Review published on March 31, 2016.
Ghosts of the Desert is one of those novels that looks at the whole fish out of water scenario from a new perspective. It starts with Norman, using a research grant to study the ghost towns and economically desolate areas of Utah, but things are not what he would expect.
The people that he meets along the way, range from the strange, to murderous, where in ghost town, there seems to be little respect for the morals, laws and niceties that living amongst other people develops. It is when Norman meets up with Jacoby, a charismatic, but dangerous member of a gang of desert dwelling outcasts, he realises that his life has changed forever.
This is a very adult book in every sense of the word, with strong scenes of violence, sex and depravity throughout, but it shows also great examples of humanity, in how Norman is accepted into the gang, and how trust develops between a group of near complete strangers.
Like Lord of the Flies, this shows what happens to the psyche of individuals amongst gangs, and gives the audience plenty to think about.
Ghost of the Desert by Ryan Ireland
Oneworld 9781780748207 pbk May 2016
All Things Nice by Sheila Bugler
WHAT WE ARE THINKING: Petra Bryce asks ‘Do you recognise yourself here?’
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