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Ghost Story by Toby Litt
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Ghost Story

by Toby Litt

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I don't know quite what to make of this book. The preface is beautiful, the beginning of the story proper is beautiful. It took a while for me to figure out what had happened. The subject matter is quite heavy. I didnot understand why neither Paddy nor Agatha's mother tried to get professional help for Agatha and why Paddy left Agatha and Max alone after his father's death. The middle part was quite boring. Agatha seemed to wallow in her grief while Max needed his mother, but she didnot seem to care about that. I did like the beautiful sentences though and I liked the images of a house like a breathing body, a pulsating heart and Agatha feeling safe inside it and not wanting to go outside. ( )
  Cinnamon2 | Jan 13, 2008 |
A skilled narrative depicting the disintegration of a personality and relationship following bereavement. Accurately observed, perceptive prose. ( )
  nearasyouget | Jul 29, 2007 |
Ghost Story is Litt's most recent work, a deeply personal book which asks what happens after the worst thing has happened? The worst thing in this case is miscarriage, and the first part of the book tells in harrowing detail how Litt and his partner Leigh lost three babies. (Their story has a happy ending though as they finally have had the much longed for baby.) The main part of the book is a fictional account of a couple coming to terms with the loss of their second child. It is beautifully written, and there were whole passages I went back to reread for the sheer beauty of the language. Litt uses psychic distance in a unique way to draw the reader gradually further and further into the minds of the main characters, absorbing their grief and inability to get past it. The ending is ... perfect. ( )
  bibliobibuli | May 6, 2006 |
I am in two minds about Ghost Story. On one hand it is a well written book whose narrative is compelling, touching and poignant. It manages that trick of striking a note that touches and reverberates through you as if it is an astute observation on your own character or habits.

On the other hand the book is very self-indulgent. We follow one of the two main characters, Agatha, through hours of introspection and although both her and Paddy (her husband and the other main character) are likeable, there are times when one can not help feeling that rather than ponder the nature of their relationship they would be better off with a good shake.

Put bluntly, this book has no plot. It is not unpleasant to read but it does not compel one to read it either. Toby Litt is undoubtedly a good writer but whether or not he is a good novelist is a more difficult question to answer. ( )
  laphroaig | Feb 22, 2006 |
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When Agatha and Paddy decide to leave London and buy a house on the coast, they are full of hope for themselves and their growing family - baby Max and a new child on the way. Three months later, when the builders move out and they move in, things look very different.… (more)

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