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HOLY GHOSTS By: Gary Jansen November 14, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     The full title of this selection is HOLY GHOSTS OR HOW A (NOT SO GOOD) CATHOLIC BOY BECAME A BELIEVER IN THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT. The title is absolutely terrific, and compelling, although the (not so good) part fails to add to the intrigue. The Lycan Librarian’s interest, as she had been raised Catholic, was peaked, and she immediately plucked this nonfiction book from the library’s new books display.
     Adding Catholicism and turning to God for help with ghosts is nothing new, but wrestling ones beliefs about one or both topics all at once must at least be labeled as unique. I enjoyed Jansen’s tales about the saints and the many instances that ghosts are mentioned in the Bible, but don’t quite understand his surprise. Religion offers us the promise of eternal life, so imagining these immortal spirits flitting between worlds is a very small step from one belief into another.
     There were times the book did get pretty creepy, but overall, the story of the ghosts, themselves, are rather tame and not at all exceptional. One is just an old woman who likes to look out the window, and the other a confused and mischievous car accident victim. There were times that I just wanted Jansen to get on with it and stop going on and on about one specific event or question on which he was meditating. For this to happen in such a short book that is a quick read isn’t great. Maybe this reader just knows a bit too much about ghosts or unfairly expects that extra twist; the book is, after all, described as gripping, and getting wonderful reviews on Amazon. As for me, I’m not sorry I read this book, but I am glad I just borrowed it from the library and will be taking it back tomorrow.



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