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Paul Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts (Hardcover)

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A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King's The Shining, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, and William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight. With John, Marjorie's father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface--and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.


Age Range
12 - 24 Months
Series Title
The June Lyons Series
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
Paul Tremblay
A Head Full of Ghosts
Publication Date
June, 2015
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches

Customer Reviews

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1-5 of 34 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Review Copy The advan...

Review Copy The advance praise I've seen from a number of authors I admire and respect made me doubt A Head Full of Ghosts could be as good as they were saying. Well, after reading the book myself, I'm no longer a doubter. Paul Tremblay's new release could quite possibly be the perfect book. Best-selling author Rachel Neville plans to write the true story of "The Possession," a reality show that aired on The Discovery Channel a number of years ago. She's managed to arrange an interview with Meredith (call me Merry) Barrett who is telling her full story for the first time. It's the story of how the reality show about her sister Marjorie's "possession" came about, and how it all played out in a six-episode series on cable TV. The relationships among the family members, although strained at times, rings true, especially that of Marjorie and little sister Merry. The childhood memories were absolutely charming. Skillfully written and very believable with some wonderful "Oh, WOW" moments A Head Full of Ghosts is not at all what I expected, and for that reason and many others, it's a so much better novel. Available in hardcover, e-book, and audio editions, A Head Full of Ghosts is a must read for all horror fans. My highest recommendation.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

If you are a fan of ho...

If you are a fan of horror movies then you will love this book. I prefer to read my horror rather than watch it so the many movie references went over my head but I made note to pass this on to my fifteen year old horror aficionado daughter who I know will relish every allusion. Despite my personal lack of horror cinema knowledge, I still really enjoyed this book. The story is about a family who has a nine year old daughter Merry, and a teenage daughter named Marjorie who may or may not be possessed by a demon. Many disturbing things happen to the Marjorie and the family suffers from financial ruin. In order to generate income they agree to allow a reality show in to record and broadcast the events surrounding Marjorie. As the story progresses the reader is left wondering if Marjorie is faking the demonic episodes or if something more sinister is occurring. Events culminate into an exorcism where all hell, literally, breaks loose. The story is told by Merry years after the events take place to a reporter who is going to write a book about it. It is also interspersed with Merry's horror blog postings. As the story builds you get the feeling that something is amiss in the telling of the tale until you get to the last twenty pages of the book which spins everything you thought you knew on it's axis. It's the kind of book that makes you think about the ending long after you finished the final pages. I thoroughly enjoyed author Paul Trembly's modern spin on the exorcism tale and I highly recommend it.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Wow, what an amazing b...

Wow, what an amazing book! This story is written from the view of the youngest child in the family. She watches as her teenage sister struggles with mental illness(schizophrenia), and while she loves her sister, she fears her too. Her unemployed father reaches his breaking point and becomes obsessed with a religious outlet that brings possession and exorcism into the mix. We have to wonder at times if we can trust the account being given. We have to remember that this is a traumatized 24(or so) year old woman giving her account of the events that took place when she was 8 years old. This is a roller coaster ride that shows a incredible view of mental illness breaking down a family who was already on the brink of collapse. Just amazing writing!

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

The minute I saw the d...

The minute I saw the description of this book, I knew I had to read it. It combines so many tropes and genres I love-reality shows (and a paranormal one to boot), urban legends, a past that may not be what everyone believes it to be, secrets, unreliable narrators, horror, mystery, and even some creative use of outside media brought into the text (in this case, a blog). In short, this was a book I was desperate to read, and this was a book that was a really good read. We are introduced to Merry, eight years old when the events filmed on The Possession took place, now grown up and telling her story to a writer. As Merry tells about her sister and the terrifying changes that took place around her, about her father's dependence on religion and his desperate turn to an exorcism (and the promised money from the reality show) to fix everything, about her mother's descent into drinking and depression, we are taken back into the past, shown the beginning, middle, and end of this terrifying tale. This is interspersed with a horror blogger who describes in detail the various episodes of The Possession, and analyzes them at length. But is what we are being told the truth? Merry is an unreliable narrator, not only because of her young age when the events she describes took place, but because she readily admits that watching The Possession and reading articles on it may have caused her memories to warp and blur. What she thinks she remembers may not have actually happened that way. And that is what is most amazing about this book, in the end. The terror builds until it is almost unbearable, the shocking revelation comes, and as readers are left in shock, they are also left wondering if Merry has just fed them over a hundred pages of lies, and, if so, if she did this on purpose.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

This book is a great c...

This book is a great combination of horror and psychological thriller. Psychological horror is now one of my new favorite genres! I found it easy to get wrapped up into the characters and the plot, especially with the wonderful narration by Joy Osmanski. I couldn't wait to find out whether Marjorie had schizophrenia, a demonic possession or something else! I'd definitely read another Paul Tremblay novel.

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