’t real with the protagonist acknowledging that he’s had previous stints in a mental institution and the varying ‘ghosts’ to which the title refers.
I bought this book in 2011 at the Boston Book Festival and it’s just sat on my shelf since. I’m glad I read it, but at the same time I’m not sure why I bought it at the time as I’m terrified of ghost stories, but you’ll have to read on to find out how this one affected me. Since it’s been on my shelf for almost two years it counts for my Mount TBR ‘extra’ challenge. It took nearly two weeks to read and that’s from the denseness of the book. seriously, scroll down and read the first line—it’s a PARAGRAPH—or any of the quotes for that matter!
For what is probably my final galley of 2012 I read Life Death! Prizes! by Stephen May. I requested a copy of the book via NetGalley because the author lives in West Yorkshire, which I love! I received no compensation for the following response, which is my honest opinion.
This book just didn’t inspire me. I thought the premise was a great idea and the title is brilliant, but overall I can’t bring myself to rave about the book. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely great parts and a couple of times I found myself laughing out loud (see the end of this post), but overall I found the story a bit too much to take in and the writing a bit overworked in some spaces. I unquestionably enjoyed Stephen May’s wit, but I just couldn’t empathize or sympathize with the main character, Billy, until the final few pages of the novel and even then I’m not sure if it was for him or for his little brother Oscar.
There were two reasons for this – I felt that Billy’s speech patterns fluctuated a lot and not necessarily in a predictable manner. For most of the book his speech was, what I felt to be, spot on, especially the slang and syntax, but there were times when it felt like he was using a much older person’s language and not when you would think he would be doing this. The second reason, was May’s writing style. It bothered me on a couple of occasions when May threw in a list of social media or drinks or most of his lists really. It felt like he was trying too hard to show he was ‘hip’ and ‘up-to-date’ with the lingo of the youth. But, there were a few times where he did this seamlessly and it was great and humorous, but those he didn’t were more noticeable.
What a fun novel! I was not expecting much as I purchased this in the Kindle sale a few weeks ago. I purchased it for its tenuous connection to Jane Austen and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
It is the story of Eleanor Pottinger and starts out as a sad depressed tale of her life and her struggle to turn things around when she meets two ghosts in an English haunted hotel. They send convince her to help them move on by sending her back in time. The next thing you know Eleanor is in Regency England and is neighbors to Jane Austen. Part mystery, thriller, regency novel, costume applique and paranormal romance (thank you http://www.lauriebrown.net) the novel is an enjoyable and quick read.