Giving Up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum
A Story About Friendship, 80s Rock, a Lost Scrap of Paper, and What It Means to Be Haunted

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The mistake of the dead-girl narrative is that you should have known her better while she was living; you should have loved her then, and this constitutes your shame, not hers.
-NY Times

Synopsis

At once hilarious and incredibly moving, Giving Up the Ghost is a memoir of lost love and second chances, and a ghost story like no other.
 
Eric Nuzum is afraid of the supernatural, and for good reason: As a high school oddball in Canton, Ohio, during the early 1980s, he became convinced that he was being haunted by the ghost of a little girl in a blue dress who lived in his parents’ attic. It began as a weird premonition during his dreams, something that his quickly diminishing circle of friends chalked up as a way to get attention. It ended with Eric in a mental ward, having apparently destroyed his life before it truly began. The only thing that kept him from the brink: his friendship with a girl named Laura, a classmate who was equal parts devoted friend and enigmatic crush. With the kind of strange connection you can only forge when you’re young, Laura walked Eric back to “normal”—only to become a ghost herself in a tragic twist of fate.
 
Years later, a fully functioning member of society with a great job and family, Eric still can’t stand to have any shut doors in his house for fear of what’s on the other side. In order to finally confront his phobia, he enlists some friends on a journey to America’s most haunted places. But deep down he knows it’s only when he digs up the ghosts of his past, especially Laura, that he’ll find the peace he’s looking for.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Eric Nuzum

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Eric Nuzum works at NPR in Washington, DC. He is also the author of The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula and Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America. He has appeared on CNN, VH1, and elsewhere.
 
Published August 7, 2012 by The Dial Press. 321 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Giving Up the Ghost
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Rick Moody on Nov 09 2012

The mistake of the dead-girl narrative is that you should have known her better while she was living; you should have loved her then, and this constitutes your shame, not hers.

Read Full Review of Giving Up the Ghost: A Story ... | See more reviews from NY Times

The Maine Edge

Good
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Aug 08 2012

“Giving Up the Ghost” could easily have become...one more child of the ‘80s sadfacing his way through his record collection and old girlfriends and recounting his dalliances with airplane glue and wine coolers. Nuzum gives us something much more.

Read Full Review of Giving Up the Ghost: A Story ...

Reader Rating for Giving Up the Ghost
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 102 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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