The Worthy: A Ghost's Story [NOOK Book]

Overview

Conrad had it pretty good in life -- a Porsche, pretty girls, and a trust fund full of oil money. But now, thanks to a brutal hazing incident at Louisiana State University's Gamma Chi fraternity, Conrad is dead -- a nineteen-year-old spirit suddenly without an earthly body.

Make no mistake, the newly deceased Conrad is one angry ghost, and the object of his wrath is chapter president Ryan Hutchins, a "big, bright, rising star" who, in ...
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The Worthy: A Ghost's Story

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Overview

Conrad had it pretty good in life -- a Porsche, pretty girls, and a trust fund full of oil money. But now, thanks to a brutal hazing incident at Louisiana State University's Gamma Chi fraternity, Conrad is dead -- a nineteen-year-old spirit suddenly without an earthly body.

Make no mistake, the newly deceased Conrad is one angry ghost, and the object of his wrath is chapter president Ryan Hutchins, a "big, bright, rising star" who, in Conrad's view, is really "the darkest black hole you'll ever meet -- and I'm not just saying that because he killed me." Conrad's ghostly ability to see all but be seen by no one (except Miss Etta, Gamma Chi's elderly cook, who is gifted with paranormal powers) confirms his suspicion that Ryan's dark hand has a wide reach, from beating his girlfriend, Maggie Meadows, to terrorizing Sarah Jane Bradford, a religious student who senses that Ryan must be stopped.

Out for revenge, Conrad possesses an unsuspecting pledge's body so he can finish what Ryan started, steering them toward a depraved confrontation with a surprising outcome that will leave readers gasping.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Clarke's novel, subtitled "A Ghost's Story," is a winning comedy of collegiate (bad) manners, set at Louisiana State University. The narrator, an affluent frat boy named Conrad Avery Sutton III, tells us right off that he's dead, murdered by fellow Gamma Chi Ryan Hutchins, a psychotic hiding behind a charming Big-Man-on-Campus veneer. Conrad makes it his afterlife's work to bring cocky Ryan down, with the help of the frat house's salty cook, "crazy" Miss Etta. She knows Conrad is still on Earth to protect hapless fraternity pledge Tucker Graham, who, like most of the world, sees Ryan as "a big, bright, rising star." It sounds a little like a sitcom, albeit an edgy one, but Clarke fashions a hilariously addictive yarn, with crackling prose and sharp observations that consistently entertain and surprise. He drives the plot over the top with portraits of hypocritical religious fanatics and unrestrained party animals, and into baby Grand Guignol territory with a swath of outlandish killings-but it all works as black farce of a high degree. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Sirs: As president of the Louisiana State University chapter of Gamma Chi and a prelaw major, I feel it necessary to speak on behalf of my fellow actives and those incapable of defending themselves. This tall tale that Clarke (Lord Vishnu's Love Handles) weaves with his overactive imagination deals with a 19-year-old LSU Gamma Chi murdered by one of his own fraternity brothers, who then possesses the bodies of others and attempts to right wrongs; it goes counter to everything our fraternity represents. The fact that the victim continues to be made fun of even as a ghost is characteristic of Clarke's antic frivolity throughout. Furthermore, the crucial role played by a goat in Gamma Chi initiations has never been established in a court of law, and Clarke is culpable for publishing what may have been revealed to him in the privacy of a convivial evening. In closing, if I or my fraternity brothers ever feel the need to sink to this level of entertainment, we will rent Animal House. I can only surmise this will be popular at public libraries where such fare is appropriate. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/06.]-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The ghost of a Louisiana State frat boy, seeking revenge for his death; the salvation of one of the fraternity's big dumb pledges; and a few of the good things in life not generally available to the dead. The excesses of Greek life proved fatal for Gamma Chi pledge Conrad Sutton when the exceedingly handsome, coke-snorting, date-raping Ryan Hutchinson threw Conrad down the frat-house staircase, breaking the freshman's neck. The unwitnessed murder was listed as just another boyish disaster in the notorious history of the hard-partying fraternity, and Ryan has continued to live the good LSU life unpunished, making life hell for a new pledge class and for his gorgeous girlfriend Maggie. Now Conrad's ghost roams Baton Rouge plotting retribution. He is at first visible only to Miss Etta, the deeply religious frat-house cook, who explains to him that he isn't supposed to be working on vengeance but on the salvation of poor, thick-witted, gargantuan, red-headed Tucker Graham, whom Ryan has singled out for particular attention in the new pledge class. Tucker is prepared to endure all that his prospective brothers can dish out, believing that as a Gamma Chi, he will at last be able to lose his virginity. But Conrad, who finds he can slip into Tucker's skin whenever the pledge passes out (a not-infrequent event), uses the boy's great strength to start smacking Ryan around. He gets a little help from his ex-girlfriend's best friend and sorority sister Sarah Jane, who is on to Ryan's evil ways and has her own plans for his downfall. Retribution will come in steps that include the unwitting application of depilatory to Ryan's gorgeous locks, another grisly murder and a surprising liaison for thehard-used Tucker. Clarke (Lord Vishnu's Love Handles, 2005) paints an amusing and jaw-dropping (but only slightly exaggerated) picture of a life treasured by generations of beer guzzling food fighters.
From the Publisher
"Devilishly funny."

