Friday, January 6, 2017

Ghosts from Our Past A.K.A The Ghostbusters Movie Tie-In

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There's just one question you gotta ask yourself before you read this book... Are you a HUGE Ghostbusters nerd? Seriously. Do you live, eat, and breathe for the new Ghostbusters movie? Because I get a sneaking suspicion that having merely "liked" the new movie will not be enough to get you through this.
As you may have already surmised, I am not a HUGE Ghostbusters nerd. I am a fan of the original movies, but was unable to see the new one. But then I saw that Blogging for Books had this available, and since I couldn't convince my significant other to go see the movie with me, I figured I would read this instead. Blogging for Books graciously acquiesced to sending me a free copy (in exchange for a fair and honest review, of course), and here we are now— about 3 or 4 months after I received it.

Okay, here's the thing: This is not a bad book. I've certainly read much worse. But I've also read much better. I guess that, once again, this falls under the category of books that just weren't meant for me. Since I did not see the movie, I'm not sure if this book actually shows up in it. However, the basic premise of Ghosts from Our Past is that ghostbusters Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates (the characters in the movie) wrote it together while they were undergraduates in college. The book is split into three basic parts: Ghostbuster backstories (or how Erin and Abby got into spooks), their research, and their methods. I made it as far as the methods section before I gave up. Honestly, I think the biggest issue I had with this book was its length. It isn't nearly as bloated as Les Miserables, but I would've been happier with fewer pages in their research and methods section. But I'll explain that further soon.

Let's move on to the fun stuff in Ghosts of Our Past. A lot of the humor in this book works because it's meta. This is written as though Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates are real people who legitimately believe in and hunt ghosts. They are "real," and their research is "real," and they passionately try to explain it to you. As a reader, I wasn't just reading a fictional book based on a movie. I was handling an artifact from another dimension, and my guides to that dimension were a couple of passionate, kooky, spook hunters who love the X-files and have no clue how to write a scientific report. The very first page made me laugh with the included praise from diverse sources like New York City's mayor ("An imaginative work of fiction, written by two women I have most definitely never met. Are you recording this? Turn that off."), and an Amazon review that simply read, "5 stars. Arrived on time. Good condition." If you read this book, don't skip the captions. They are funny.

And now that I've had a little bit of time to explain to you what's good about the book, let me go back to what isn't: the pacing. I know earlier I said it was the length, but this isn't that long of a book. The pacing is what's really off. It starts out pretty funny, keeps that momentum through the back stories, and starts losing steam around the middle. That's why it took me so long to get to the third portion. It really slowed down toward the middle, and I just never felt it pick up that pace again toward the end. Then I gave up. Chances are that I will eventually finish reading this book. My bookmark is still where I left it. Overall, I'd say this is good bathroom reading material, but that's about as good as it will ever get.

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