Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit Hardcover – August 5, 2014
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
In 1976, British college student David Barwise takes a job as a “greencoat” at a resort in a small coastal town on the North Sea. Along with an eccentric group of coworkers, he runs one daft entertainment after another, including judging the Glamorous Grandma competition and running the light show for the Italian tenor. David is having the time of his life, basking in the good cheer of vacationers “hell-bent on enjoying their well-deserved break from the scruffy factories and the dirty coal mines of their industrial year.” But David soon finds himself caught up in the politics of the National Front and in love with the wife of a menacing thug. What’s more, he’s being haunted by visions of a man dressed in a blue suit who is holding the hand of a small, terrified child. The heat of a drought and an infestation of ladybugs only serve to heighten his sense of discomfiture. Joyce expertly captures a certain time and place, when family resorts were fading out and political extremism was on the rise, overlaying his snapshot with a subtle hint of the supernatural. --Joanne Wilkinson
"While many writers find it convenient to create entire fantasy worlds for their magic, there are others who specialize in discovering the hidden magic in our own lives, and one of the best of these is Graham Joyce....[The Ghost is the Electric Blue Suit]'s real magic lies in its flawless evocation of a disappeared era, and the sense of almost apocalyptic dislocation provided by the heat, the swarming insects and — on a darker note — the increasingly disturbing political atmosphere of late '70s England.
“This novel’s characters, major, minor, and in-between, are as finely formed and evenly wound as Joyce’s readers have come to expect…Vivid…a voyage of inwardly directed discovery filled with grubbiness and poignancy, elation and regret. [A] nearly perfect book…Like a poem, every one of this book’s parts play off each other; like an unforgettable refrain of days gone by.”
--The Seattle Times
“Joyce has built a cult following…If he keeps writing books as engrossing as [The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit], Joyce might enjoy a transition from cult following to full-blown religion among a legion of readers. He certainly deserves it.”
"What's the line between falsehood and fantasy? Between fear and horror? Between other worlds and the ones we carry inside our heads? Graham Joyce has been asking — and brilliantly answering — these questions for years...Joyce has written a jewel of a novel that blends gentle nostalgia, Bildungsroman angst, and a glimpse of the dark, unreal places where loss and memory mingle...Unearthly, but it's also wonderfully funny...His prose is exquisite."
"Beautiful, available women; ugly racist shenanigans; haunting apparitions. They all come with a college student’s summer job in this marvelously juicy entertainment from the British fantasist [Graham Joyce]… Joyce folds [the] supernatural element gracefully into a realistic coming-of-age work that is also an evocation of a vanishing subculture….There’s so much to enjoy here, from the fake stage magic of a woman sawn in half to the real magic of a gifted professional at work."
“Joyce expertly captures a certain time and place, when family resorts were fading out and political extremism was on the rise, overlaying his snapshot with a subtle hint of the supernatural.”
“Joyce is a master of dialogue and character…his sweltering summer escapades make for a terrific and absorbing read.”
“Really scary … erotic and darkly supernatural.”
– Library Journal
"In The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit, Joyce weaves a bizarre, colorful story, full of nostalgia, indecision, emotion and tension, and this genre-spanning novel is sure to be a favorite of fantasy, suspense and thriller fans."
“Joyce's most remarkable achievement is the tense atmosphere of this slim and haunting novel, simultaneously dreamy and chilling….An entrancing fantasy of a young man's search for past and future in a single summer of change.”
--Shelf Awareness (Starred review)
“Graham Joyce deftly paints the environment and loads it up with a host of characters, each one more surprising than the last….The pages fly by as quickly as the sun-drenched summer days of youth, leaving in their wake the feeling of having added David’s memories of his wild summer at the beach to our own consciousness.”
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There's some criticism about the title change, but I think The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit is more effective than The Summer of the Ladybird, since the ladybug symbolism is already heavy handed to the point of annoyance throughout the story, but the identity of the "ghost" (which I shant reveal out of courtesy) is a strong undercurrent influencing the plot from start to finish, but rarely discussed openly.
First, let's get one thing straight-- this is not a fantasy ghost story or anything about haunting. The "ghost" in the title isn't even a ghost so much as a memory trapped in the MMC's subconscious. If you're into literary symbolism there's a lot to interpret, from Joyce's very intentional use of electric blue throughout (strongly protective color, also symbolizes personal power) to political themes, all within the innately bizarre context of the institution of a British "holiday resort." Some other reviewers have called this a love story, but it's not that either. The MMC's relationship with two very different women is a source of confusion, infatuation, and sex for the sake of sex, not love. They're just steps in his process to find himself.
Overall, the book is very well written, and Joyce is truly a master of the art of subtlety. He's very concise although eloquent, giving you barely enough detail to piece things together, but plenty to read into if you care to stop and think about it. I think that sense of mystery implied in the style of writing is what I liked so much about this book; the author does not tell you every niggling detail, but rather leaves quite a bit to the imagination, with just enough detail to think and fill in the blanks. This is the sort of book that you'll want to read slowly, then read again and maybe a third time to catch any subtle meaning you may have missed. Joyce beautifully weaves in some astute observations about life and the things we might mistake for love, and the inexplicable pain that many of us feel without decent cause.
Highly recommend to the thinking reader who likes to be engaged. If you're looking for a dime a dozen urban fantasy story about ghosts, witches, and woo-woo, this isn't it.
In 1976, David Barwise has rejected a job with his stepfather in favor of a summer spent working at a holiday camp, a unique (and perhaps uniquely) British institution for vacationing families. Colorful coworkers, inadequate supplies, and slightly desperate merry-making make for a charming account of an industry that was past its peak then and has declined further in subsequent decades. But this isn't just a sentimental reminiscence: weightier things are going on, from the foreboding popularity of the racist National Front to David's entanglement with two maintenance workers, gruff Colin and his beautiful, quiet wife Terri. Not to mention a heatwave, an infestation of ladybugs, and the mysterious man in the electric blue suit.
Actually, "mysterious" isn't the word for him, as it's quite obvious what he represents. A late sequence where all is clarified is technically well-executed but feels surplus to requirements; it also introduces a further twist that's too operatically tragic for a novel that has been commendable in its avoidance of obvious reaching after mood. Joyce's touch is also light when it comes to characterization: he allows personally and politically unpleasant people their dignity and unexpected complexity rather than reducing them to caricature. This is the sort of novel that may seem directionless to some readers, because its purpose is not in any single strand of the narrative but in the overall play of experiences and sensations during a summer that cast a long but not necessarily sinister shadow over a young man's life. THE GHOST IN THE ELECTRIC BLUE SUIT is a striking evocation of how the historical, the personal, and the climatic converged to create a moment that is vaguely supernatural in its eerieness yet also terribly, wonderfully human.