4 out of 5 Stars!
Whenever my husband and I visit a new place, we always try to find books written by local authors. Admittedly after our trip to the U.K., I was on a bit of a London kick. The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a flashy looking book by British author Jason Arnopp with a chilling description on the back cover. I just had to pick it up!
Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.
In 2014, Jack Sparks – the controversial pop culture journalist – died in mysterious circumstances.
To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.
It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy.
Then there was that video: thirty-six seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.
Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack’s final hours.
Honestly, don’t read this right before going to bed… I made that mistake a few times and this story left me jumping at shadows.
This haunting novel follows the last days of (fictional) writer, Jack Sparks, who also happens to be a complete narcissistic jerk, an egotistical liar, social media addict, and an unreliable narrator. After writing best selling books about gang violence and drugs (which left him addicted to said drugs), Jack has decided to clean up his act and move onto his next big project. Researching the paranormal.
Jack’s first stop is Italy to witness a real-life demonic possession. But since Jack is a self-proclaimed atheist and “scientist”, he decides that laughing right in the middle of the exorcism is an appropriate response, which initiates a whole chain of unfortunate events that lead to his eventual demise.
This book is chilling. Like I mentioned earlier, it actually left me feeling pretty jumpy and creeped out. The narrative writing style allows the reader to feel all of Jack’s fear and horror as each haunting event unfolds. Besides being a great addition to the horror genre, this book also has a great ironic humor. Jack thinks of himself as a hard ass, so he uses every opportunity to swear, discuss his excessive alcohol use and sexual exploits, and insult everyone within fifty miles. In other words, he loves making a spectacle of himself and his life.
There were only a few things I really disliked about this book. The first half of the novel was written in a very realistic narrative style. There were several expertly woven creepy elements, but everything was still within the realm of reality. The style completely changed in the second half of the story, throwing me for a loop. The plot became exceptionally outlandish, adding in strange elements like time travel and aerosol ghost repellent… It kind of dismantled the creepy realism that the first half had established, throwing the book wholeheartedly into the world of fiction.
I also wasn’t too fond of the way everything tied together so nicely in the end. Maybe it’s just my opinion, but horror novels should leave you with that sick sense that the story hasn’t really ended. The finale was extremely poetic, tying all the elements of the book together in an ironic little bow. Too neat for a gritty, bloody, and haunting read.
Altogether though, I did enjoy this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re looking for a great psychological horror story and don’t mind a lot of swearing and blood, definitely give this one a shot!