I loved this book, but it is not going to be an easy one to describe or explain. It is a definite candidate for ‘strangest thing I have ever read’ and ‘book that it is least possible to pigeonhole’. Here’s my best shot.
There are two sections. The first section is a story, often written more like poetry. Archetypes, allegory, parable, cyberpunk myth making with tongue firmly in cheek and no entirely definitive message except that you may be hungry, and that bacon or porridge or cannibalism may be the answer. It hints at many things and invites you to fill in the gaps. It is beautiful, funny and unsettling. If Kafka had set out to write Alice in Wonderland it would have looked a lot like this, I think.
Part two is a comedy grimoire for chaos magicians with a keen sense of the absurd. Wickedly playful, and full of things that undermine and re-frame the first half of the book. It’s a puzzlebox that might give you a cenobite, or summon a sinister jack in the box, or reveal some piece of bad taxidermy that makes you hurt yourself laughing.
Anarchic, ridiculous, startling, bacon rich, perturbing, glorious and probably won’t cause you to summon an actual demon of any great threat or substance. Probably.
Here’s the blurb – It’s Bagatelle. There’s a Wreck in The Zone. This is not part of The Plan. But you are, and your instructions are simple – DESTROY THIS BOOK. Ghosts of Wit is an interactive cybertext. A grimoire for the apocalypse. A tongue-in-cheek rainy day activity book for bored magicians. A bizarre Easter Egg hunt through a twisted Wonderland in the company of dead poets, sinister psychopomps, sentient tarot cards and a mysterious cat with a fiddle. Is there life after Porridge? Who is Mary? What does it mean to Tread Well in life? Who started the fire? Why does the old man smile? And would you like a bacon sandwich? Are just some of the questions this book will not attempt to answer. However if you already know the answers, then jump on your camel and join the hunt for the book that doesn’t exist…
Buy the book on Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghosts-Wit-Apocalypse-Penny-Blake/dp/B08QLNXN5V