Hey, y’all! I’m so excited to get to share my thoughts on Craig Davidson’s The Saturday Night Ghost Club with everyone today. While you’re here, pop over to our Instagram @shihtzus.and.book.reviews to enter to win a copy for yourself (giveaway ends Sunday, July 14th, 2019 at 5 pm EST)!
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.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club was not at all what I expected, mostly because of how it was dubbed “horror.” In reality, it was so much deeper than that, packing a quite powerful coming-of-age story into such a short number of pages. I was also pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the sense of nostalgia presented by the novel. With the sheer number of books and adaptations that are focusing on a group of friends in the 80s and horror, creepiness, etc (see It, Stranger Things, The Chalk Man, and the entire upcoming season of American Horror Story from what I can tell), it takes quite the story to both accurately portray the time while also creating something special enough to distinguish it from the background noise. In short: Davidson did it.
I fell in love with Jake and his friends, loved how each new character was introduced (complete with a background story that revealed mounds about themselves, the other characters, and ultimately the setting of the story) and how fluid and smooth the story played out. Truly, from chapter one I was locked in for the long hall… seriously, I even stayed on the elliptical in the gym longer so I could have uninterrupted reading time!
This was my first book by Craig Davidson (also known as Nick Cutter and Patrick Lestewka), and I can guarantee it won’t be my last . If you read nothing else this summer, you must get your hands on a copy of this. Thank you so much to Penguin Random House for providing my advance review copy and for sponsoring this awesome giveaway! It’s always my pleasure to share my honest thoughts and opinions with our readers.