Welcome to my tour stop for American Ghoul by Walt Morton! This is a mature young adult paranormal dark fantasy novel. The tour runs October 19-30th with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
Seventeen-year-old Howard Pickman has some unusual problems: He comes from a family of ghouls with a long history of digging up corpses, and he’s just moved to a new school filled with kids that are scarier than he is. American Ghoul is the story of an exceptionally odd teenager trying to survive the most terrible time anybody has to go through — senior year at high school.
“A gloriously macabre young-adult tale about the difficulties of being a teenage ghoul in the 1970s. Once readers dig up this clever supernatural story, they likely won’t want to put it down.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Anyone wanting a refreshing story with a young voice full of humor and teenage angst, yet with all the Gothic trappings that have kept the genre popular for over two centuries, give American Ghoul a try! – SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
“I admire Morton’s story-telling ability, his macabre descriptions and his dark treatment of the high school experience from a teenager with a terrible secret. There were moments that chilled me to the bone, but kept me turning the pages to follow Howard’s journey from outsider to anti-hero.” – JACKSONVILLE NAVIGATOR
I’m usually not the type of person to feel lost for words; in fact, I’m more accurately the type of person that has too many things to say about most topics. However, when it comes to the case of American Ghoul, I fear that my words may not be enough to express the true nature for how I felt reading this book.
To say that I enjoyed American Ghoul is a complete understatement. I consumed this book like my very livelihood depended on it. I’m actually having such a hard time even forming this review. That is how much I loved it.
American Ghoul tickled my creepy bone. It’s one of those books that not only delivers the perfect amount of dark, paranormal, macabre, without being cheesy and underwhelming, but also tackles the reality of being a misfit teenager.
Howard Pickman is my hero. He’s both tragic and clever (and if we’re being perfectly honest, I would have been totally into him in high school). The best part of Morton’s portrayal of Howard is that there was never a time, while I was reading, where I felt the need to roll my eyes or scoff at Howard’s reactions and inner soliloquies. Which, if you’ve read my previous reviews, I’m a scoffing eye roller when it comes to most Young Adult protagonists. He’s a character that despite his glaring obvious flaws you have to root for. Even better, you want to root for him.
Despite the paranormal and ghoulish (for lack of a better word) plot of the book, it was a laugh riot. Between Howard’s interactions with his run against the grain best friend Sebastian, to his wildly strange corpse-loving granny, I was in stitches. In truth Morton is able to intertwine a variety of elements so seamlessly that in the end I forgot to be squeamish during some pretty gruesome scenes and instead was gripping my kindle tighter needing to get to the next page.
By far my favorite moments of American Ghoul revolved around Morton’s expert punk rock band name drops. Howard’s descent into the gritty, angsty world of punk rock was so amazing. As a lover of late 70s and early 80s punk rock myself, it really brought Howard’s (as well as his friend’s) story home for me.
Walt Morton is a writer, photographer, and artist. AMERICAN GHOUL, his debut novel, has been called “The Tom Sawyer of horror fiction.”
With this book he is continuing a decade-long exploration into weird tales via photography, film, painting and writing. Walt has lectured at the British Film Institute and studied intensively in five martial arts.
A complete biography of his exploits and interests would be so shocking, improbable and incredible that modesty demands “the less said the better.” He would like to thank Jane Austen, who coined that “less said the better” idea. AMERICAN GHOUL is his first of several books that reinvent the supernatural horror genre. Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, he now lives in California.
His upcoming novels in 2015 and 2016 will include works in horror, science-fiction, and detective genres.