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Publisher's Summary

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King's The Shining, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.

The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when 14-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to halt Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. Fifteen years later a best-selling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls the terrifying events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories begin to surface, and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed.

©2015 Paul Tremblay (P)2016 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

" A Head Full of Ghosts scared the living hell out of me, and I'm pretty hard to scare." (Stephen King, best-selling author)
"Terrific.... Generates a haze of an altogether more serious kind: the pleasurable fog of calculated, perfectly balanced ambiguity." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Kaggy
  • 03-30-18

Truly mad and deeply disturbing

This is a brilliant and genuinely disturbing piece of horror fiction skilfully intertwining themes of superstition, religion, mental illness, modern day rationality and the vulnerability of children in an economically beleaguered family.

In the story’s construction the writer is unashamedly influenced by Shirley Jackson and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, with the young heroine, Merry, sharing a similar name to the earlier heroine (Merricat). Like that book this one has a strange out of kilter atmosphere created out the mind of a very wise child. This follows Merry who is 8 years old and in the thrall of her older sister who at 14 years of age is displaying disturbing signs of mental illness. The early scenes where Merry is being cruelly baited by the sister are truly chilling but her trust in her big sister is relentless despite her growing bewilderment and fear. This is a story of a family torn apart by madness and economic misfortune but there is always the question of what is really going on and whose is the head that is full of ghosts.

For those familiar with the Exorcist, the ghastliness of the scenes depicting the apparent possession will hold no surprises but this goes far beyond a straightforward story of good versus evil. There are some bizarre events, including the portrayal of the family’s plight on reality television, but really this is no more crazy than the world we are currently experiencing. Joy Osmanski provides a seamless performance giving a credible voice to Merry as a child and a grown woman. Like Merry you will want to make sense of this story but no matter how thoroughly you analyse this, you will always be left with a head full of unfathomable mystery.

Top marks to this author. He is clearly a man who has tremendous talent and something fresh, new and intelligent to add to this genre.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jus Shemare
  • 12-17-16

Haunting

Possible one of the best audio books I've listened to this year. The best stories don't just end, this one I will be thinking about for a while.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms T
  • 02-28-18

A good, old-fashioned spooky story...

...with the end of every chapter leaving you wondering what to believe and what will happen next. Stephen King states this book ‘scared the living hell’ out of him. I wouldn’t go that far (or perhaps I’ve read too many Stephen King novels and have become desensitised!) but it’s a solid story with an unexpected ending.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • EllenD
  • 05-19-17

Chilling!!

I'm not sure what I expected at all but this book was so good! A story of hauntings and exorcism or mental illness....you decide.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen Amos
  • 08-10-18

Great story<br />

This is an excellent and very moving story. It's not scary so if you are looking for that you may be disappointed. It moves briskly and the ending really got to me.

The only downside for me was the narration. The reader has a great voice however she struggles with male characters. I would have preferred that she not try to put on voices and instead just read the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura Drohan
  • 07-20-18

fantastic

I went into this not hoping for much and the only thing I can say is that I wish I'd bought it sooner. brilliant story and brilliant narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bec
  • 03-14-17

Started in the middle. !

I bought this book as liked the write up. Really enjoyed the story , great characterisation and an original take on the serial killer premise. Realised that this was a series so have now started from the beginning and am hooked on Jack Caffery and his trials and tribulations. If you enjoy a good serial killer mystery, this series is for you. Enjoy!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo
  • 08-16-18

Disappointed

Nearly gave up on this quite quickly as found the narrator too fast and irritating, however I kept going due to the excellent reviews.
I think they listened to a different book!
It wasn’t scary and I just didn’t get it!! Supernatural or mental illness...who knows!
Don’t bother!

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  • Dean McNulty
  • 08-13-18

Easy to listen to and a twisty descriptive tale

The narrator was easy to listen to and the story was quite interesting. Worth a download. Bad side, story could have been shorter.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-21-18

One of the most brilliant horror novels in years

narrator was really not exceptional. because she tried to change her voice too much it made serious scenes seem less serious, especially when she is interpreting a male. the book however was brilliant!

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  • Diana Szymiczek
  • 03-07-18

Excellent

What a fantastic story! It was creepy, funny, and emotional. I can’t wait to see the movie adaptation.

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  • JD
  • 02-13-18

Meh

I am struggling to find anything that has come close to Andrew Pypers earlier books. I have no idea what this one was trying to achieve, but by the midway point I was just listening to finish it. It was intriguing, but not the least but scary.

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  • sharee
  • 01-15-17

great story

loved the story but the ending left me wondering and just didn't give me quite enough...