THE LAST DAYS OF JACK SPARKS: A thinking man’s horror novel

Posted: October 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

The role of horror fiction in our world has been widely debated. Fans(myself included) and writers of the genre defend it as a necessary cautionary look at the darker side of human nature, while detractors see nothing in it but “penny dreadfuls.”

Recently, I’ve had the honour of reading one of the smartest horror novels ever written, in my view. Penned by celebrated tie-in author for such franchises as Doctor Who and Friday the 13th, THE LAST DAYS OF JACK SPARKS is his first foray into original fiction. Now, if I could throw my two cents about it from the get-go, I’d say it bloody well shouldn’t be his last, because it’s a definite page-turner.

Meet Jack Sparks. Celebrity blogger, celebrated author and all-around typical cocky famous asshole known for his biting sarcasm and staunch atheism, Jack has mysteriously kicked the bucket while researching his latest book, “Jack Sparks on the Supernatural”, in which he calls bullshit on exorcisms, haunted houses, and so forth. And it all starts when Jack laughs during a Roman Catholic exorcism on a 13-year-old girl.

Now, some of you might think that the topic of exorcisms has been done on so many different levels, that there’s hardly anything new to be said in regard to it. Let me assure you, you’ve not read anything like this before.  The character of Jack Sparks is so, so well done, and I love the whole meta-concept of the novel(it’s basically Jack Sparks on the Supernatural” with all sorts of added material by his brother Allistair.  There’s so much in this apparent exorcism-gone-south tale that’s relevant for our society, whether it is our obsession with the online environment and celebrity culture, or our eternal fascination towards the paranormal. Jack is a great character to read(I loved how his previous books, on drugs and gangs, as well as his wacky research methods, are referenced), and his arrogance will paradoxically endear him to readers.  This solid novel gets all the stars in the sky for the much-needed lesson it teaches about the toxicity of arrogance and self-worship. A huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Arnopp and Orbit books for providing me with a copy of the novel! Nevertheless, the views presented herein are my own.

 

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