“Four Days with Hemingway’s Ghost” by Tom Winton is a remarkably original and cleverly written story.
The main character, Jack, a mild and ambiguous fan of Hemingway and his work, gets to meet his ‘hero’ while in a coma. He spends four days with him, talking about life, the afterlife, Hemingway’s life and they even get to visit famous locations and people of the famous author’s life.
What happens towards the end of the novel is somewhat of a surprise and I am reluctant to share much about it in a review. I don’t want to hype your expectations either with promises of a huge twist but a change of direction takes place that is well fitting and surprising. Let it be sufficient that the storyline cracks open a new dimension and the effects of the meeting in the coma are turning the novel into something else altogether, and something good for that matter.
From the first paragraph I knew that Jack had a story to tell and that I would be wanting to hear it. For the entire book that desire to follow the plot did not diminish but actually intensified. I was surprised how much abotu Hemingway I remembered as he wanders through the story and talks about his life. The ending left me very satisfied and in awe of the story.
Interesting and cleverly written without pretence and self-indulgence this is very likeable and enjoyable to read. Winton handles the drama and literary heaviness without losing sight of necessary balance and distance via humour and wit.
Watch out for my Interview with Tom on ChristophFischerBooks.com