— Eliot Schrefer, USA Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743293549
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 7/3/2006
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 297 KB

Meet the Author

Will Clarke doesn't want you to know where he lives or what he's doing next.
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Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

If you ignore what I have to say, it really won't surprise me. I've come to find that most people ignore the dead. If you do choose to hear me, listen closely, because what I have to tell you is a story of unholy proportions. Hopefully, if I can make you hear what I am supposed to tell you, I can finally break the ties that bind me to the secret letter society of Gamma Chi.

But before we get started, let me tell you about myself. My name is Conrad Avery Sutton III, and I am dead at age nineteen. When I was alive, I won't lie, I had it pretty good -- the Porsche, the pretty girls, and a trust fund full of oil money. When I started as a freshman at Louisiana State University there was no question that I would rush. My daddy had been a Gamma Chi as well as his daddy and all the men in the Sutton clan. Well, there was one exception, my cousin Barrow, who got blackballed and now he's got one of those rainbow stickers on the back of his truck. God, my daddy and uncle were so embarrassed; they still don't talk about it.

I went through Rush and I of course got a bid. I'll admit I thought I was the shit with my navy jersey and gold letters. Next to my Porsche, those letters got me laid more times than I can remember. Of course it was all fun and games in the beginning -- one endless keg of cold beer and blunts on command. But this mixture of chronic booze and blood oaths turned into a bitter, stinking mess.

Busted lips and broken beer bottles were all part of my pledge training. I was cocky, and the brothers saw fit to divest me of this character flaw. So I scrubbed urinals with a toothbrush to the beat of someone punching my kidneys. I served meals to my brethren walking only on my bloody knees. And when a spit cup was not readily available for an active brother, I learned to offer my hand as a spittoon. I even learned the fine art of acting. I was given the starring role in Gamma Chi's video reenactment of the "Wasabi-up-the-Nose" scene from Jackass: The Movie. I never could smell right after that.

By the end of my first semester, I had learned to be a good pledge. I could recite all fifteen hundred words of the pledge creed -- backward even. And for the amusement of the active chapter, I was asked to perform this dyslexic feat for their dinnertime entertainment. It's amazing how a knuckle upside the head can force you to learn even the most boring crap.

So I find it almost poetic that this bright April morning, the brothers will dedicate their new library and scholarship fund to me. The Conrad Avery Sutton III Memorial Library is a beautiful addition to the big old Gamma Chi house. My new library is full of polished woods, brass lights, and leather-bound books. Daddy went all out for his dead son. It was his way of dealing with my death. He worked while others cried. It obviously paid off; the construction crew completed the job in less than two months. And that's no small task, considering how rainy South Louisiana gets in the early spring.

