Monday, October 13, 2014

Ghost Horse by Thomas McNeely

Author: Thomas McNeely
Publisher: Gival Press
Date of publication: September 2014

Set amidst the social tensions of 1970’s Houston,Ghost Horse tells the story of eleven-year-old Buddy Turner’s shifting alliances within his fragmented family and with two other boys—one Anglo, one Latino—in their quest to make a Super-8 animated movie. As his father’s many secrets begin to unravel, Buddy discovers the real movie: the intersection between life as he sees it and the truth of his own past. In a vivid story of love, friendship, and betrayal, Ghost Horse explores a boy’s swiftly changing awareness of himself and the world through the lens of imagination.

Ghost Horse is going to be a hard book for me to review.  The story of  his parents relationship is told through the eyes of an 11 YO boy.  I wanted to like this book because it seemed like one I would enjoy.  But, after I finishing it, I can't say that I really liked the book. I'm not saying it's badly written.  I know that there will be a lot of people who will enjoy this style of  writing.  It just didn't work for me.

Having everything told through Buddy's point of view didn't work for me.  I felt like I was muddling my way through most of the book.  At times, I really had no idea what was going on.  The ending left me confused and felt unfinished.  I'm still not too clear on what Buddy's father or mother did that was so wrong. Maybe having some of the grown-up's point of view would have helped round out the story better.  I'm not sure what the significance of setting the book in 1975 as I'm not really familiar with what was going on in the country at the time.  I was only 4 in 1975, so I don't remember much.  I do think that some of the racial and religious tensions that we see in the story are still relevant to the present.

This is one of those book that I would recommend reading and seeing for yourself if you like it.  It just wasn't my style.

About Thomas McNeely

A native of Houston, Texas, Thomas H. McNeely has received fellowships from the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University, the Dobie Paisano Program at the University of Texas at Austin, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well from the MacDowell Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic,PloughsharesThe Virginia Quarterly Review, and Epoch, and has been anthologized in Algonquin Books’ Best of the South and What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. His non-fiction has appeared in Ninth Letter and The RumpusGhost Horse, winner of the 2013 Gival Press Novel Award, is his first book. He teaches in the Emerson College Honors Program and the Stanford Online Writing Studio, and lives with his wife and daughter in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Find out more about Thomas at his website.

Thomas’ Tour Stops
Monday, October 13th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, October 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, October 15th: Bookie Wookie
Thursday, October 16th: Fuelled by Fiction
Monday, October 20th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, October 21st: Book Loving Hippo
Wednesday, October 22nd: Walking With Nora
Thursday, October 23rd: Readers’ Oasis
Monday, October 27th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, October 30th: Priscilla and Her Books

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.