On reading: The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

The Last Days of Jack Sparks

Title: The Last Days of Jack Sparks

Author: Jason Arnopp

From the back: It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.

Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now.

The gist: I’m just gonna come right out and say that this book is one of the few books to make me laugh out loud and at the same time be too goddamn scared to put the light out. Thanks, Mr Arnopp, for the sleepless nights.

The docu-style massively suits the novel, and Jack is one cool, unlikeable but entertaining narrator. As is his brother. And all of this you read as if it’s really happened. OH-MY-GOD-TELL-ME-IT-HASN’T-HAPPENED. Has it happened? It hasn’t happened, right?

This is the sort of book that pushes you into the queue for the fastest, scariest ride, and straps you in without checking if you’re the right height.

But, for some reason, even as you feel the cart swaying and hear a dodgy clanking sound rattling through the tracks, you ain’t gonna be yelling to get off because you just want to get to that next corner, see what’s over that next dip.

And it is one, crazy ride.

Bonus advice; feel free to watch the Exorcist, or perhaps the Blair Witch Project at the same time. But do not, under any circumstances, go into the basement. Or the attic. Or camping.

Favourite line: “Let me tell you: Theroux would shit himself.”

Read if: You want a docu-style account of an egotistical sceptic’s attempts to discover the ghost world. With scares and laughs.

Read with: The lights on.

Get it: The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

Grind Spark – out now

Longlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2014, Grind spark is a near-future dystopian novel about growing up in the years leading up to the end of the world. It’s about pretending to be the perfect family. It’s about whether you want to survive. Treat your eye portals. Pick up your copy here.

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