You know, it's weird being dead. You're everywhere but nowhere all at once. You can sort of hear people talk before they speak, but you can't speak yourself. Or at least, you can't make people hear you when you speak. On rare occasions some folks have actually heard me. But most people are too busy with their own thoughts to pay any attention to mine. There is, however, one perk to being dead: The living are like open books that you can read without turning the pages of a conversation. Only thing is, most of the books in this stupid old house are full of blank pages and cheap porno. So I guess it's really not as cool as it sounds.

I mostly find myself following around Ryan Hutchins. He lives on the third floor and he's the biggest coke-snorting asshole you'll ever meet -- and I'm not just saying that because he killed me.

When he's not busy killing innocent people like myself, he's beating his beautiful girlfriend, Maggie Meadows. He knocks her around quite a bit, and the saddest thing is that she never really fights back. I rage and scream something horrible when he does this to her, but Ryan is deaf, dumb, and blind to me and I can't do anything to save poor Maggie.

These are the things that you should know about Ryan Hutchins -- not that he teaches poor kids to swim at the Y or that he donates blood every month because he's got that universal blood type. No, the real truth is what you need to know about him. That's because to everyone at LSU -- and I mean everyone -- Ryan's this big, bright, rising star. But truth be told, he's really the darkest black hole you'll ever meet, and nobody seems to realize this. Which profoundly annoys me, considering the psycho pretty much murdered me in cold blood. Of course, Maggie Meadows knows Ryan's a complete head-case, but she'll never tell anyone. She's too ashamed or in love or scared or I don't know what to ever tell.

Speaking of Maggie, her bruises are covered with makeup today and she stands there with her pretty blond hair in my library, greeting alumni as the sweetheart of Gamma Chi. Ryan stands by her side looking so sad and full of compassion that it makes me sick. You would have thought his best hunting dog got run over by a truck.

"He was a great guy." Ryan keeps nodding and shaking off tears.

It's the same morbid song I heard at my funeral, and everyone's singing the second verse here today:

"His parents are devastated."

"They had to check his mamma into one of those Charter hospitals."

"His dad sure didn't waste any time building this place."

"Or money."

"He was a cool guy. He let me borrow his Wilco CD."

"Kimbrough found the body."

"What did it look like?"

"He won't talk about it."

"Conrad was a real Gamma Chi."

This grief-fest has me ticking like a time bomb. I want to go off and punch someone. However, I can't: I'm no longer the owner of a pair of fists and that makes it kind of hard to hit anything.

But something weird is in the air today. Maybe it's the fact that everybody's gathered here concentrating on my memory, but for some reason, I feel almost alive again in this library.

I wonder if I could muster up the energy to do a real haunting on these bastards. You know, like spell out "Ryan killed me!" in blood on the walls or something real Poltergeist-like. But, no, I've actually tried that before and I just can't seem to get it to work.

"What you doing in here, boy?" Miss Etta, Gamma Chi's house cook, looks up at me as she lays out her buffet spread.

"You can see me?"

"Get on back to heaven! You dead now -- shoo!" She flings her long crooked hand at me. "Go and be with the Lord now."

Everyone glances at crazy Miss Etta and dismisses our conversation as her obvious senility. I follow Miss Etta back to the kitchen as she hobbles away from me.

"Hey, wait a second, Miss Etta."

"I don't talk to the dead." She shakes her head. "You need to go back to heaven 'fore you upset folks."

"Hey, I can't go back." I point to the library. "Something's keeping me here."

"That's your problem. Let me alone now." She opens the big stainless steel fridge and pulls out a vat of Swedish meatballs.

"But Ryan killed me!"

"Listen, boy, you think that's going to make a difference if I march in there and tell them white folk that?" She shakes her spatula at me. "I know he killed you and I know he be beating on that pretty girl in there too. But ain't nobody going to listen to me." She scoops brown gravy and lumps into a serving dish and lights a Sterno can underneath it. "Now get out this house and go back to heaven."

For some weird reason, those words alone build up this pressure around me and push me out of the house. I find myself outside looking through the windows of my wood-paneled library as Ryan stands at the podium.

"Conrad was not only an outstanding scholar and pledge, but most importantly he was our friend and our brother." Ryan sticks out his bottom lip and slowly nods his head.

