The Short Version: Ghosts aren’t as scary and horrible as the media makes them out to be – and as proof, Doogie Horner has collected a little gallery of a hundred “harmless haunts”. As his introduction says, they’re definitely way better than, say, a pregnant possum in your kitchen.
The Review: While Quirk Books has been upping their game on the literary side of publishing, they’re also still staying true to their early work by continuing to produce cute, fun, and (sorry…) quirky little novelty books. 100 Ghosts is, perhaps, a perfect example: it’s short, readable in literally minutes, but also the sort of things you want to put out on a coffee table or desk or something. The idea is that you could pick it up when and wherever and have a laugh or crack a smile – a 30-second break in your otherwise stressful life.
And for fans of the autumn/the scary – like yours truly – there couldn’t really be a better 30-second-break sort of book. Horner writes a funny and slightly strange introduction, relating the possum incident and explaining why ghosts really aren’t that bad – and then the collection takes over, presenting a ghost and a name for it. There are exactly the ones you’d expect – the tall ghost is a long sheet, there’s a fitted sheet ghost, a ghost on a clothesline, etc – and then also some quirkier ones, like a steampunk ghost and a ghost full of bees. Some are more inventive than others, but even the simplest still seems delightful. There are even a few that made me laugh out loud.
Rating: 4 out of 5. Look, it’s a short book – a novelty – more than anything really impactful. Yet the season doth approach when all things ghosts (etc) are going to be in vogue, so why not give this as a gift to the ghost-lover in your life? Or pick up a copy and put it on the table at your Halloween party. Actually, I think I might do just that. Or I’ll find a good-sized JPEG of the “fake ghost” and hang that up in my apartment – that one makes me laugh just thinking about it.