Perfect Circle

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 7, 2004

Perfect Circle by Sean Stewart

Fifteen people turned up for the discussion of this darkly humorous ghost story, and one person called in comments during the meeting. Four had finished the book and three had read a portion, but definitely did plan to finish it later. Seven had read Sean Stewart before.

The story is about an aging punk, “Dead” Kennedy, who sees ghosts in black and white, is still in love with his ex-wife, loses dead-end jobs on purpose and is haunted by dead relatives–one of them a murderer. One reader loved the book enough to call it “my religious experience for the year,” while another thought it “a waste of ghosts,” because the dead people were more metaphorical; they didn’t do anything. A third reader found it hilarious enough to nearly require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (if you are prone to this–do not read alone).

Generally the group did like the book, finding it an interesting, fast read. Stewart’s writing was splendid as usual–he always uses the right word. His human-interest angle was grabbing, although the characters were too dysfunctional to be likeable. Readers who were familiar with southeastern Texas and Houston enjoyed Stewart’s references to those places (is Houston a farce?).

For readers who couldn’t get enough of the book, there is a companion comic book titled Family Reunion.

–Sandy Kayser