There goes Mamma boohooing again, and Daddy just sits there not knowing what to do with his hands. And here comes Miss Etta with the meatballs. She sneers at Ryan, but nobody seems to care. She's right; nobody would believe her.

"It is a great honor" -- Ryan holds his mighty gavel in his right hand -- "that I, on behalf of the men of Gamma Chi, dedicate this library and scholarship fund to the memory of Conrad Avery Sutton, the third." Ryan pounds the table with his gavel like he used to do my face on so many an occasion.

It's the same gavel that I heard rap the night I swore an oath to this brotherhood of lying bastards. It was my pledging ceremony -- the night that Gamma Chi's first secrets were revealed to my pledge brothers and me. We were bound, blindfolded, herded, and punched into the back of a flatbed and driven out to the woods. They unloaded us like sacks of rocks into the dirt.

"Get your sorry asses up!" an active slurred at us. I felt someone's Red Wing boot kick me in the side and then the heel fell swift on my back. The force pushed my face into the cold earth. I was such a chicken shit that I was too afraid to spit, so I just swallowed the blood and dirt.

"Sutton! He said get up!" some weasel-ass active yelled.

I struggled and writhed against the rope and finally stood upright. Once we were all standing, they filed us into rows.

The brotherhood swarmed around us and shouted, "Worthyworthyworthy! Worthy!"

Then it was silent except for the crackle of a few twigs underfoot. A match scratched and I could smell the gasoline and sulfur and then an all-encompassing red glow filled the blackness.

"Remove their blindfolds."

"Hold still," an active growled in my ear, and the black rag was jerked from my head.

I squinted. The fire was too bright and too hot and I was too close. My eyebrows were nearly seared off by a twelve-foot burning cross.

"Behold! The Fiery Cross of Gamma Chi!" Ryan barked from behind a velvet-covered card table as he read from what looked like a hymnal. "The omen revealed first to the mighty Emperor of Rome before battle is now revealed to only the Worthy." Ryan was all decked out in a black devil-worshiper-looking robe and hood. There was a large gold cross on his chest.

"Neophytes!" he sang like some psycho TV minister. "The men of Gamma Chi ask if you are worthy. Are you worthy?"

At least a hundred hooded Gamma Chis swarmed and hollered, "Worthyworthyworthyworthyworthy!"

"Before we proceed" -- Ryan hesitated as he turned the page -- "I, the worthy Chalice Keeper, charge you, the pledges of Gamma Chi, to take a solemn blood oath before our Father, the Lord Almighty, and the Holy Brotherhood of Gamma Chi, that from this moment forward you will never speak or transcribe the sacred rites that you are about to witness."

The flaming cross was beginning to die down and the smoke made me sneeze, which caused Ryan to lose his place. He glared at me, and then fumbled to the next paragraph. "Please respond nay if you are willing to betray the sacred, or if you are worthy, repeat after me: This blood that I spill is my own."

Everyone repeated all sing-songy and I felt a sharp sting at the base of my neck and the drag of skin opening up. The actives stood behind each one of us cutting a small cross into the backs of our skulls with a buck knife. The blood ran down my neck and soaked crimson into the white Lacoste shirt that Ashley, my ex-girlfriend, had given me for my eighteenth birthday.

"And with this blood" -- Ryan stumbled over the doctrine while we followed in a choppy unison -- "I am washed free of my sins and will sin no more. I will seek to be Worthy, and I pledge before God never to betray the favor of the Worthy, and if I do break this covenant, may I walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death with no one to call me brother."

Ryan rapped the gavel on a block of wood and the active chapter snapped its fingers in approval. That snapping now disintegrates into the steady claps of applause that are now filling my newly dedicated library.

Ryan takes a seat near the podium with his halo on so tight that I wish it were a noose. He smiles at my parents as one of the new pledges presents them with this cheesy wood and brass plaque with my picture laminated on it. Mamma runs her hand over my picture; she cries for this boy with crazy black hair and a smart mouth.

