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Publisher's Summary

Just after a man falls in the snow and hits his head on a stone curb, a ghost arrives to take his soul to the afterlife. But something strange occurs: the man doesn't die. Flabbergasted, the ghost appeals to his boss for further direction and is instructed to stay with the man until the strange "problem" is worked out.

Things get complicated when the ghost falls madly, deeply in love with the man's girlfriend. Soon afterward, the man discovers he did not die when he was supposed to because, for the first time, human beings have decided to take back their fates from the gods. It's a wonderful change, but one that comes at a price.

This truly magical book is about love, talking dogs, ghosts who happen to be gourmet cooks, picnicking in the rain with yourself at 20 different ages, and what happens to us when we become the masters of our own fate.

©2008 Jonathan Carroll; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio

Critic Reviews

"I envy anyone who has yet to enjoy the sexy, eerie, and addictive novels of Jonathan Carroll. They are delicious treats - with devilish tricks inside them." (Washington Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Brien
  • Ballston Spa, NY, United States
  • 12-16-08

Interesting writing style, complex story

I enjoyed the author's writing style, but the plot relies upon many quickly presented details that I sometimes missed. The story demands rather intense concentration. Unfortunately, my player doesn't let you back up a few seconds for a brief replay. My main objection is that the male narrator's attempt at female voices was distracting right up to the end. I just couldn't get used to it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A little earnest, but entertaining

This was my first time with a Jonathan Carroll book, and I have to say I enjoyed it. I'm curious about the Chinese idea of ghosts, as embodied by the character Ling. It was interesting to see the story develop through the characters' eyes.

I felt like the author was being a little too earnest in talking about life in relation to his characters, though. I don't always look for life lessons in my fiction.

The narrator was fine.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

intriguing plot, great read

What a rare treat to read a story that does not follow a formulaic plot. This book was intriguing, with twists and turns on every page. I found it fascinating. It was both a love story and an interesting and plausible consideration of our inner selves. The narration was excellent and the story meaningful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Lincoln Park, MI, USA
  • 01-21-09

Rather Convoluted

This book occasionally forgets where it's at. The author seems to have mixed up some scenes in the book. For instance, he goes through one scene and follows it with what took place right before that. I can't imagine this was done for effect as the only effect is confusion.

Also, the title and this line from the summary, "Things get complicated when the ghost falls madly, deeply in love with the man's girlfriend," have so little to do with the story that it would probably be better off left out entirely.

The first half of the book was pretty good and fairly gripping but it just seems to fall apart in the second half. I'm not sure if I'll read another of the author's books.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A drunkard's philosophy text

Wow... my opinion is definitely in the minority - it would seem that many people actually liked this book! I found it to be... a very poor knock-off of Palahniuk's writing style (i.e. Lullaby). (If you have read Lullaby then you will have an idea of exactly how this story is written) It is, sorta, a fictional look at the nature of identity. The first half of the story is much much better than the second half - probably because you're still hoping that the pieces will come together and you'll have a sensible story.

It does not, and you will not. The second half of the book is a steady slope downhill to some sort of insane understanding of personality/identity, and the end of the book is just stupid... (a philosophy text written by someone who's had too much to drink?)

The description and title are misleading... if you stretch your imagination, it's about a man falling in love (or at least coming to terms with) with the various aspects of himself, but the ghost falling in love is a very minor and almost unnecessary add-on to the story.

I did finish it, but only because I kept hoping it would make sense at the end... if it were a paperback, I'd have skipped to the end from the half-way point to see that it doesn't get any better, and then moved on to my next book.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The title of this book does not really describe...

The title of this book does not really describe the has a little bit of a plot line about a ghost in love but otherwise it is a book about humans taking charge of their lives and not dying when their time has come.

It was actually a very funny book with a bunch of fleeting bizarre characters that were each very quirky and entertaining. Ben and German are very likable characters, and Pilot the dog is wonderful...

It is a pretty complex story so you really should pay attention but you will be rewarded with snarky comments and remarks that will tend to make you chuckle......the story will also get you caught up in thinking about what exactly was the most prolific and important moment in your life....the one you favor the most....then deciding if you would actually want to stay in that moment forever.

If you are looking for a story about a ghost that is in love or a paranormal romance....this really isn't that type of book. If you are looking for some very funny moments with some crazy people and animals.....then this is the book for you. I ended up enjoying this book much more than I thought I would and the narrator did a great job of switching between quite a few characters.

  • Overall
  • Michelle
  • Reesport, OR, United States
  • 02-17-11

First Audible J. Carroll Book (hope for many more)

I am happy that Audible has presented an audio version of a Jonathan Carroll book. I have been lobbying for a while and was eager to listen. The reviews to this point are accurate reflections of the fact that it is not a straight forward story, but deals with questions about reality and our existence. The book previous to this "White Apples" also had elements of the slipperiness of existence/consciousness/reality. The ability to shift the 'frame' or change the view of reality is what I have enjoyed in his work. It is also what makes you think about the books months or years later. I hope earlier works will be recorded. I vote for "Bones of the Moon" and "Land of Laughs" to start because I think those may appeal to the voracious listeners who like variety and want something a little different. The reference in one review to Monty Python resonates in this respect.
I thought the narrator did a good job with most of the voices.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Ghost in Love Review

This is a must read. Jonathan Carroll weaves a great story. I wish there were more available on

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sandra
  • St. Louis, MO, United States
  • 05-07-10

Odd but good!

I really liked this story. I agree with the other reviews that it was all over the place. I'm still not sure I understood what was going on throughout the book, but I couldn't stop listening. As long as you're ok with not understanding every single thing that happens, and if you have a good enough imagination to fill in the blanks for yourself when it gets confusing, it's a fun listen! Unfortunately, Jonathan Carroll doesn't have any other books on Audible, but I purchased a couple of his books after listening to this one, and I have not been disappointed.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carl
  • Greenville, NC, USA
  • 04-02-09

Very Good read well woth the time.

I thought the book was well presented and well read. As a physicist I like the authors treatment of time.Interesting story, but one that I can well imagine that many would not like. I think you need to suspend judgment to enjoy the book.It is nothing like a Monty Python movie but I suspect if you don't like those movies you will not like this book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful