Ghosted

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Mason, a struggling writer, comes in from the cold after five years of drifting. His childhood friend, Chaz, a small-time gangster, loans him an apartment and finds him a job selling hotdogs. But instead of getting his act together, Mason drinks too much, does too many drugs and loses too much money at poker, digging himself even more deeply in debt to Chaz, who also happens to be his drug dealer. Talk about a vicious circle.
 
Then Mason has a bright idea. He'll find the cash to pay Chaz back by becoming a ghostwriter of suicide notes, a fitting use of his talents. The trouble is that Mason is hard-wired to rescue people, and no one needs rescuing more than the suicidal. Except maybe the woman he is falling in love with — Willy, a wheelchair-bound, heroin-smoking beauty.
 
What happens when someone already wrestling with his own demons immerses himself in the tragedies of other people's lives? In this case, a lot: a hotdog cart is totalled, a convict sprung, a funeral faked, a head scalped, a horse stolen. Terrible secrets are brought to the light and suicide morphs into murder. Then, just when it looks like Mason is finally going down, he faces the biggest test of all. He'll either become the death-defying hero of his own dreams or lose everything and everybody he's ever loved.


From the Hardcover edition.

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1
 
Mason Dubisee dodged a booze-propelled bullet on the day he was born.
 
His father came in to the hospital room smiling—a bottle of champagne cradled in his arms. He looked at his wife and newborn son, tore off the foil and cranked the wire. Angling the bottle heavenward, he pushed...
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PRAISE FOR

"This master of immersion journalism . . . turns his attention to fiction with this novel about a young man who makes a living writing suicide notes. Yes please."
--National Post

“Lean and mean and with a surprising amount of heart. Make no mistake, Ghosted is for real.”
— Ray Robertson, author of David
 
Ghosted is not for the faint of heart—in places it’s an unflinching exploration of depravity. But it is, above all, an often funny, always optimistic parable of victory over demons of despair, the ghosts of our failed selves.”
— Linden MacIntyre, Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author of The Bishop’s Man
 
“Bukowski craggy and Hornby sweet, Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall’s Ghosted is a smart book about smart guys who can’t stop from acting dumb. The real pleasure, though, is in the lines: funny sad, funny strange, and funny zing! A hell of a first novel.”
— Andrew Pyper, author of The Killing Circle
 
“A harrowing and spellbinding tour through the world of addiction that combines elements of Infinite Jest with Silence of the Lambs.”
— Don Gillmor, author of Kanata

“The unique voice heard throughout Ghosted is so heartbreakingly authentic. . . . A terrifying but moving and life-affirming paean to love, friendship, devotion, determination and all those other characteristics that make human beings such wonderfully fascinating creatures in real life and in richly imagined novels like Ghosted.”
— Ottawa Citizen
 
“A savage, heartfelt, exhilarating first novel . . . Ghosted is, in a nutshell, a book about a guy who becomes a ghostwriter of suicide notes. What makes this high-concept premise work is the book’s a) heart, and b) voice. Which may, in the final analysis, be one and the same thing.”
— TOROmagazine.com
 
“Absolutely exhilarating. . . . Bishop-Stall is a major talent. . . . Bishop-Stall has an unarguably unique voice, urgent and impossible to ignore.”
— NOW (Toronto)
 
“Inventive first novel. . . . Ghosted crackles. . . . Impressive, ambitious and exhausting, Ghosted is a novel for those who don’t scare easily.”
— Kevin Chong, The Globe and Mail


From the Hardcover edition.