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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

Spirits (Author: John Guthrie)


Book Cover - Spirits

Compelling, Though - Provoking, Intriguing


Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Religion and Spirituality


'Spirits' by John Guthrie, Author 


Two female spirits are residing in Pete's House...one elderly, a former resident, the other a young girl.


After a visit from a medium who imparts this curious information, Pete is keen to delve deeper into why they have chosen him, to attempt to communicate with them, and if he can, to assist them on their journey. However, the spiritualist unwittingly let's through, a seemingly angry and dangerous molevalent spirit. How will Pete cope with this sudden intrusion of unwanted house guests, that are trapped in a realm between this world, and whatever lies beyond.


I really enjoyed this tale of a hapless, anxiety - Ridden man, a 'self - appointed failure at life. To me, he feels like an individual who has never quite succeeded at anything. He's managed to get off the starting blocks, but never quite managed to make it to the finishing line; a person with whom a lot of us can identify with, I'm sure. I imagine him as a cross between E.L.O's Horace Wimp and John Arbuckle from the Garfield cartoon strip. I find him to be a very kind, caring individual, as when he is initially told of the spirits that inhabit his home, rather than attempt to banish them, he embraces the situation, keen to talk to them, provide them with what they might need and to move on, it must be said, with varying degrees of success! Pete is a deep thinker, over thinking to the point of exacerbating and compromising his mental health, but does his best to keep all metaphorical plates spinning and everyone happy, including his new 'boss' Hugh, who he despises and, through spiritual guidance, learns to forgive (even if he still doesn't like him).


There are many humorous moments to this mostly, light Hearted read - particularly Pete's relationship with his ex-wife. The analogy about a man being sucked into an aeroplane engine, mangling him beyond all recognition (page 61) makes me laugh whilst writing now. Also the subject of his excessive minute taking was something I could relate to. It's where the over - thinking strikes....although mine was well received.


His strained relationship with his mother and disjointed, very part time parenting, also seems to be another element of Pete's life where he feels that he lacks the necessary command. But, his unwavering determination to keep everything on an even keel, even in the midst of the manifestation of these lost souls, is to be greatly admired. I read 'Spirits' in roughly 6 hours across two days. It was very difficult to put down to do the mundane necessaries of life. A very Compelling reading. I like Pete.

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