Shelf Control #105: A Head Full of Ghosts

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!


Title: A Head Full of Ghosts
Author: Paul Tremblay
Published: 2015
Length: 286 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

How and when I got it:

I bought the Kindle version last year when I happened to notice a price drop.

Why I want to read it:

Who doesn’t love a good possession story? A friend has been urging me to read this — or really, anything by this author. The synopsis sounds right up my alley — horror with elements of madness, and an exorcism too! I don’t know why I haven’t read A Head Full of Ghosts already, but I intend to fix that ASAP.


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!














8 thoughts on “Shelf Control #105: A Head Full of Ghosts

  1. This was a pretty good, suspenseful read! I liked the ambiguousness of it, too, as you try to decide if it’s really a possession, mental illness, or an elaborate prank. I would warn that there is definitely some gore and some explicit sexual stuff in this book — I’ve been leery recommending it to people for that reason. Just, FTI so you aren’t blindsided!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts — it definitely sounds like something I’ll enjoy reading! I don’t mind the gore if it’s in service of a good story 🙂

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