Perfect Circle

Perfect Circle

4.0 5
by Sean Stewart
     
 

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William “Dead” Kennedy is in trouble. He’s thirty-two, in love with his ex-wife, has lost his job, and he’s been dreaming about ghost roads again. Sometimes a guy is haunted for a really good reason.

— Nebula and World Fantasy Award finalist
— A Book Sense Notable Book
— Best of the Year: Booklist, Locus, San

Overview

William “Dead” Kennedy is in trouble. He’s thirty-two, in love with his ex-wife, has lost his job, and he’s been dreaming about ghost roads again. Sometimes a guy is haunted for a really good reason.

— Nebula and World Fantasy Award finalist
— A Book Sense Notable Book
— Best of the Year: Booklist, Locus, San Francisco Chronicle
— A Locus bestseller

"Stewart's quicksilver wit makes Perfect Circle perfectly hilarious. And, a supremely skilled storyteller, he saves the best for last."
Texas Monthly

"Stewart's mastery of Will's first-person narration is unflinching and unfaltering. The voice conjured here is absolutely authentic and affecting."
Washington Post

"Stewart's compelling account of how DK comes to grips with his ghosts, both actual and metaphorical, is alternately poignant and hilarious, with some genuinely creepy moments and one or two powerful jolts.... Compelling ... with strong potential for crossing over into the mainstream."
Publishers Weekly

"All-around terrific."—Booklist (starred review)

"By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Perfect Circle is ... an impressive example of an author using genre resources to stake out a territory that, for the moment at least, no one but he occupies.
Locus

"A read-at-one-go novel.... Everything is both stated and understated, elegant, full of the mundane horror and fear that inform a normal, frustrated life.... And it is well, well worth the reading. A highly recommended work."
F&SF

Sean Stewart's much-anticipated eighth novel is a dark, funny, fast-moving thriller that you won't want to put down. William "Dead" Kennedy has problems. He's haunted by family, by dead people with unfinished business, and by those perfect pop songs that you can't get out of your head. He's a 32-year-old Texan still in love with his ex-wife. He just lost his job at Pet-Co for eating cat food. His air-conditioning is broken, there's no good music on the radio, and he's been dreaming about ghost roads.

When Will's cousin ("My dad married your Aunt Dot's half-sister") calls in the middle of the night about a dead girl haunting his garage, it seems like an easy way to make a thousand dollars. But nothing is ever that simple, especially when family is involved. Will's mother is planning a family reunion of epic proportions. Will's ex-wife is married to a former Marine. His twelve-year-old daughter Megan thinks Will needs someone to look after him. And recently his dead relatives seem to want something from him.

+++ punk attitude: country & western life +++

"Perfect Circle is a perfect read, exciting, unique, everything here but the Second Coming, but, Sean Stewart himself is the prize. What a talent. Write on, my man. Write on."
—Joe Lansdale

"Needy Ghosts, bar fights, concealed weapons, R.E.M., and ramen noodles—Perfect Circle is an irreverent Texas treat. Sean Stewart is one bright, funny writer."
—Stewart O'Nan

"Will Kennedy has some troublesome relatives. Especially the dead ones. Perfect Circle is Sean Stewart at his spooky, funny, sad, and haunting best."
—Karen Joy Fowler

"A ghost story for grown-ups, frightening, funny, and finally redemptive. It kept me up way past my bedtime."
—Harley Jane Kozak

"I read it all in one gulp, by turns fearful and joyful for Stewart's likable loser protagonist."
—Cory Doctorow

"If Oprah read science fiction...This quirky, engaging novel tells the story of William "Dead" Kennedy, a thirtysomething former punk rocker and down-on-his-luck divorced dad—who sees ghosts. After a visit to his haunted cousin goes horribly wrong, "DK" finds himself getting lots of attention—mostly the wrong kind—from both the living and the dead. Funny and thought-provoking!"
—Carol Schneck, Schuler Books and Music, Okemos, MI

