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Broken Ghost Reviews

Broken Ghost by Niall Griffiths

Broken Ghost

Niall Griffiths

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 15 Aug 2019
ISBN: 9780224097932

The people who live here in these mountains already have their own demons - drink, drugs, domestic violence, psychoses - but each character has a different experience of this strange apparition, a different reaction, and for some it will change everything.

3 stars out of 5
Phil Baker
18 Aug 2019

"an unusual mix of political and mystical, lifted by the possibility"

Narrated by each character in turn, it is relentlessly demotic as Griffiths submerges the reader in a prosaic world of benefit investigations, bare-knuckle boxing, and watching Jeremy Kyle with Diamond White cider. Yet rising above it is a vision that may or may not have been real, and suddenly the scene on a Welsh hill is half rave and half Lourdes. Griffiths’s novel is an unusual mix of political and mystical, lifted by the possibility — albeit short-lived and violently anticlimactic, in this case — of social transformation.

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
14 Aug 2019

"This important novel comes from a tradition: from the green fuse of Dylan Thomas and Caradoc Evans, the unstable religiosity of RS Thomas"

This important novel comes from a tradition: from the green fuse of Dylan Thomas and Caradoc Evans, the unstable religiosity of RS Thomas. The result, though, is something new, a profane, passionate response to nature and to the countryside, which is rarely encountered in contemporary British fiction any more. In its singular and unfashionable way, Broken Ghost is also a religious novel. A nonconformist sermon, it begs us all to let some sort of transforming spectre – holy or not – enter our lesser selves, or we will not be saved.