Plot: Arnold is a best-selling author. Short stories, novels, screenplays, he can churn them out. He has so many offers coming in he can’t keep on top of them all!
Arnold is also dead.
His career as a ghost is going rather well for him, with a cave all of his own to haunt and a corporation supporting his writing as he remembers what it was like to feel.
But when Arnold meets Clarisse, a young ghost who isn’t happy with the way things are being run, he realises there is far more to being dead than he originally thought.
Quote: `She’s found a way to care. Let’s make sure the world stops taking advantage of that.`
Opinion: As a writer myself, I was drawn to this book because of the title. I learnt from the synopsis that it was about a man determined to write even though he was dead and thought it sounded right up my street. What I ended up with was a charming and heart-felt story about pursuing your dreams no matter what the cost and, at the end of the day, standing up for what is right.
The plot is straightforward, but considering the novel is only short, it needs to be. Arnold is satisfied with his lot in the after-life but finds the corporation he works for isn’t as clean as it seems. Joining forces with other ghosts, he seeks to get the word out to ghosts and humans alike.
The characters were charming. Arnold is your typical nice-guy, who was down on his luck while he was alive but has the chance to make something of himself once he has passed on. Arnold is determined to succeed and is driven for success. But he is also friendly, letting himself be befriended by both Clarisse and Manny. Unfortunately, it’s just hard to know which ghost you can trust these days.
Despite being a lovely story, there is still tension and a fast pace to the plot. When Arnold finds himself under investigation, his subsequent hide-outs (in a wall and in a deer) add to the chase and Arnold himself finds his bravery when the deer are confronted with danger. For a character who is dead for the whole novel, he progresses and grows and the reader wants Arnold to be able to make a difference just because he is trying so hard to understand.
The Ghost Writer was an engaging and enjoyable story that leaves the reader with a feel-good vibe and a smile on their face. It is a story full of messages, mainly about never giving up and pursuing your dreams even if you are, in fact, dead. It is also a tale of friendship and loyalty and doing the right thing regardless of the risk to yourself. For a short story, this one packed a powerful punch.
The Ghost Writer is great whether you are a writer or not. The perfect book for a rainy day, a definite recommendation from here.