Thursday, April 1, 2010
Ghosts and Lightning by Trevor Byrne
This review is going to be difficult. Ghosts and Lightning was a real chore to get through. Most of the book is dialogue, there aren't any quotation marks around everything, and a lot of the words are deliberately misspelled for extra folksiness or something. It also turned out to be different from what I thought it would be from reading the book jacket description.
Ghosts and Lightning features Denny, a twenty-something man who returns to his native Ireland after the death of his mother. Denny's sister Paula claims to be haunted by a ghost under her bed, a ghost that is a man pretending to be a little girl. That was the book I wanted to read about, the story of the strange transgender ghost.
Unfortunately, Denny, Paula, and their miscreant friends hold a seance and get rid of the ghost right at the beginning. That was not and never is the main focus. It's a story of Denny and his friends and their many, many crazy misadventures. To put it delicately, they're losers. They drink and do drugs and have little to no motivation for anything else. Still, there's kind of a beauty in their hanging out, their makeshift family.
As I mentioned before, the writing style was difficult to get into at first, but it kind of flowed when I took the time to concentrate. The lack of ghosts disappointed me a little, but I get that it was less about ghosts and more about spending time with your friends and telling stories, getting it all situated, that came before that came before that.