Review: The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

This was a book that I almost passed on for my review calendar. I was eager to do a feature and giveaway for it because I know that a lot of my readers are into the show Stranger Things  and this book was recommended for fans of the show.

But I wasn’t sure that this was going to be a book that I could fit into my summer reading. When the book arrived on my desk for review I looked at it and it was pretty short with fairly direct writing style and I thought about it a little bit but then casually set it aside.

The days went on and I kept looking at it on my shelf and couldn’t stop thinking that this might be a quick read and that it was simply calling my name. Finally I relented and picked it up and was hooked from the first chapter.

Summary

A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of “Stranger Things” and “Stand by Me” about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.”

But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become (summary from Goodreads). 

Review

This is an excellent coming of age story about a kid growing up in the 1980s. As a kid growing up in the 1980s myself, who never fit in and preferred books and stuff, this book spoke to my inner childhood nostalgia.

One of the first things that endeared this story to me was the story that Jake told about the monster in his closet and how his uncle Calvin gave him a rock to prove that the monster was indeed gone. It was such a simple little story but yet so meaningful and endearing that I became whole invested in the story of these odd characters as well as who they were as people. I loved it. There is so much richness in the coming of age story and how things evolve and change without you even knowing it. Calvin represented the adult who never really grew up and I long to be like that even if he was weird and eccentric, he possessed so much youth and excitement that I couldn’t help but wish for that for myself.

That to me is the hallmark of a great book! The story was powerful without having to fill a million pages. It was so concise, insightful, and moving without taking up hundreds of pages and I appreciated that the author didn’t try and over sell it. It happened naturally and was easily fulfilling.

In the end I gave this one 5 stars. It was so fun and well written and just so so so much nostalgia that I couldn’t get enough of it! I am so glad I picked this one up and decided to read it.

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 211 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Penguin Books (first published August 14th 2018)
ISBN 0143133934 (ISBN13: 9780143133933)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Penguin Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: horror, fiction, paranormal, mystery

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