Saturday, 29 October 2016

Review: A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay


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.

I love a good scary book, unfortunately a lot of people get it all wrong. Not Tremblay tho, this one has ticked all the boxes. It had me scared, had me confused, surprised and got into my head. And I am not easily scared but this book has triggered some very strange dreams.

The best way to describe this book for me is: a modern exorcism in the face of media. A 14 year old girl shows signs of schizophrenia and while the parents try their best to help her, things just get worse. While searching for answers the father seeks the help of the church. The idea of a possession soon develops and suddently the family becomes part of a reality tv show. The Possesion and it's tv crews move into their house to capture everything that's going on. What probably makes this so much more real and disturbing is that this all is being told by the younger sister, who many years later is retelling her story to a book writer. Revealing everything that went on and all the things that the cameras didn't see. 

This was impossible to put down and even more so forget. There was times in this book where I had to question what I believed and what I didn't. Often I was left utterly surprised. We get to experience a families absolute nightmare through the eyes of a little girl that just wants her sister back. A family that is slowly breaking under the pressure of everything. This wasn't just a scary book, it was an eye opening and heart breaking one. The end left me utterly gobsmacked, I did not see it coming at all.

This has been a fantastic read. From the first page to the very end it held my full attention. I absolutely loved A Head Full Of Ghosts. Tremblay is one to watch, I myself will certainly be keeping an eye on this author. 

Thank you to Lydia at Titan Books for my copy. 


  1. I read this one this month as well!! I really enjoyed it! I feel the same way about the ending! It has been a while since a book left me with my jaw dropped. Nice review!!

    1. Thank you :) wish more books had such surprising endings!