Monday 21 August 2017

The LastDays of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp - Book Review

Amanda Kennedy

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
Reviewed by Amanda Kennedy on August 21st, 2017
Published by Orbit

Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.

A rebel in the writing world, Jack Sparks is controversial, unrelenting, and an atheist. Despite his infamous drug habit, everyone was shocked when he died while writing and researching his latest novel, Jack Sparks on the Supernatural, though believers will be forgiven for feeling it was deserved after he laughed during an exorcism in Italy and mocked the event on social media...

Then there was that mysterious video on Youtube, those forty seconds of "found footage" he claimed to know nothing about. Many considered this to be the most convincing evidence of the supernatural yet, which is odd considering this was something Jack had hoped to debunk.

The novel tells the story of the final forty days of Jack Sparks, beginning with the exorcism and ultimately ending with his (untimely? fated?) death. What an exhilarating, dreadful and utterly entertaining read this is, seamlessly blending humour with the most gruesome horror and sense of impending doom. At times, I was genuinely scared.

Aside from NOS4A2, this is my most favourite horror story to date. It is, in parts, absolutely gruesome. Should a movie ever be made of this novel, I'm sure the violence will NEED to be toned down! I particularly enjoyed the growing sense of unease, at times wanting to grab Sparks by the shoulders and shake him just to make him see what's really happening to him, though there is a slight twist which makes the final outcome even more delicious to read.

Of course we know what's going to happen to Jack - the clue is in the title - but how we get there is a wonderful reading experience. I particularly enjoyed how characters and events from real-life play a part in the narrative (Google "The Philip Experiment" when you get to the appropriate part, for example, and pay attention to the names of movie directors). I love how all loose ends are tied up by the end...

Read this if you would like to be shocked and scared, yet still retain a sense of frivolity and humour.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Amanda Kennedy / Book Blogger, Writer & Editor

Amanda is a lifelong learner and book lover who lives in the North of England with her family and several cats. She writes book reviews, literary news and bookish articles here on All My Pretty Books.

To learn more about Amanda's own work, visit her personal website.


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