- Paperback: 196 pages
- Published: 7/1/03
- IBSN: 9781888451047
- Genre: Fiction
Jonah Sees Ghosts is a shocking, touching, and humorous first novel that blends magical realism with a figurative study of how alcohol abuse shapes the personalities within a family.
“Written with insight and compassion, this is a stunning look at the addictive personality of an adolescent boy in an alcoholic family.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“In Jonah Sees Ghosts, Mark Sullivan takes a ‘lover’s quarrel with the world’ into the beyond. Beset with the visions of a Bosch, and the honesty of a Henry Miller, his young protagonist faces the twenty-first century in bewilderment. Jonah, with the heart of a transcendentalist, travels out of body in a spirit world full of meanies and walking corpses and brings a report of redemption back to the land of the living. With the invention of this anti-hero all his own, Sullivan leaves us wiser in our admiration for his remarkable first novel.”
—John Rolfe Gardiner, author of Great Dream from Heaven
“Mark Sullivan writes with beautiful, introspective clarity. In young Jonah, he captures perfectly the conviction of perception that only the young have.”
Jonah Sees Ghosts is a shocking, touching, and humorous first novel that blends magical realism with a figurative study of how alcohol abuse shapes the personalities within a family. A stylish blend of S.E. Hinton, Stephen King and Tom McGuane, Jonah Sees Ghosts tells the story of fifteen-year-old Jonah Hart, a boy with a problem he’s afraid to share. Not only does he see ghosts, but when he dreams at night, he can also leave his body and travel in the ether—a compellingly addictive form of retreat.
Comprised of a loving, domineering mother, a best friend, and nightly visits from his dead father, Jonah’s world becomes increasingly small—and dangerous. As the ghosts that plague him become more and more aggressive and violent, he withdraws into his dream world, but when things there turn dangerous as well, Jonah is forced to make a stand from the full depths of abandonment and isolation in a last stab at redemption.
At its heart, Jonah is a story of love within dysfunction and the adaptability of the human spirit—even when the two old dead ladies sitting on your mother’s sofa put guns to your head.