Skip to main content

Cannonball Read 2 #28: The Night Country: A Novel by Stewart O'Nan

The Night Country is narrated by Marco, one of three high school juniors who died in a horrible car crash. Along with Toe and Danielle, Marco has been drifting as invisible ghosts through the small town of Avon, being "called" to those who are thinking of them. They spend most of their time with Brooks, a police officer who was there the night of the accident and has been unable to forget, Tim, their friend who somehow escaped the crash unscathed, and Mrs. Henderson, the mother of their friend Kyle, whose body survived the crash, but whose personality and mental capacity didn't. One year to the day from the tragedy, we--with the three ghosts--watch events spiral out of control.

The book is great, and although not what I call a "ghost story" necessarily, it does have a lot of suspense regarding what the living characters will do, and what--if anything--the ghosts will do to intercede. The tension builds and builds as it becomes obvious what Tim's plan to celebrate the anniversary is. When the ghost of "real Kyle" also shows up--on a different plane, perhaps, than the other three--his motivations are also cause for suspense.

The book is well-written, though I think of it almost more as a YA book than as an adult novel. The only thing really adult about it is the language, and even that is pretty tame. It was well-written, and the characters were fairly well fleshed-out. On the whole, I enjoyed it and would recommend it as a light read.


Popular posts from this blog

CR3 #30: The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith

I saw the movie of The First Wives Club before I read the book. It's a cute chick flick, in which scorned women take comedic revenge on their former spouses. They become better friends and everyone winds up happy in the end. I was somewhat surprised (though not much--the differences between film and literature are often wide) at how different the book was--I am used to changes in plot or small character changes (combining two characters into one, or perhaps changing to a more pleasant ending) but the major change here between novel and movie was the tone.

The story is basically the same; After a close friend's suicide, three middle-aged female friends get together and beginning reviewing their lives. They realize that much like their late friend, they have been screwed over by the men in their lives--the men used them to get to their high social and financial positions, then screwed them over both personally and financially. The three women decide to use their wits and their co…

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…