"My favorites among Sean Stewart's books are those that hover on the edge of our reality. His characters, like William "Dead" Kennedy are much like my friends and relatives -- although if any of my relatives are seeing ghosts, they haven't mentioned this to me. Will leads a not-quite life in Texas, working in dead end jobs, and yearning to reconnect with his ex-wife, and trying to avoid ghosts. When a cousin calls with a ghost-busting request, his financial offer is more than Will can resist. But accepting the job opens Will up to a whole new level of darkness. Great prose (Stewart has some of the best metaphors going) and a melancholy mood, like music half-remembered."
—Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy Bookshop, San Diego, CA

Sean Stewart is the author of the "I Love Bees" and "Beast" search operas, two short stories and seven novels: Perfect Circle, The Night Watch, Nobody's Son, Clouds End, Passion Play, Resurrection Man, and Galveston. With Jordan Weisman, he is the author of Cathy's Book and Cathy's Key. His novels have received the Aurora, Arthur Ellis, Sunburst, Canadian Library, and World Fantasy awards. He lives in Davis, CA, with his wife and two daughters.

Editorial Reviews

Paul Di Filippo
Stewart's mastery of Will's first-person narration is unflinching and unfaltering. The voice conjured here is absolutely authentic and affecting, as is the portrait of Houston, Will's stomping grounds. Will's vast extended family of oddballs and losers and honest toilers imparts a John-Crowleyesque heft to the book. And his treatment of the ghosts -- "Ghosts don't do things to you. Ghosts make you do unspeakable things to yourself" -- is truly eerie. Readers familiar with the quotidian spookiness of master English horror writer M.R. James will find similar frissons here, but married to the gritty demimonde in the novels of American noir writer James Crumley, resulting in a fusion of black humor and pathos, blood and ectoplasm.
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Ghosts are like homeless people, we are told by DK "Dead" Kennedy, the hero of World Fantasy Award winner Stewart's latest blend of magical realism and Texas regionalism: most of us look away, but he can't. This ability to see the other side complicates life tremendously (he can't drive because at night ghosts look just like the living, and he's wrecked cars avoiding them), especially when a distant cousin hires him to exorcise the ghost of a girl the cousin murdered. Part of the novel deals with DK's offbeat career as an alternative exorcist, but what Stewart seems really to focus on is how these abilities now threaten his relationships with family, both immediate and extended. DK still loves his ex-wife and is active in the life of his daughter, but comes to realize that he's like a ghost in their lives: "Not all ghosts are dead, but all are hungry." Stewart's compelling account of how DK comes to grips with his ghosts, both actual and metaphorical, is alternately poignant and hilarious, with some genuinely creepy moments and one or two powerful jolts. This compelling story is a genre title with strong potential for crossing over into the mainstream. Agent, Martha Millard. (June 15) Forecast: A blurb from Neal Stephenson will help alert his fans. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931520119
Publisher:
Small Beer Press
Publication date:
06/01/2004
Pages:
243
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Sean Stewart is the author of the innovative I Love Bees and Beast search operas, two short stories, and the novels Perfect Circle, Mockingbird, Galveston, Clouds End, Nobody's Son, Passion Play, and Resurrection Man.

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is apparently a coming-of-age story. Only the guy doing the coming is in his thirties. And he see ghosts, many of them relatives. And he lives in Houston, which comes off as an arm pit with appalling weather. And if this review seems a bit disjointed, well, so did the book. Skip this one and read Galveston, instead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and i read alot..i thought that this book was such and good book and very differnt and unique.It was alot about ghost and troubles that people have even after they die and the grudges that come with it.I thought this book was well written and i definatly reccomend it to anyone looking for an easy read that will keep you wanting more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sean Stewart has hit upon a good combination here. While it is a ghost story, its not a stereotypical ghost in the attic story. This is about personal ghosts, and how both the dead and the living can't let go of their troubles in life. Excellent charactorizations, realistic dialog, and a unique plot all add up to a solid novel. If you are looking some fiction that is a little out of the ordinary, and not stuffed with sugary sweetness, this is the book for you.