Item description for Perfect Circle by Sean Stewart...
"All-around terrific."-Booklist (starred review)
"Perfectly hilarious."-Texas Monthly
William "Dead" Kennedy is in trouble. He's thirty-two, in love with his ex-wife, has lost his job, and he's been dreaming about ghost roads again. Sometimes a guy is haunted for a really good reason.
Sean Stewart has written nine novels, including Cathy's Book. He lives in Davis, California.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2004
Publisher Small Beer Press
ISBN 1931520119 ISBN13 9781931520119
Availability 0 units.
More About Sean Stewart
Sean Stewart is the author of the innovative I Love Bees and Beast search operas, two short stories, and the novels Perfect Circle, Mockingbird, Galveston, Clouds End, Nobody's Son, Passion Play, and Resurrection Man.
Sean Stewart currently resides in the state of California. Sean Stewart was born in 1965.
Will Kennedy is weird. He is the star of this oddball book. He sees dead people, so his relatives call him DK (Dead Kennedy(s)). He is a product of poor south Texas white trash. Not all of his folks are poor or from south Texas, but they all belong in the same group. He is a screwed up, scared young adult. He does not have a driver's license because he found himself trying to avoid accidents with, and, thereby causing accidents, with dead people he can not distinguish from live people. This happens mostly at night, when it is harder to see color. To him, dead people look black and white and live people look colorful. He starts out trying to help his cousin with a ghost, things happen, he ends up in the hospital with a big bill he has no way to pay and with a bit of notoriety about his ability to see ghosts. The story evolves into a bit of horror about how a ghost tries to make him do himself harm, so he slowly descends into a psychological problem state. Can the ghosts harm him? He thinks so, and he also thinks that they can get others to do him harm as well. This is sort of proved by the actions that put him into the hospital in the first place. You can really feel that he should be scared. I kept thinking he should own up to what is happening with people that he trusts, but that is problematic to: if they can not see ghosts or other evidence of them being there, they may begin to feel that maybe he is off his rocker, and so he would be right back at the start and worse since others feel he is losing his mind. All in all, I just felt he needed to stop running from his ghosts and start doing more with them. They were scary, but not horribly so. He should have held his ground and done something with or for them. But, hey, I was not in his shoes nor did I grow up as he did, so I can only fault him so much, the rest is part and parcel of who he was. I really got into this story, after all it is fiction and look at all the thoughts I had about this poor fellow.
Not so "Perfect," but a fun read nonetheless May 23, 2007
Early on in the book, this engaging read promises chills and thrills via a truly creepy encounter with a young female ghost, but Perfect Circle turns out to be not so much a "ghost story" as a story about a broken man -- indeed, a man who's always been at least a little bit broken -- learning to pick up the pieces and create a life for himself.
Dryly funny, full of East-Texas local color, and ringing true about how it feels to be down so long you don't know how to get up, Perfect Circle was so enjoyable I read it in one sitting. It's not perfect -- I felt the ghost of cousin Tom was not as menacing as he was meant to seem, and I don't feel the book's title is particularly resonant (though Stewart tries hard via tie-ins with the REM song, the CDs the protagonist breaks, and the shape of cousin AJ's glasses) -- but it's definitely worth a read, and a reread.
This was the first book of Stewart's that I've read, and I'm interested to check out more.
Ghosts in the family tree Apr 27, 2007
Beautifully written, as all of Sean Stewart's books are, this story is about a man who happens to have a special talent. It's also about families and how they relate and respond to each other.
William "Dead" Kennedy is, in every sense of the word, a loser: he has a failed marriage, can't keep a job, can't take his daughter out to do anything enjoyable, and lives in a crummy apartment with just his music to keep him company. Well, except for the ghosts, that is - the ghosts of family members and complete strangers alike. When a request from a distant cousin to investigate the dead girl in his garage results in a gunshot wound and a newspaper article publicizing his abilities, Kennedy finds his life moving down a road he never expected.
More in the mode of Mockingbird (my favorite Stewart novel), Perfect Circle is a compelling and poignant book.
A Wonderful Ghost Story Sep 17, 2006
The best ghost story I've read since I was a teenager, when everything supposed to be scary really was. This is a good book put out by Small Beer Press and I'm all for supporting independent publishers and great writers without national exposure.
I strongly encourage anyone to pick up a copy of it for two reasons . . . it's a great story . . . and it gives more exposure to small press publications where new talent is really coming from.
Perfect Circle Jan 4, 2006
I came across Sean Stewart after his striking work writing the Halo 2 ARG (Alternate Reality Game), ILovebees. Stewart's latest offering shares little in common with the virtuoso science fiction setting he crafted for the world of Halo, but his main asset as a writer remains well intact: his stories focus on the human aspect of the events they depict, and they're quite believable.
Enter William "Dead" Kennedy (DK for short), stage left. He's seen ghosts his entire life, black and white specters that are easy to mistake for the living at night. Though I'm no English major, Stewart seems to draw heavily from magical realism, a genre in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic setting.
DK is one of those thirty-somethings who has slowed down so much life is starting to pass him by. He can't even keep a job steady enough to pay his air conditioning bill, leaving him to roast in the Houston heat. (Regionalism permeates the novel with great lines like "East Texas has four great natural resources: heat, oil, mosquitos, and cousins.")
Though vengeful spirits abound, this is no mere campfire horror story. Poor DK realizes that to his ex-wife and the rest of the Kennedys he's nothing more than a ghost everyone can see, and his subsequent struggle to reconcile with his daughter Megan is alternatively touching and heartbreaking. Neal Stephenson's seemingly outlandish claim on the cover that Perfect Circle is "Stephen King meets Ibsen" might not be so far off after all...