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Madeleine's Ghost Hardcover – July 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385314825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385314824
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,801,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a first novel of astonishing accomplishment, Girardi by turns portrays spooks, erotic love, muggers, Romanian mediums and the Catholic church with startlingly few slips and a shimmering style. A first-person account by Ned Conti, a graduate student in French history deeply involved in not writing his dissertation, the novel moves between New York and New Orleans, past and present, this side and "the other side" of death. Ned is languishing in a dangerous Brooklyn neighborhood, in an apartment haunted by an aggressive ghost (whose tricks include dropping stones from the ceiling) when, broke, he starts work as a researcher for a local Catholic priest who is hoping to spur the canonization of a 19th-century American nun. Soon, the forces of spirituality and history converge on Ned until he is almost painfully overburdened with mystery. When the suicide of a close friend pushes him to visit Antoinette, his Creole ex-girlfriend in Louisiana, Ned begins to sense that a New Orleans plantation family may hold a clue to his researches. The connections among ghost, saint and Antoinette, are wrapped up a bit too tidily, but Girardi drives his tale along with sensuous prose. The resonance with which he captures the gritty material world of New Orleans and the East Village provides a sturdy, credible spine on which to hang Ned's clash with the strange world of spirits.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Ned Conti is a New Orleans graduate student in history whose dissertation and love affair have both stalled. Hoping to resume the former and escape the latter, Conti moves to New York City and accepts a job documenting the life and works of a candidate for Catholic sainthood. That work is soon derailed by a presence haunting his apartment. This first novel switches seamlessly from past to present, from humid New Orleans to gritty New York as Conti's life is quickly consumed by forces he cannot control. First novelist Girardi has fashioned a modern ghost story that eschews graphic violence for mood, fascinating characters, and a story that opens strong and keeps building. Buy wherever good fiction is read.
-?A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

ROBERT GIRARDI is the author of five nov­els and one volume of novellas. His short fic­tion has been pub­lished in Tri-Quarterly and Vir­ginia Lit­er­ary Review, and his non-fiction has appeared in The New Repub­lic, Washingtonian Magazine, Landscape Architecture Magazine, and The Wash­ing­ton Post. His novels have been translated into nine languages--including Hebrew and Estonian. He lives in Wash­ing­ton, DC with his three children. He sells tickets at a movie theater in Bethesda, Maryland, and works as sexton of Our Lady of Victory Church in Washington, DC. (Visit him on the web at girardilit.com : email at bob@girardilit.com.)

Customer Reviews

Very engaging story.
Kristin Summerlin
Parts of the book made me laugh out loud and other parts made me think.
DeeDee
Read it and enjoy the trip.
Sawbuck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sawbuck on April 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have no idea what book the negative reviewers were reading - but my well-worn copy, and much gifted copies to friends was and remains a wonderful, powerful read. The book is much deeper than you think - yes it is a love story, a ghost story, a history, a mystery and God forbid, even a happy ending for the troubled souls in the book, and the audience. As a person who is haunted by places at times, the book evokes that sense of lost time wonderfully - and Ned Conti is proof that persistence is key, although good fortune, even in small amounts never hurts. This is a wonderful book. Read it and enjoy the trip. I have given away 10 copies, and everyone loved it. Who you going to believe?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DeeDee on September 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I knew from Paragraph 1 that Madeleine's Ghost would be a winner. The haunting in his apartment, his relationship with his neighbors, friends and the priest, and the uncertain life of living in New York (with the low rent, projects and bodies) all work together to make this an excellent novel. Ned Conti seems to be hovering on the line between skepticism and faith. He and his friends, Chase, Jillian, Molesworth, are ever so alive in the story. Parts of the book made me laugh out loud and other parts made me think. It's also nice to read a novel where the main character hasn't shed his religious faith, either. The story kept going at an even pace and was well put-together. Very entertaining.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
A very classy debut novel from Robert Girardi. My friend loaned me a copy for my vacation and I was completely engrossed from start to finish. Travelling back and forth in time to the very different cities of New York and New Orleans, the story revolves around Ned Conti, a thirtysomething who lacks direction in his life and the paranormal events that occur in his apartment during one hot summer in New York. Wonderfully atmospheric descriptions of Conti's gritty existence in New York and the seedy side of 19th Century New Orleans. Amazing - I haven't read such a good ghost story since Susan Hill's "The Woman In Black".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book combines the best of a ghost and a love story. It also manages to convey the gritty, seamy side of New York City where crime and muggings have become second nature and contrast it with the down-home, blues-driven, relaxed style of New Orleans life - past and present. You read of drugs, despair, saints and sinners and what happens to people who make wrong choices for what they perceive to be right reasons. You can travel back and forth in time and when the story ends, you end up knowing that there is another story still to be written about many of these characters. These people were humans with human weaknesses and failings. You could sympathize as well as recognize their fantasies and beliefs and you are satisfied at the book's end that everything came together in a complete circle of time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Summerlin on July 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was caught from the opening scene, with the stones falling from the ceiling. The book held me fast with its intricate twining of cities, people, places and times, not to mention the juxtapostion of the supernatural on the often otherworldly weirdness of the modern world. The mingled plots developed and kinked and then worked themselves out beautifully. The protagonist, painfully naive at times, managed to have his eyes opened and maintain his innocent dignity through to the end. Very engaging story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sallyann on June 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
I loved the whole idea of this book, the ghost in his apartment and his boss, the part time priest/part time golfer. I got a great feel of landscape, especially the New Orleans humidity and languidness.
But something seemed to be missing, to me, something didn't seem quite right in the book. I don't know if it was too long or trying to accomplish too much, tying all the loose ends together. Perhaps it was that I couldn't understand what the girlfriend saw in him, there just didn't seem to be any connection for me.
However, it was very well written and I will still look to read more of this authors books, as he is obviously quite talented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Rarely do novels this savory come from the pens of
young authors, and oftentimes even seasoned writers never achieve such fluid sensuality in their work. Girardi, however, is not like most writers. His characterization is superb (even in the dead characters). His words are succulent and paint for the reader the classic happy ending that we all crave. I recommend this book to anyone who can read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
For the avid fan of ghost stories and the supernatural, this one is tops. For the fan of stories about the mystery and allure of New Orleans, this one "tops" the tops. Combine the two and you have a fascinating ghost story in one of the most mysterious and beautiful areas of the country. It's a must-read for anyone interested in the history of New Orleans and the supernatural.
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