Coming of age tales usually make for some of the best movies, books and more, no matter which genres they fall into. This is even true of horror, where some of the more popular genre efforts (like IT) fit into this category. I always find myself gravitating to them, that’s for sure.
Perhaps this was one of the reasons I subconsciously gravitated towards The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson, whom I believe writes darker stories under the pen name, Nick Cutter. I requested a copy when it came out, but just got to it now, and am glad that I did.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club centres upon a man named Jake, who recollects the summer and autumn of his twelfth year. That one summer changed him greatly, as did the days leading up to Halloween. Why? His relationship with his quirky and conspiracy believing uncle Calvin, who was a bit like Fox Mulder. Together, with a few friends, the two created something special and haunting, with that being the titular club.
This is a coming of age story told through the memory of a fictional character who is now a brain surgeon. Interestingly enough, the author uses things from that profession to help tie the book together and flesh it out, including information about memories. It’s a bit weird at first, but becomes expected, and is always interesting. There’s a good amount of depth there.
That depth carries through the relationship between Jake and Calvin, and into their dark exploits on Saturday nights. Adventures to places where people apparently died, where hauntings are said to occur or where rumours persist. At least, that’s what Uncle Calvin says about them, and can he be trusted. He likes to believe the unbelievable and likes to listen to those who may make up more than they know.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club isn’t exactly a horror book, but it has ties to my favourite genre. It’s an interesting character study of two different people, as well as those whose lives intersect with theirs. On top of that, it’s charming, has heart and contains a certain magic. It made me feel, and I appreciated that.
All of the above takes place in Niagara Falls, Ontario, here in Canada. Having been there I found the setting intriguing and perfect. However, being that it’s set in the past, one should know that most of the action takes place in the 80s. This is something else I really appreciated about the book, as I missed that great seeming decade and wish I could have lived through it.
I can’t say much more about the plot out of fear of spoiling it. It’s always important to walk the line when it comes to book reviews, and I want people to feel interested in checking out such a good read. One that is well written, interesting, emotional amd enjoyable.
This review is based on a copy of the book that we were provided with.