A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.
Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.
Description taken from Goodreads.
Unfortunately, not everyone will truly appreciate this book. It’s intelligent and it’s crazy and it’s simple all at once. It’s about spirals and spirals and spirals and I had to read it twice to even try to begin to read it, much less understand it.
THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN is written across four stories, each one different but alike in similar values and ways. The last one was the most confusing for me. Somewhere, sometime, someone will probably write a review explaining the significance of every single story perfectly and accurately and truly display everything that is this book, but all I can really say is that all of these stories are WEIRD.
Since the blurb for this story isn’t really clear, and the cover doesn’t really display what this is all about, it’s mainly a story about ghosts and the paranormal.
I wouldn’t say that this book is beautiful in the traditional sense. It’s beautiful in it’s complexity. The first story is beautiful in the simpleness of it all, and it’s my favorite out of the four. I have to say I didn’t appreciate this book as much as I could have or as much as someone smarter than me might, simply because I didn’t understand a lot of it. The writing was strange, but in an interesting way most of the time.
Honestly, there weren’t very many things wrong with this book. The only issue was that this book takes so much to get used to. What’s amazing is that you can read all four stories in any order you want, meaning that you can read them in 2-3-4-5 order or 1-3-2-4 order or 4-1-2-3 order and it will still make sense (though I wouldn’t end with story 2 because I hated that one).
Overall, I would only recommend this book to fans of Marcus Sedgwick, poetry, figurative language or stories that don’t make sense the first time. I don’t think that teens will love it, especially since it’s insanely difficult to understand. I don’t mean that in an offensive way, I’m only saying that this story is deep in ways that are not necessarily interesting or popular a lot of the time, so I personally would not recommend it. It’s more like ravings and rants and random creativity combined with shots of brilliance and darkness and confusion than an actual plotted story. For people who enjoy this type of prose and poetry almost that isn’t John Green, I would recommend E. Lockhart’s books (like We Were Liars).
THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN is insanely deep and weird, and some people will love it and a lot of people will hate it, but I really liked it. Hopefully, the more time goes on, I’ll learn to like it more as I read it again. 4 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 336