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Ghosts Know Hardcover – October 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765336332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765336330
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,062,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Graham Wilde is an opinionated and troublemaking talk-radio host, and he’s just been told to kick it up a notch by his producer in the interest of impressing the station’s buyers. Inviting Frank Jasper, a so-called psychic, to be on his show seems like the perfect opportunity to do just that. When Wilde uses Jasper’s fake psychic tricks, and a shared history, to expose him as a charlatan on air, he enrages many of his listeners—and entertains others. He’s gone too far, though: when he next encounters Jasper, the “psychic” manipulates circumstantial evidence to apparently point to Wilde as a murderer. Wilde’s reactions to this perceived threat—and the reactions of his colleagues and fans—all lead to increasing alienation and despair for Wilde. Ghosts Know is an interesting exploration of a very particular, internalized type of psychological horror; Wilde’s spiral into paranoia and rage is abrupt and unnerving. Campbell’s prose is sure enough to pull the story along steadily, despite the unreliability and confusion of the narrator. --Regina Schroeder

About the Author

Ramsey Campbell has won more awards than any other living author of horror or dark fantasy, including four World Fantasy Awards, nine British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, and two International Horror Guild Awards. Critically acclaimed both in the US and in England, Campbell is widely regarded as one of the genre's literary lights for both his short fiction and his novels. His classic novels, such as The Face that Must Die, The Doll Who Ate His Mother, and The Influence, set new standards for horror as literature.  His collection, Scared Stiff, virtually established the subgenre of erotic horror.
 
Ramsey Campbell's works have been published in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and several other languages. He has been President of the British Fantasy Society and has edited critically acclaimed anthologies, including Fine Frights. Campbell's best known works in the US are Obsession, Incarnate, Midnight Sun, and Nazareth Hill.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary Fry on January 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Ramsey Campbell's fiction is not for those who like their thrills served up in a conventional manner. Although cleanly pared down, his prose is complex and suggestive, requiring keen attention to earn its copious rewards. But once it all clicks into place, there really is no equal. Reading Campbell as his best -- and in his later work (including Ghost Knows), that's what he often is -- is an experience and not just a quick reading diversion. His stories commonly involve meandering plots where nothing is quite what it seems. In Ghosts Knows, Campbell draws upon almost Hitchcockian pacing skills developed in fine, earlier crime novels (The Count of Eleven, Silent Children, The Last Voice They Hear) and serves up some seriously troubling and, ahem, eye-wateringly dark delights. You'll see. Another fine contribution to a branch of the genre that is almost the exclusive domain of Ramsey Campbell.

(I bought the original PS Publishing version of this novel.)
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By Ken Hursh on April 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Campbell is a prolific and vaunted horror writer. I have enjoyed his books in the past and looked forward to Ghosts. In the book’s acknowledgements, Campbell said it was a story he had been mulling since the 1970s. If it had been fermenting that long, it had to be terrific!

Well—Graham Wilde is a confrontational radio talk show host who thinks a psychic, Frank Jasper, who has been called in for help on the murder of a local girl, is a fake. Wilde knows Jasper from childhood and embarrasses Jasper when he has him appear on the radio show. Then Jasper has a vision regarding the murdered girl that implicates Wilde in the murder. So far, so good. Looked like the plot would be Wilde and Jasper backstabbing each other. But, no, the intriguing Jasper antagonist simply drops out of the story at that point, and Wilde proceeds, in bumbling fashion, to try and expose the real killer to clear his name. He does expose the real killer—a character with which Wilde had no prior conflict—by getting the real killer to confess on the air.

Only he doesn’t. I read through the salient parts several times to make sure I hadn’t missed something. There was no logical reason at all for Wilde to suspect this person was the real killer, and in the on-air exchange, the real killer said nothing remotely approaching a confession. The killer didn’t even mention the crime. How this “mystery” was solved was the only real mystery, along with why the book was called Ghosts Know, since there was no ghost or other supernatural element whatsoever.

If your main character has an enemy, then that is who or what your main character should ultimately confront. And if the story is about solving a crime, then the crime should be solved in a way that makes some kind of sense.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Constant Reader on December 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's pretty rare that I don't finish a book, but I could only get about two-thirds of the way through this one. It is just not a very good story and it has many flaws. For starters, there is a contrived idea-for-a-day theme running through the book -- like "eat a healthy lunch day" and so on, but the writer never states exactly where that comes from. From the radio station where the main character works? Maybe. Also, the main character thinks and says things that do not sound very plausible -- very contrived language and thoughts. And finally, this book is mentioned as being in the Horror genre -- Steven King even gives the writer a plug on the jacket -- but it does not appear to be Horror at all. After getting to the 2/3 point I skipped to the end and it seems to be just a plain old murder mystery. Thankfully I had borrowed it from the library so no loss.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Violet K on January 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
What an incredibly frustrating, dull novel. Ostensibly some sort of psychological thriller, what I'll remember most from "Ghosts Know" isn't the suspense, but the completely one-dimensional characters and yawner of a mystery.
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Todor on November 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not sure why I had high hopes for this story. It was well written but the story dragged and left me underwhelmed at the end.
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