Title: The Ghost Slept Over
Author: Marshall Thornton and Jason Frazier (Narrator)
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 2, 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal, Ghosts, Humour
Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
When failed actor Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his famous and estranged ex-partner, he discovers something he wasn’t expecting – the ghost of his ex! And, worse, his ex invites Cal to join him for all eternity. Now.
As Cal attempts to rid himself of the ghost by any means, he begins to fall for the attractive attorney representing the estate. Will Cal be able to begin a new relationship, or will he be seduced into the ever after?
One of the key features of the story is that the lead character’s experiences reflect elements of a theatrical play. It is noticeable, particularly through the audiobook, that the structure of the book is also quite like a play, certainly the language used is structured more to be spoken than scanned. It is a very theatrically oriented book, with just about everyone involved either in acting or supporting the arts. The author manages to put this over without rubbing it in.
Whilst the story is about a haunting, the ghost is as much a character as the living actors. This makes the story less spectral and utilises the ghost characteristics as ways to move the plot forwards. There is some reflection on the hereafter, but this is more about the self-centeredness of the ghost than what happens beyond the veil.
The characters are well developed and each of the scenes is centered on one or other of the central living characters. Each of the chapters/scenes is cohesive and happens in real time. Intra scene gaps mark the passage of time and this is not always smooth. Whilst the writing indicates the length of the gap, there is not real examination of what happens in between.
The narration is clear and easy to understand. It is noticeable however that the narrator’s intonation has a consistent falling cadence at the end of each sentence and this carries across between characters. Each of the characters has their own recognizable voice and the narrator provides clear differentiation between male and female characters. The intonation does intrude on the enjoyment.
The book is presented as being funny, but this is more light-hearted than ‘laugh out loud’. It is unclear whether the lack of apparent humour is because the book is read through the timing of the phrases or that it is not that funny.
The relationship between the two living characters develops throughout the story. This is not a passionate story and the ghost does more to keep the lovers apart than assists in the bonding. The characters are pleasant enough and they seem to be genuinely fond of one another but the relationship is more about the situation than the individual and chemistry is not a central feature of the plot.
The story moves along without any real tension. Once scene follows another with a clear progression that aims on the surface to wish the ghost gone, but then doesn’t really make that much of an effort. There are no surprises to the story and sequencing of actions is logical and predictable.
The aim of the novel is the removal of the ghost and, in line with the play; this leaves the hero with a positive future. Of course the plot provides this without the need for religious overtones. The ghost provides a summation before the end.
The book was a pleasant fancy but not a classic.