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The Worthy: A Ghost's Story Hardcover – June 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074327315X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743273152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,380,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Clarke's novel, subtitled "A Ghost's Story," is a winning comedy of collegiate (bad) manners, set at Louisiana State University. The narrator, an affluent frat boy named Conrad Avery Sutton III, tells us right off that he's dead, murdered by fellow Gamma Chi Ryan Hutchins, a psychotic hiding behind a charming Big-Man-on-Campus veneer. Conrad makes it his afterlife's work to bring cocky Ryan down, with the help of the frat house's salty cook, "crazy" Miss Etta. She knows Conrad is still on Earth to protect hapless fraternity pledge Tucker Graham, who, like most of the world, sees Ryan as "a big, bright, rising star." It sounds a little like a sitcom, albeit an edgy one, but Clarke fashions a hilariously addictive yarn, with crackling prose and sharp observations that consistently entertain and surprise. He drives the plot over the top with portraits of hypocritical religious fanatics and unrestrained party animals, and into baby Grand Guignol territory with a swath of outlandish killings—but it all works as black farce of a high degree. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

If the movies Animal House and Ghost got married, this novel is what their offspring might look like. The narrator, Conrad Avery Sutton III, had it all, including a bid to join Louisiana State's most desirable fraternity. Then a hazing prank went horribly wrong, and Conrad was killed. Now he's a ghost with only one thing on his mind: revenge against the fraternity chapter president who's responsible for his death. The novel somehow manages to be lightly comic and darkly dramatic at the same time. It's a clever commentary on the whole frat scene, as well as an evocative exploration of some of the practical realities of being a ghost. Lots of fun, from the zany author of the cult favorite Lord Vishnu's Love Handles (2005). David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed this book, it started off with a bang and never slowed down.
Kindle Customer
I also liked learning about the inner workings of fraternity rituals which I've always wondered about, hence The Skulls reference above.
Kelly C
Each character was a cliche, except for the main character, who seemed to have no clear personality.
K. Schwehm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Conrad Sutton is a heck of a ghost. I could almost smell his Abercrombie and Fitch cologne lingering around me when I was reading this book.
THE WORTHY is one of the saddest, funniest, bittersweet books I have ever read. It was so good that when I finished it the first time, I read it again because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Conrad or Miss Etta or Sarah Jane or Maggie. The author paints Baton Rouge and Louisiana with with such a sexual and sweaty tinge.
And I know that a lot of people compare this "ghost's story" to THE LOVELY BONES, and it is similar in that both the narrators are dead, but that's where the similarities end. THE WORTHY delves into a 19 year old's soul (Granted that may not be very deep as most frat boys aren't the deepest souls -- even dead ones) Will Clarke spins a tale so beautiful and gothic that it's hard not to cry AND laugh out loud at the end. Something I never do. I am not a cryer! But some of Clarke's disarms you with his humor and then he throws an image at you that hits you right in heart.
THE WORTHY is worth a read or two or three. It's that good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B.F. Spink on October 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Worthy is a fast-paced, often fluffy piece of fiction that grabs you quickly and won't let you go. The first-person account of a frat boy pledge's ghost (murdered by an older "active" in the frathouse during initiation rites) is often funny and often gruesome -- and it truly shows the cruel realities of life, even if seen through a dead man's eyes. The ending has a great twist, too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on April 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, it started off with a bang and never slowed down. I rarely read a book in one day but this was one of those books I couldn't put down. It's hard to believe it was written by a 26 year old young man. I'm a fan!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly C on September 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Will Clarke is such a great author, he reminds me of Anne Rice because you are sucked in and have no idea what is going on around you while you read. This book is so interesting because it is told from the viewpoint of a ghost, but instead of the typical nice naive person who is randomly murdered ghost (Lovely Bones, Dead like me) this is your stereotypical fraternity boy. The frat boy perspective gives it a fresh viewpoint and makes it really relatable because this guy is so normal and not perfect and not all harmonious & pious after death. Like Lord Vishnu, you have no idea where this book is going to go and you can't put the book down. I also liked learning about the inner workings of fraternity rituals which I've always wondered about, hence The Skulls reference above. You can't go wrong with a Will Clarke book and here you have ghost stories, plus the college experience, plus great flushed out characters. If you love interesting books that will make you think, this is for you!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Joseph VINE VOICE on July 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Will Clarke has taken two well-trodden premises, a tale of college fraternity hijinks and a narrator from beyond the grave, and grafted them together in a refreshingly original and fun way.

Our disembodied narrator is one Conrad Avery Sutton III, newly initiated brother in LSU's Gamma Chi fraternity. Born into money and committed to the pursuit of frat boy hedonism, the living version of Conrad doesn't sound too likeable. But as a spirit floating about the LSU campus, where he is able to narrate from a first-person omniscient point of view, Conrad entertains with his quirky wit and evokes instant sympathy for his plight. You see, Conrad was struck down at the height of his youth, thrown down a flight of stairs by a psychopath named Ryan Hutchins, who masquerades as Gamma Chi's golden boy president and manages to avoid all suspicion for the murder. So who can fault him for shadowing Ryan and waiting for his opportunity to seek vengeance?

In Hamlet-esque fashion, vengeance becomes a rather drawn-out and deliberate pursuit for Conrad's spirit, who bides his time while following the next crop of Gamma Chis through the grueling pledging and initiation rites. One particular pledge, an earnest farm boy whom Conrad is able to possess when inebriated, becomes the physical medium through which Conrad is able to act.

Throw in a Bible-thumping coed, an eccentric fraternity cook who's able to speak with the dead, and an unlikely bond that forms between Ryan's beautiful girlfriend and the possessed farm boy, and you have a savory jambalaya that's sure to entertain. The story is also laced with some touching themes, most notably the longing for the touch and feel of the material world expressed by a spirit who was unfairly sundered from his body at a time when he was so vital and alive.

-Kevin Joseph, author of "The Champion Maker"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Henson VINE VOICE on April 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of this book, but once I did I found it quite enjoyable. While Conrad, the ghost in this story plots his revenge, all manner of laughable and not so laughable events occur. To be sure, every single character is terribly flawed with the possible exception of big ol' farmboy Tucker. While that might smack of reality, and to an extent it does, you're left feeling you sure hope your kids don't meet up with most of these people, especially the frat brothers, when they go off to college. By the way, some reviewers have come down hard on the exaggerated depiction of the frat brothers. I too was a member of a Greek fraternity, but I think it a bit silly to expect depictions of reality in a novel told from the perspective of a ghost. Chock full of bad behavior and bad language, and it can't necessarily be called a fun read, but on some level, I did find it very satisfying.
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More About the Author

Will Clarke doesn't want you to know where he lives or what he's doing next. (Which totally begs the question, why does he maintain an eponymous blog?)