Anyway, everyone stands and consoles one another over their grievous loss. And then they all form a line at Miss Etta's buffet. But not Ryan; he makes a beeline for the door. I follow him outside to the porch of this white-columned prison where Maggie's standing by herself, staring up at the swaying oak trees.

"What are you doing out here?" Ryan forces a smile.

"Nothing, just getting some fresh air." Maggie folds her arms and rubs her bruised triceps. Ryan lights a cigarette and exhales the smoke through his nose. Maggie coughs as he puts his arm around her waist.

"It's sad, isn't it?" Maggie cuddles up to him.

"Yeah." Ryan rests his smoke in the corner of his mouth. "Did you see his mom in there?"

"I know. Total basket case. I felt so sorry for her." Maggie tucks a piece of her hair behind her ear and looks back up at the trees.

"What would you do if that happened to me?" Ryan whispers.

"Don't talk like that."

"Why not?"

"Because I don't want to think about it."

He hugs her. "You'd date someone else, wouldn't you?"

"That's not going to happen."

"But if it did..." He tokes on his cigarette.

"You killed me," I spit in his ear.

"What?" He looks around. "Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?" Maggie steps out of his arms and faces him.

"I don't know." He moves her out of the way and peers at the trees to see if someone's hiding behind one. "Never mind. I thought I heard someone."

He clenches his sweaty palms into fists.

"Are you worthy, Ryan?"

"Shut up!" he yells out at nothing.

Maggie hides behind a column. "Ryan, are you okay?"

He throws down his cigarette and loosens his tie.

"I need a drink."

"Worthy, worthy, worthy, Ryan."

Copyright © 2006 by Will Clarke

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Introduction

Reading group guide

Discussion questions

1. The Worthy is filled with startling scenes; some are violent, some are outlandish. Which scenes were most shocking? Overall, did you find the violence or the fantastical elements of the plot more surprising?

2. Conrad says that the one perk of being dead is that "the living are like open books that you can read without turning the pages" (2). How does this new perception change him? Are there sides to his personality that we see when he's ghost, but wouldn't have seen when he was alive?

3. The novel is set in Louisiana, and the author incorporates many details and observations about Southern culture. What aspects of his portrayal of the South are most realistic? In what ways does the author play with stereotypes of the South?

4. The pledges come to Gamma Chi looking to become part of an elite group. How does the pressure of measuring up to their peers influence them? Why do you think they are willing to put up with so much misery?

5. Discuss the character of Tucker. What does Conrad think of Tucker? Does he relate to him or care for him at all, or does he just use him? How is Tucker affected by Conrad's possessions?

6. How does Conrad's postdeath perspective change his feelings about Gamma Chi? What does he miss? If he could go back to being a part of the fraternity, do you think he would?

7. Maggie Meadows and Sarah Jane Bradford are both sorority girls, but they are almost polar opposites. How does each one adapt to or reject the social customs of the LSU campus? What knowledge about Ryan and, more important, about himself does Conrad gain from each girl?

8. Conrad says "it's really weird; I know everymove Ryan Hutchins makes...but I have no idea if my parents are even stateside" (175). Why doesn't he try to see his parents? How do they deal with his death? Why does Conrad react so strongly when he sees his father and uncle during hell week?

9. How would you characterize Miss Etta's powers? Discuss the influence she has over Conrad and the role she plays in shaping his fate.

10. Clarke highlights the contrasts between our fantasies and reality. What kinds of fantasies do the characters have about fraternity life, love and relationships, or even human nature? Does being a ghost change what Conrad's most cherished fantasies are?

11. Clarke writes in a darkly humorous style, often finding comedy in the most serious of subjects. What are some key examples of this style?

12. Throughout the novel, Miss Etta urges Conrad to forgive and to stop seeking revenge on Ryan. Discuss what happens when Conrad possesses Ryan's body at the end of the novel. Does he forgive? Does he get revenge? Do you think he's content?

13. What do you make of the ending of the novel and Conrad's reincarnation? Why do you think he was given a second chance? Were you satisfied with the ending?

