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Ghost Story
Julian F.Thompson
Henry Holt Books, 214 pages

Ghost Story
Julian F.Thompson
Julian F. Thompson's other novels include Band of Angels, The Fling, Goofbang Value Daze and The Grounding of Group 6.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Margo MacDonald

This book is frightening, but it is not because of the ghost. In fact, the discovery of and interaction with the ghost is downright mundane (aside from being purely incidental to the plot). No, the truly frightening part is the plot which revolves around a male photographer luring a young teenage girl into the world of child pornography. I'm telling you this now so you won't go in thinking Ghost Story is a ghost story in any gothic sense of the word. No, this is a purely modern horror story, in the truest sense of the word.

Albeit the book is readable; I immediately was annoyed by the narration of the main character, a young teenage girl with about as much charm as a cement block. It is clear that the author was trying to reach out to his teenage audience by attempting to convince them he "knows where it's at", but I found this attempt obvious and unconvincing.

The story moves along though, and the main character gradually grows less annoying. The wooing of the girl by the photographer is downright creepy; the only problem is that it is done a little too well. The world the photographer presents is a little too glamourous, a little too enticing, and very little is done at the end of the book to erase this effect. The main character does not even comment on her choices, nor are her parents ever informed of what really is going on. What worries me, then, is that young girls reading this novel may go away with the wrong message. So, no, I really can't say that this is a book I would recommend.

Copyright © 1997 by Margo MacDonald

Margo has always been drawn toward fantasy and, at the age of 5, decided to fill her life with it by pursuing a career as a professional actress. Aside from theatre (and her husband), Margo's passion has been for books. Her interests are diverse and eclectic, but the bulk fall within the realm of speculative fiction. She tells us that her backlog has reached 200 books and she's ready to win the lottery and retire.

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