5 STAR BOOK REVIEW: The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

The Last Day's of Jack SparksTHE LAST DAYS OF JACK SPARKS
By Jason Arnopp
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: 28th July 2016
Format: Paperback (377 pages)
Source: Review Copy

 

Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.

In 2014, Jack Sparks – the controversial pop culture journalist – died in mysterious circumstances.

To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.

It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy.

Then there was that video: thirty-six seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack’s final hours. (Goodreads)

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The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a book that has been a book that has considerable buzz around it and when I was asked to review it, I was pretty excited. Little did I know that beneath the cover, lay a book that both unnerved me and confused me in equal measures.

The first part of the book, Jack is recounting his journey in trying to debunk the supernatural. From the time he attends an exorsism in Italy, to the séance held in LA, whether what I was reading a true account of the events that happened or had been emblished by Jack in an effort to make the book sellable. This is backed up with other pieces of evidence from other people who were there at the events that seemed to discredit what was been written.

This fourth wall breaking technique is something I haven’t read in a while and it kept me questioning Jack throughout the book. Even during the second part of the book, where it seemed that Jack had witnessed events that on the face of things seemed to prove Jack wrong, I still doubted Jack. This was mainly down to the fact that Jack had a history of drug abuse and I couldn’t help but get this sense of foreboding that everything was down to Jack still being on drugs. Each new encounter had me a bit more certain that this was the case. Rather than witnessing proof of a malevolent supernatural being, I was watching a man become more and more unhinged. Even during the last few chapters of the book, where the improbably looked to be the most plausible explanation, I still wasn’t convinced.

Even though I was never truly convinced about the “truth” of the book, I was still creeped out at the book. What really freaked me out about the book was the part of the book where Jack was with the Paranormal Investigators and they were recovering from some horrific news about two of their people. It was at this point, I wanted to take a leaf out of Joey from the TV show “Friends” and put the book in a freezer. Yet, I still couldn’t put it down. I was sucked into this book and it just pulled me into it.

This is a real character driven book and Jack is a character who was difficult to like. He pushed everyone away and was quick to prove his superiority over them. It was difficult to root for him, even when he was trying to make up for the bad things he did.

Since this is very much in the first person and the majority of the book is from Jack’s point of view, it was difficult to get any real opinion about any of the secondary characters.

VERDICT:

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is one of the most unique and novel books I have read in years. Arnopp has a gift as writer where he made me feel completely uneasy at what is happening. Yet, at the same time I was second guessing the motives of Jack and whether things happened as he said. It is the perfect mix of mystery, thriller and horror and one I recommend that you read if you like something a bit different.

5 star

 

 

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK | WATERSTONES | BOOK DEPOSITORY | WORDERY

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JASON ARNOPP ONLINE
WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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