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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson @penguinusa @penguinbooks @jessmapreviews #craigdavidson

The Saturday Night Ghost Club 
by Craig Davidson

Thank you Penguin Books for these copies!

Publisher: Penguin Books
Publish Date: July 9, 2019
240 Pages
Genres: Horror, Coming of Age, Young Adult

A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of "Stranger Things" and "Stand by Me" about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls--a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place--Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the "Saturday Night Ghost Club." But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.

My Review:

"Reality never changes.  Only our recollections of it do."

I absolutely love Nick Cutter so when I found out ages ago that his other pen name is Craig Davidson, I wanted to dive in and read some of his work under that name.. and I finally did with this short book.  I love that the styles of writing are so different and really resonates in why he might have chosen to write under both names. Maybe? I dunno.  Either way, he's talented no matter what name he writes under. Period.  

Admittedly, it took me a little bit to get into the meaty goodness of this story.  Once I was in though, I could feel the sting of a bb pellet, the crunch of a broken nose, the loyalty and love within a family and the support of those closest to you when maybe you're used to always being a bit of an outsider.

This is a coming of age story that just resonates with this feeling that I can't quite put into words.  I think if you consider as an adult how you look back at how you saw the world as a kid or how you see the world again through your own child's eyes... that's the best way I can put this.  One of the things that I really enjoyed as well was the back lay of how the brain works.  Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.  

For a book that's slightly longer than a novella, it really does pack a punch.


Jessica's Review:

I very recently learned that Craig Davidson and Nick Cutter are one in the same! So I was excited to pick up this shorter story by Craig Davidson. THE SATURDAY NIGHT GHOST CLUB is a coming of age story about the summer of Jake's twelfth year - the summer The Saturday Night Ghost Club began.

Jake, Billy, Uncle C, Lex, and Dove make up the Saturday Night Ghost Club. They go on missions throughout their town near Niagara Falls visiting different areas and hearing about local legends. What Davidson treats us to is a story of family love, loyalty, friendship, and trying to find your place in the world.

This book took me a lot longer to get into than I was hoping. Being barely over 200 pages, it took about until the halfway point for me to feel really invested in the story. The imagery was great and Davidson really connected you to the characters. I think the issue for me was in the pacing of the story. I did enjoy the parts from Jake as an adult and neurosurgeon. Hearing tidbits about the brain and how funny a thing like memories can be. If you're looking for a short story this summer, then I definitely recommend this one.

3.5 stars

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