14. The brothers of Gamma Chi call themselves "the worthy" (and consider everyone else unworthy). In the end, can any of the characters truly be considered "worthy"? Do you think God is making that determination by singling out Miss Etta and Sarah Jane Bradford?

15. In The New York Times Book Review, Liesl Schillinger wrote, "the supernatural is more than a gimmick. It's a device Clarke uses to trick the cynical eye into taking a leisurely, evaluative look at the craziness of the mundane." Do you agree with her assessment? What do you think Clarke reveals about "the craziness of the mundane"?

16. What is your opinion of the Greek system after reading The Worthy? What do you think the author's opinion is? Is it a viable option for college students looking for social interaction?

Enhance Your Reading Group Experience

To learn more about Will Clarke, the author of The Worthy, visit his website and blog at www.willclarke.com. Or to invite Will Clarke to speak to your book club in person, via the phone or video chat, email him directly, at willclarke13@mac.com.

Gamma Chi's violent hazing process is a significant element of The Worthy. To learn more about actual hazing and current efforts to prevent it, visit www.stophazing.org.Further reading: For more of Will Clarke's black humor, check out his first novel, Lord Vishnu's Love Handles. Or for a true account of hazing and fraternities, read Brad Land's memoir Goat.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide


Reading group guide

Discussion questions

1. The Worthy is filled with startling scenes; some are violent, some are outlandish. Which scenes were most shocking? Overall, did you find the violence or the fantastical elements of the plot more surprising?

2. Conrad says that the one perk of being dead is that "the living are like open books that you can read without turning the pages" (2). How does this new perception change him? Are there sides to his personality that we see when he's ghost, but wouldn't have seen when he was alive?

3. The novel is set in Louisiana, and the author incorporates many details and observations about Southern culture. What aspects of his portrayal of the South are most realistic? In what ways does the author play with stereotypes of the South?

4. The pledges come to Gamma Chi looking to become part of an elite group. How does the pressure of measuring up to their peers influence them? Why do you think they are willing to put up with so much misery?

5. Discuss the character of Tucker. What does Conrad think of Tucker? Does he relate to him or care for him at all, or does he just use him? How is Tucker affected by Conrad's possessions?

6. How does Conrad's postdeath perspective change his feelings about Gamma Chi? What does he miss? If he could go back to being a part of the fraternity, do you think he would?

7. Maggie Meadows and Sarah Jane Bradford are both sorority girls, but they are almost polar opposites. How does each one adapt to or reject the social customs of the LSU campus? What knowledge about Ryan and, more important, about himself does Conrad gain from each girl?

8. Conrad says "it's really weird; I know every move Ryan Hutchins makes...but I have no idea if my parents are even stateside" (175). Why doesn't he try to see his parents? How do they deal with his death? Why does Conrad react so strongly when he sees his father and uncle during hell week?

9. How would you characterize Miss Etta's powers? Discuss the influence she has over Conrad and the role she plays in shaping his fate.

10. Clarke highlights the contrasts between our fantasies and reality. What kinds of fantasies do the characters have about fraternity life, love and relationships, or even human nature? Does being a ghost change what Conrad's most cherished fantasies are?

11. Clarke writes in a darkly humorous style, often finding comedy in the most serious of subjects. What are some key examples of this style?

12. Throughout the novel, Miss Etta urges Conrad to forgive and to stop seeking revenge on Ryan. Discuss what happens when Conrad possesses Ryan's body at the end of the novel. Does he forgive? Does he get revenge? Do you think he's content?

13. What do you make of the ending of the novel and Conrad's reincarnation? Why do you think he was given a second chance? Were you satisfied with the ending?

14. The brothers of Gamma Chi call themselves "the worthy" (and consider everyone else unworthy). In the end, can any of the characters truly be considered "worthy"? Do you think God is making that determination by singling out Miss Etta and Sarah Jane Bradford?

15. In The New York Times Book Review, Liesl Schillinger wrote, "the supernatural is more than a gimmick. It's a device Clarke uses to trick the cynical eye into taking a leisurely, evaluative look at the craziness of the mundane." Do you agree with her assessment? What do you think Clarke reveals about "the craziness of the mundane"?

