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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
surprised me; it turned out to be more than what I expected.  
from description:  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 light-hearted 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 is a note-perfect novel that poignantly examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become, and establishes Craig Davidson as a remarkable literary talent.
When the novel began with the observations of a brain surgeon, I was a bit taken aback.  The narrative is about misfit kids and an unforgettable summer, but there is also an acutely philosophical theme of memory and its vagaries.  The adult Jake moves from his current career as a neurosurgeon to his memories of the summer when he was twelve--his family, his friends, and his understanding of events in the past.

Read in March; review scheduled for June 26.

NetGalley/Penguin Group
Coming of Age.  First published in 2018; July 9, 2019.  Print length:  240 pages.  


  1. So is the adult Jake the narrator? Or is it from the POV of the kids?

    1. Jake is the narrator, but it is as things have happened in the past. :)

  2. This does sound like Stand By Me with the adult narrator looking back on a pivotal, slightly horrific, childhood event and its repercussions into later life.

    1. Right, it has to do with the way his Uncle Calvin became so...eccentric. Jake goes back over events with the knowledge he has gained as an adult about trauma and memory. I liked it. :)

  3. Sounds interesting. Will add it onto my reading list. :)