Synopses & Reviews
Neil Gaiman has written: "Jonathan Carroll has the magic. He'll lend you his eyes, and you'll never see the world in quite the same way ever again."
Welcome to the luminous and marvelously inventive world of The Ghost in Love. A man falls in the snow, hits his head on a curb, and dies. But something strange occurs: the man doesn't die, and the ghost that's been sent to take his soul to the afterlife is flabbergasted. Going immediately to its boss, the ghost asks, what should I do now? The boss says, we don't know how this happened but we're working on it. We want you to stay with this man to help us figure out what's going on.
The ghost agrees unhappily; it is a ghost, not a nursemaid. But a funny thing happens the ghost falls madly in love with the man's girlfriend, and things naturally get complicated. Soon afterward, the man discovers he did not die when he was "supposed" to because for the first time in their history, human beings have decided to take their fates back from the gods. It's a wonderful change, but one that comes at a price.
The Ghost in Love is about what happens to us when we discover that we have become the masters of our own fate. No excuses, no outside forces or gods to blame the responsibility is all our own. It's also about love, ghosts that happen to be gourmet cooks, talking dogs, and picnicking in the rain with yourself at twenty different ages.
Stephen King has said that "Jonathan Carroll is as scary as Hitchcock, when he isn't being as funny as Jim Carrey." Jonathan Lethem sees Carroll as the "master of sunlit surrealism." However one regards this beguiling original, two facts are indisputable: It's tough being a ghost on an empty stomach. And The Ghost in Love is a triumphant return.
"Death is not the end but rather the start of a series of madcap and sometimes moving adventures for characters in this spry novel about the un-afterlife. Events begin on a wintry day in Connecticut when Ben Gould slips and hits his head on a curb. He should have died, but owing to a 'virus' in heaven's computer system, Ben's body lives on. Soon, Ben and others in his life including his talking dog, Pilot, and his own ghost (named Ling) find themselves endowed with extraordinary and unpredictable talents, including time traveling, the ability to hobnob with multiple incarnations of their younger selves, and a capacity to see otherwise invisible forces of fate manifested in bizarre physical forms. Carroll (Glass Soup) tethers the series of loopy incidents that ensues and their shaggy-dog explanation to incisive and poignant observations about the wondrous possibilities of everyday life that are the hallmark of his flippant style of fantasy. Carroll fans will best appreciate this jeu d'esprit." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Love, memory, and balancing the needs of our many selves are themes in this occasionally scary, often luminous work of unconventional fantasy. Strongly recommended." Library Journal
"[A] highly appealing cast of characters and an enchanting sense of humor....Delightful reading." Booklist
"In The Ghost In Love Jonathan Carroll deepens his art, diving into his own obsessions with love and fate, without letting go of an ounce of the uncanny effervescent quality that has always caused readers to crave his narratives like an illegal substance. He's created a version of the world that shines like a beacon into our own." Jonathan Lethem, author of You Don't Love Me Yet
"With The Ghost In Love, Jonathan Carroll is at the peak of his powers. An acknowledged master." Bruce Wagner, author of Memorial
"Carroll creates novels so fascinating and intelligent and seriously delightful that no other writer in English can touch him." Dallas Morning News
A man falls in the snow, hits his head on a stone curb and dies. A ghost that's been sent to take his soul to the Afterlife arrives just as he falls. But something strange occurs: the man doesn't die. The ghost is flabbergasted. This is unprecedented. Going immediately to its boss, the ghost asks, what should I do now? The boss says, we don't know how this happened but we're working on it. In the meantime, we want you to stay with this man and watch to see if he does anything that might help us figure out what's going on.
Unhappily, the ghost agrees. It is a ghost, not a nursemaid. The last thing it wants to do is hang around watching a human being walk through his every day. But a funny thing happens—the ghost falls truly madly deeply in love with the man's girlfriend and things get complicated. The Ghost in Love is about what happens to us when we discover that we have become the masters of our own fate. No excuses, no outside forces or gods to blame—the responsibility is all our own. It's also about love, ghosts that happen to be gourmet cooks, talking dogs, and picnicking in the rain with yourself at twenty different ages.
It's tough being a ghost on an empty stomach.
About the Author
Jonathan Carroll's novel The Wooden Sea was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2001. He is the author of such acclaimed novels as White Apples, The Land of Laughs, The Marriage of Sticks, and Bones of the Moon. He lives in Vienna, Austria.