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review 2018-07-30 18:25
Ein Exorzismus
A Head Full of Ghosts - Ein Exorzismus: Psychothriller - Paul Tremblay

Als die 14jährige Majorie sich merkwürdig zu benehmen beginnt, wissen weder Eltern, Lehrer noch Psychologen weiter. Bald wird in Frage gestellt, ob es tatsächlich eine Geisteskrankheit ist. Oder treibt ein Dämon sein Unwesen? Der geplante Exorzismus heizt die Fantasie der Familie an. Außerdem kommen die Medien ins Spiel, die eine teuflisch unterhaltsame Reality-TV-Show aus dem verstörenden Verhalten der Teenagerin kreieren.

Für mich sind Bücher und Filme zum Thema Exorzismus der Inbegriff des Horrors. Leider gibt es kaum gute Romane dazu, weil meistens übertrieben von der katholischen Art der Teufelsaustreibung geschrieben wird. Doch "A Head Full of Ghosts" konnte mich von Beginn an überzeugen und hat mir wohliges Gruseln beschert.

Im Mittelpunkt steht allerdings nicht Majorie sondern ihre jüngere Schwester Meredith, die vom Exorzismus an ihrer Schwester erzählt. Denn die Ereignisse sind bereits jahrelang her als Meredith als kleines Mädchen im familiären Albtraum gefangen war. Eine Schriftstellerin interessiert sich nun dafür, das Geschehen aus Merediths Perspektive zu erzählen, wofür sie ihr gern ein Interview gibt.

Dieses Interview mit Meredith ist die Rahmenhandlung, aus der rückblickend Majories Besessenheit betrachtet wird. Meiner Meinung nach wurde damit ein exzellentes Gerüst gewählt, weil es authentisch und seriös wirkt. 

Meredith war zum Zeitpunkt des teuflischen Geschehens ein kleines Kind. Sie ist sich sehr wohl bewusst, dass man in dem Alter manche Situationen falsch einschätzt und interpretiert. Das betont sie während der Interviews immer wieder und führt entsprechende Beispiele an. 

Man geht also mit Meredith in ihre Vergangenheit zurück und merkt, wie sich innerhalb der Familie das Grauen anbahnt. Die große Schwester Majorie verhält sich zunehmend merkwürdig, weil sie von üblichen Teenager-Gepflogenheiten abweicht und makabre Geschichten erzählt. Psychiatrische Behandlungen schlagen nicht an und es reift der Entschluss, geistigen Beistand ins Haus zu holen. 

Dieses 'Vorspiel' bis zum Exorzismus nimmt viel Raum im Roman ein und lässt sich schaurig lesen. Merediths Erinnerungen wirken echt, als ob tatsächlich jemand von einem traumatischen Erlebnis aus der Kindheit erzählt. Sie neigt weder zu Übertreibungen noch heizt sie die Fantasie mit übernatürlichen Spekulationen an. Dennoch ist es gruselig, wenn man ihre Erzählung liest. Denn Majorie hat sich grausame Geschichten ausgedacht, spricht mit dem Priester auf Augenhöhe über Bibelverse und weiß Dinge, die sie beim besten Willen nicht wissen kann.

Außerdem kommt mit Majories anomalen Verhalten die Film-Crew der Reality-Show dazu. Jetzt wird aus dem Grauen der Familie Unterhaltung für die Massen gemacht, was weitere Probleme mit Nachbarn, Schule und sozialem Umfeld schafft.

Bezüglich des Exorzismus-Rituals wurden förmliche Fehler gemacht, die allerdings im Roman selbst aufgegriffen und kritisiert werden. Zum Beispiel darf ein Exorzismus nicht zum öffentlichen Spektakel skandieren, weil es dem Teufel eine Bühne verschafft. Der Vatikan oder die Diozöse würde einer Reality-TV genauso wenig wie Tonbandaufzeichnungen o. ä. niemals zustimmen. Und ohne ausdrückliche Genehmigung darf kein Exorzismus durchgeführt werden. 

Zu den Erinnerungen und der Rahmenhandlung kommt eine weitere Perspektive dazu, die sich mit der Reality-TV-Show auseinandersetzt. Dazu werden in Blogbeiträgen sämtliche Folgen regelrecht seziert und bis ins kleinste Detail analysiert. Etliche Parallelen zu den bekanntesten Horror-Schockern werden gezogen und Special Effects werden diskutiert. 

Damit hat man als Leser drei Perspektiven auf den Exorzismus von Majorie, der damit einen mysteriös-gruseligen, dennoch echt und glaubwürdigen Grundton hat. Teilweise liest es sich wie ein Sachbuch, aus Merediths Perspektive eher wie ein Coming-of-Age-Roman, um dezent die Grenze zum Horror zur überschreiten, der das düstere Leserherz höher schlagen lässt.

Meiner Ansicht nach ist Paul Tremblay ein hervorragender Exorzismus-Roman gelungen, der sich an bekannten Vorgängern bedient, gleichzeitig moderne Elemente anhand der Reality-TV-Show einfließen lässt und aufgrund des sachlichen Schreibstils fesselnd zu lesen ist.

