Thursday, November 8, 2012

Giving Up The Ghost

by Eric Nuzum
October 28, 2012

I heard the author of this book being interviewed on public radio.  I only caught a small part of the interview, but  it hooked me.  I was interested in the story of the ghost that Eric Nuzum said haunted him throughout his life. It obsessed him so much that he began to visit haunted places throughout the country.

But that's not what this story is really about. The subtitle actually describes is in a nutshell: "friendship, 80's rock, what it means to be haunted". 

This is a memoir - a true story. Eric Nuzum now works for NPR, but as a teenager, he was a misfit. At least, that's how he felt. He dealt with a terrible depression but didn't get the right kind of help.  Drugs and alcohol didn't help. But one thing that did help was his friendship with an enigmatic, unusual girl named Laura. She was Eric's one true friend.

He really was haunted throughout his life by the ghost of a little girl in a blue dress. Whether she was a "real ghost" or a ghost of the mind is not clear. It doesn't really matter, though, because the fact that Eric was haunted by her was real enough.

I love memoirs and this one didn't disappoint. It wasn't an easy story to read because it dealt with the sad and troubling depression that the author lived through.  But knowing that Eric Nuzum is now working and seems to be doing well helps to find hope in the book.  This would be a good memoir for older teenagers, along the lines of The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon.

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