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The Crack Magazine

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Anyone’s Ghost by August Thompson

The excellent debut novel from August Thompson begins with a death and an arresting sentence: “It took three car crashes to kill Jake.” Alongside Jake for the first two car crashes was Theron, and Theron is in Fort Worth in Texas for Jake’s funeral. We learn that Jake was only thirty-one when he died, and Theron is a year or so younger. After this very brief set-up, the narrative then flips back to when Theron and Jake first met. Theron is fifteen and his parents are divorced. He spends most of his time with his mother in California, but during the summer months he is with his dad in New Hampshire. They’re not on the best of terms and Theron plans to spend most of his time smoking weed and watching TV. But when his dad happens across his stash one day, he pulls a few strings to get Theron a job in a hardware store – in order to keep him out of trouble. It’s at the store that Theron meets Jake and the two soon bond over a shared love of Metallica. Theron then wonders if his feelings for Jake run beyond mere friendship. The middle section of the book jumps forward a few years. Theron is now living in New York City and Jake comes to visit. In modern parlance, things then get complicated. The final section deals with Jake’s death and its aftermath. This is a beautifully observed tale, which really stays with you, and it should be placed alongside modern love stories such as Gabrielle Zevin’s ‘Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow’. RM

Published by Picador

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