Book Review | The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson


Title: The Saturday Night Ghost Club

Author: Craig Davidson

Publisher: Penguin Random House 

Release Date: 9th July 2019

Source: Own Copy
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 light-hearted 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 is a note-perfect novel that poignantly examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become, and establishes Craig Davidson as a remarkable literary talent.

This book wasn’t what I expected.  I think I expected something more like stranger things with more monsters and scary shit falling about the place.  It is not that kind of book, however there are monsters just more of a teenage hormone kind.

Told from the dual POV of 12 year old Jake, a shy loner and his older self, a successful neurosurgeon.  Jake lives in Niagara Falls with his parents, he is bullied at school and he finds solace in the company of his eccentric occult shop owning uncle Calvin.  Calvin’s shop is next door to a Betamax rental shop, if you are 35 and younger this may mean nothing to you - google it!

His uncle is full of great stories, he loves all things strange and unusual.  He suggests that during the summer they start a ghost club to meet every Saturday to look at the stranger things around town, Jake jumps at the chance and he joins his uncle.  He also brings along his two new friends, fellow outcasts and siblings 14 year old Dove and 12year old Billy, the group set out to test all the scary things around town from tunnel inhabiting ghosts to creepy burnt out houses.

This book isn’t a ghost story in the usual sense, it is a story about the ghosts of our past and just writing that sentence makes me feel a bit cheesy for using such a line but there is no better way to describe it.  It’s haunting in the way it all comes together, it lines you up for one thing and then bam what you thought was happening doesn't.

I’d say this book is like The Goonies mashed up with Stand By Me.  I mean that as a compliment, so if you are looking for a terrifying tale of scary monsters and evil ghosts terrorising a town, this is not it, but if you are looking for a fantastic coming of age tale this could be it.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

18 comments

  1. I really enjoyed this too. It worked so well as a piece of childhood nostalgia and I'm very curious to read more by this author.

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    1. Yeah so am I, I’m looking forward to see what he comes up with next.

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  2. I like the idea of a The Goonies mash up with Stand By Me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this

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  3. Hi there Heather! Aaaaaah - we should have done a buddy-read on this one. I bought it at a BookBub daily deal a couple of weeks back, but haven't read it yet. I first need to get my Alphabet challenge out of the way...!

    Glad you liked this one, I am eager to read it!

    PS: I am searching for a new template for my blog. I LOVE my fluffy white kitten, but it's a drag.... (Crying face) and not interactive at all. I love your blog's look and I actually know what template you are using. If I use an altered theme, would you mind? You can really, honestly say if it will bother you!

    Hope you are well otherwise. Have you done the Tudor Queens Book Tag? Think it might be something you would enjoy. It's on my blog now.

    Elza Reads

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! Glad we got a natter on FB the other day!

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  4. Thanks for your review. I like that you read things I have not heard of anywhere else.

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  5. I own this one, and I'm hoping to pick it up this fall! Great review. <3

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  6. I'm a little sad this isn't a true ghost story. But coming of age stories are good, too. :)

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  7. I enjoyed both The Goonies and Stand By Me so this might appeal to me. I am sad it's not a spooky kind of ghost story, though.

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    1. I think I was expecting more horror aspects, but still it was a good read.

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  8. This sounds really fascinating! I actually love the sound of these kinds of ghost stories. There's usually so much to learn from them! You definitely caught my attention with "The Goonies mashed up with Stand By Me" bit though. That sounds like a winner! Great review! :D

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    1. Thank you! It was a great read even though I wrongly presumed it was scarier than it actually was!

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  9. Ah two films that I still love to watch! This is another really interesting cover too.

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  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am happy I bought it! 👍✨

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