16. What is your opinion of the Greek system after reading The Worthy? What do you think the author's opinion is? Is it a viable option for college students looking for social interaction?

Enhance Your Reading Group Experience

To learn more about Will Clarke, the author of The Worthy, visit his website and blog at willclarke.com. Or to invite Will Clarke to speak to your book club in person, via the phone or video chat, email him directly, at willclarke13@mac.com.

Gamma Chi's violent hazing process is a significant element of The Worthy. To learn more about actual hazing and current efforts to prevent it, visit stophazing.org. Further reading: For more of Will Clarke's black humor, check out his first novel, Lord Vishnu's Love Handles. Or for a true account of hazing and fraternities, read Brad Land's memoir Goat.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    Quick and Fun Read

    I've always been a fan of dark humor and Will Clarke is definitely on my list of new authors to keep an eye on.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    Fun read

    I was anxious for a new book during my last trip to Barnes and Noble. This one caught my eye. I was immediately sucked in. Conrad is a ghost, or lost soul, who just wants to get back at the person who did him in, Ryan. Conrad possesses a new frat pledge and causes a whole world of havoc. The ending is something you would never expect. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark humor and just simply because it is a seriously quick read. I could hardly out it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2004

    The Worthy isn't.

    What if you fused The Lovely Bones, and the movies Animal House and Ghost together. You would get The Worthy, Will Clarke¿s new novel about the disembodied spirit of a murdered LSU fraternity pledge. Like his first novel (Lord Vishnu¿s Love Handles, Middle Finger Press), The Worthy is full of Clarke¿s biting sarcasm, searing wit and unyielding eye for contemporary culture. He immerses you into the crazy world of fraternity hazing, with more keg parties, flatulence and sorority trysts, that even John Belushi¿s ghost would be pressed to keep up. But unlike his first book, The Worthy reads more like an extended short story than a fully flushed out novel. As the book¿s sub-title (A Ghost¿s Story) suggests, we follow the exploits of the murdered student, Conrad Avery Sutton, III, as he (or his spirit) seeks revenge on the psycho-smarmy leader of the Gamma Chi house, who broke his neck by shoving Sutton down the house¿s elaborate staircase (I won¿t get into why). I really wanted The Worthy to take off, but as I read through it, I found myself wanting more from the story than it could possibly deliver. Several characters were left undeveloped, the backstory was thin, and in the end, I was left not really liking any of the characters in this story of revenge and redemption. At 224 pages (and large type), The Worthy is a fairly quick read, so if you¿re looking for something to blast through on a plane flight, go ahead and give it a try. But if you¿re looking for a novel that you can spend some time with and sink your mind into, then I¿d have to say that The Worthy isn¿t.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2004

    Oh, but THE WORTHY is!

    Conrad Sutton is a heck of a ghost. I could almost smell his Abercrombie and Fitch cologne lingering around me when I was reading this book. THE WORTHY is one of the saddest, funniest, bittersweet books I have ever read. It was so good that when I finished it the first time, I read it again because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Conrad or Miss Etta or Sarah Jane or Maggie. The author paints Baton Rouge and Louisiana with with such a sexual and sweaty tinge. And I know that a lot of people compare this 'ghost's story' to THE LOVELY BONES, and it is similar in that both the narrators are dead, but that's where the similarities end. THE WORTHY delves into a 19 year old's soul (Granted that may not be very deep as most frat boys aren't the deepest souls -- even dead ones) Will Clarke spins a tale so beautiful and gothic that it's hard not to cry AND laugh out loud at the end. Something I never do. I am not a cryer! But somehow Clarke's disarms you with his humor and then he throws an image at you that hits you right in heart. He's our next big thing. THE WORTHY is worth a read or two or three. It's that good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2004

    Loved the pace

    Great book. Loved the pace and the charactors. I will definately look forward to Will Clarke's next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    Save your time and money

    The Worthy is probably the worst book I have ever read. It has no depth and one of the most disapointing endings I have ever read. Reads like it was written by a 16-year-old kid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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