Paul Tremblay has a way of making you want to look away, but not be able too. In A Head Full of Ghosts, Tremblay tells the tale of a small eight-year-old girl named Merry and the horrible state her family has found themselves. Her older sister is acting strange, her father has found religion (in a scary way) and her mother is sick and tired of everything.
The story starts with a now-adult Merry and the best selling author there to interview her. Merry tells about the time her sister was demonically possessed. As she does this, we are taken back to the time of the possession. We see how everything unfolds from the eyes of an eight-year-old. She does not always understand what she is seeing but is smart enough to know it's not good. She sees her sister become more odd and scary, while at the same time, her father pushes his newfound faith into every situation. From Merry's point of view, this is just as scary and strange as the "demon" he claims is inside her sister. Through all this, her mother tries and then gives up, then tries, and then gives up again.
With the influence of a priest, it was decided an exorcism should take place, and that a T.V. crew should be present, because why not? What could go wrong?
The reader sees every horrible thing unfold, but can't look away. Then when it's all said and done, the buildup, the exorcism, and the bitter ending, the reader is left traumatized and questioning life choices.
Mr. Tremblay does a great job with the characters. His ability to write an authentic eight-year-old girl was impressive. His other characters were well thought out and each was unique in their own way.
He is a master at the roller coaster. He gave you moments where you thought the possession was a matter of mental illness and other moments where you thought, 'well, maybe.' It was all a matter of perspective.
A Head Full of Ghosts is a good read. Especially for those who enjoy tales like The Exorcist.