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2018-07-30 11:24
Paper Ghosts: A Novel of Suspense - Julia Heaberlin

A road trip with a difference. Was Carl really the murderer that Grace thought he was? Carl has dementia, so whatever he says can’t be relied upon, but Grace doesn’t care. I really wanted to like and enjoy this story, but sadly I couldn’t and I didn’t. It was ponderous and seemed to take a long time to get through all the pages/percentages. The beginning was intriguing, but then my interest started to flag. I did love the photos and thought they were a nice touch. Sorry but I found it all a bit tedious and Grace a letdown. I’m sure lots of other people will enjoy this book though.

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review 2018-07-21 13:06
Haunted Castles of England
Haunted Castles of England - J.G. Montgomery

by L.M. Montgomery

 

Non-fiction

 

This started out with a dramatic scenario description, written in second person, sort of guiding the reader through a ghost encounter situation. After that, to my surprise, it actually explained ghost stories as only having life as stories and nothing real behind them. After that it gets into individual castles that are known for ghost stories and I was amused to find seven of them that I have been to.

 

Most of the book is a series of blurbs about each of the castles, giving a little history and relating what stories have been told about ghost sightings in them and any speculation about who these ghosts might be. The approach is refreshingly objective, though the author does admit to seeing three ghosts first hand at the end.

 

I expect to refer back to this book as a reference whenever I travel, to see what stories have been told about castles in the areas I visit. Though the individual entries are short, they are sufficiently descriptive to be a good travel guide for the castles themselves, with or without the ghosts.

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review 2018-07-19 10:53
Ghost Boy
Ghost Boy - Stafford Betty

by Stafford Betty

 

Sometimes a book starts a little awkwardly, like the author was trying too hard to make a start and to get too many things in too soon or to make a special effort to mention some 'agenda'. I had to make a few allowances for this one because the story I was expecting to read, about a protagonist who sees ghosts, was worked into that crucial first chapter smoothly enough to hope for some good flow to the rest of the story.

 

It did flow well after, though I felt the narrative was 'young' for my taste, but it's targeted at YA and middle grade and I would say appropriate for the middle grade age group, apart from the diversions into conversations about 'God' that don't quite fit in and come across as if the author is laying ground to push young readers towards religious beliefs.

 

Ben Conover is a boy from a religious family, but he sees ghosts, especially a girl ghost who he calls Abby. His parents don't believe what he sees is real of course and try to get him to stop making comments about it. The story covers interactions with other kids, both friends and foes, as well as family members. There are a few lessons about following the lead of older kids, especially relatives, who do things you know aren't smart and about dealing with life in general from a 12-13 year old's perspective.

 

Overall I did enjoy the story, but it didn't really progress in a central theme and I thought the ending left some inconclusive loose ends. I liked Ben as a character, but I did think some of the situations could have been better developed or followed up.

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review 2018-07-16 18:53
Not Terribly Cohesive, But Still Interesting Book
The Secrets of Ghosts - Sarah Painter

Well I got on a mini-magical realism kick and finished this book too. I read the first book in this series back in 2015. I gave that one (The Language of Spells) 3 stars, and the sequel to that is a strong three stars too. I think the main issue is that nothing really grabbed me in this one. I thought following both Gwen and Katie didn't really work this time. Gwen is dealing with trying to get pregnant and Katie is hell-bent on figuring out her Harper power. Katie is naive as anything for most of the book and I thought the ending was just so-so.

 

It's been 7 years since the events in the last book. Katie is now 21 years old and trying to still learn from Gwen so she can come into her Harper powers. Katie is a waitress at a private home turned hotel and is hoping that eventually she will be able to be like Gwen (wise woman that everyone seeks out in the village). When Katie finds a dead body her whole world gets turned upside down and she starts to have birds and ghosts talk to her. Gwen is troubled and hopes that there is someway to shut off Katie's powers since talking to ghosts is not a power anyone wants.

 

Katie is naive. She ends up liking a bad boy (with honestly no redeeming qualities) and does joint investigations with him as well as trying to figure out things solo. Even though Katie is warned her powers could be dangerous she doesn't care because she doesn't want to be seen as a kid and wants to be special and not ordinary like her mother. There was a lot going on there that I wish I had felt was resolved. I don't see what the big deal would be if Katie didn't have magical powers. And I have to say her "practicing" with Gwen didn't seem to be much of anything. I recall in book number one it didn't make much sense how the magic in this world works and it still doesn't.


We unfortunately don't get too spend much time with Gwen. Gwen is dealing with not being able to get pregnant and no spells or potions are helping. She is feeling lost and vulnerable. Her and her now husband Cam barely feel present in this one. Merely there to prop up Gwen.

 

The secondary characters are okay, just needed more developing. I was interested when I heard there were more witch families and how they try not to settle near each other cause things would happen. I wish that Painter had explored that more. 

 

The writing was okay, but the flow was off. I found myself getting bored and wanting the story to hurry up and finish already since it was a lot of Katie investigating, the guy she liked being "charming" and then her being mad that things were not working out how she wanted them.


The ending was interesting, we get to know a bit more about Katie's powers. But everything seemed a little too pat when we found out how much it could be costing Katie to use magic. 

 

I haven't seen a third book in this series appears, so am assuming that this is the final book. 

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