The Ghost Slept Over, by Marshall Thornton
Brilliantly written, and a barrel of laughs!
Story blurb: When failed actor Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his famous and estranged ex-partner he discovers something he wasn’t expecting…the ghost of his ex! And, worse, his ex invites Cal to join him for all eternity. Now. As Cal attempts to rid himself of the ghost by any means he begins to fall for the attractive attorney representing the estate. Will Cal be able to begin a new relationship or will he be seduced into the ever after?
About the author: Marshall Thornton is an award-winning novelist, playwright and screenwriter living in Long Beach, California. He is best known for the Boystown detective series, which has been short listed for a Rainbow Award three times and has been a finalist for the Lambda Award for gay mystery twice. Other novels include the erotic comedy The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood, The Ghost Slept Over and Full Release. Marshall has an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, where he received the Carl David Memorial Fellowship and was recognized in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing awards. He has also had plays produced in both Chicago and Los Angeles and stories published in The James White Review and Frontier Magazine.
Review by Gerry Burnie
Those of you who follow this blog will know that I have been ruminating (ad nauseam) about the general lack of humour in GBLT literature, and then, lo-and-behold, along comes The Ghost Slept Over a romantic comedy by Marshall Thornton [Createspace, January 8, 2015]
Indeed, there is hardly any angst in it, whatsoever, but what there is n abundance is slightly farcical humour; loads of witty dialogue; and a zany cast of characters – including a B-rated actor, a self-centred ghost, and a small town lawyer.
The storyline revolves around Cal Parsons, the actor, but it is also shared with the other characters by giving them each a chapter.
Cal’s relationship with his ex, successful playwright McCormack Williams, broke up years ago when McCormack dumped him for a career in New York, so it is somewhat of a surprise when Cal learns that he in the sole beneficiary of MCormack’s estate.
The catch is that McCormack hasn’t quite moved out – not in the ordinary sense – and is still sort of hanging around, so-to-speak. Moreover, he wants Cal to join him in the hereafter.
Handling the estate is a small town lawyer, Dewey, who at first comes across as a bit staid; however, as the story progresses he gets with the programme – especially where Cal is concerned.
There is nothing particularly new about this plot line: The deceased lover who comes back to watch over their ex has been used several times before, but what makes this story fresh is the brilliantly written, witty dialogue. Not to mention the madcap mayhem that prevails throughout.
On the quibble side, the pace is somewhat uneven: Especially in the opening chapters; however, as the story progresses it picks up to a rollicking tempo.
I am also not a great fan of changing points of view or flashbacks, although I must say that in this case they almost work.
A great story, though, brilliantly written and a barrel of laughs. Four bees.
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