Dad's Ghost

This is from Matt Haig's "The Dead Fathers Club". The book is about an 11 year old kid, Philip, who's father has died in a car accident, appears to him as a ghost, and tells him that he's got to avenge his death before he gets caught as a ghost forever. That's the basic premise.

Upon reading the first chapter, it becomes evident that something is not quite right about the writing style in this book...then you realize that there is not one comma, apostrophe, or quotation mark in the entire book (ala Johnny Get Your Gun, sort of). However, it's great and I will tell you why I think so- Since the book is written from the point of view of a kid, the lack of pauses in the sentences make you read it in a way that sounds like an 11 would tell he story if he were talking to that's good.

Like an 11 year old kid, he's obsessed with certain things that are interesting to him- in particular, his pet fish and the Romans (whom he's been learning about in school). His class takes a field trip to Hadrian's Wall and must stay overnight. During the night, his father's ghost appears and tells him that his mother is in danger and that he must call her to get her out of the house. Philip reluctantly attempts to call with no answer. So, per his dead father's request, he steals one of the two school vans and attempts to drive it (a standard) the 4 hours back to his home to warn his mother in person. Of course, the teachers notice him leaving and chase him in the other school van and in a panic (and because he's 11 and driving a standard and being instructed by a ghost) he crashes the van into a tree. As the teacher is scolding him, he looks in the field beyond her and sees the ghosts of Roman peasants (not pictured because peasants are gross) toiling in the field and, among them, a fully armored Roman soldier. He zones out for a while and wonders if it's the ghost of Hadrian himself then gets a little excited about that and forgets that he's in massive amounts of trouble. The outcome: the school excuses his behavior on the premise that his dad just died and the kid should get a little slack. The moral: if your dad dies, you can do whatever you want. Also, ghosts are awesome.


Burt said...

Very nice. When I enlarged the sketch, I thought the grass might have been comprised of loose scribbly handwriting. It almost looks that way!

I like how the kid's hair mimics the grass, too. Nice compositionz!

Burt said...

Also, this wouldn't happen to be the source material for the Bill Cosby movie, Ghost Dad, right? hahaha.

MamaLern said...

I WISH! However...there are no outrageously ugly sweaters involved. The grass sort of IS scribbly handwriting in some parts. I'd just read up on the Myrtles plantation and the one ghost they mentioned the most was Chole the slave I wrote "Chloe is a ghost" a bunch of times in a couple of places...but it's really rough so it's probably not really readable.

Burt said...

well that just adds a whole 'nother level to the drawing! i was right!