ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Brian Keene's 'Ghoul': A Review

Updated on April 16, 2012


Pages: 322


After reading Keene's 'The Rising' and 'City of the Dead', I think I may have put him on a bit of a pedestal. I was extremely excited when I came across 'Ghoul', and almost giddy when I read that the story was being reworked for film. However, I hope my pedestal for Keene wasn't built too early as 'Ghoul' left me sadly disappointed. This story is definitely more of a tall tale than an urban legend.

The story focuses on the lives of three young friends and their journey through adolescence. Timmy Graco is the main protagonist for this story. He along with his friends Doug and Barry, are spending their summer as any boy would until some strange disappearances start plaguing their small town. A chance encounter in the local cemetery lead the trio on a quest to discover what sinister being is responsible for the new chaos. As the boys dig deeper into the gritty details of the recent cemetery vandalism, they come across some of the grisly remains of the missing residents. Skeletons from each of the boys' closets are uncovered that are just as equally disturbing.

Not necessarily a story about innocence, but about accepting truths. Each boy has his own demons and suffering some sort of abuse. As the reader, we delve more into how each character deals with their issues. While the ghoul plays a big role, it's almost worked in as a side note instead of the main focus. I was anticipating a suspenseful horror novel, but what I got was a modern coming of age story. As the tale concentrates more on each boys' life and how they deal with conflicts. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I feel a little duped. Sure, there are a few creepy scenes, but most of the action unfolds in the last forty pages. The novel is completely predictable. There is one minor detail at the end of the book that I didn't see coming, but I was always one step ahead of the author. The 80s theme is unrealistic. With the exception of some pop culture name dropping, the story fits rather nicely placed in a 50s backdrop. It just doesn't quite click. With that said, I won't give up on Keene. 'Ghoul' is still an enjoyable read, and a page turner at that. I finished the book, cover to cover, in five days. I'm going to give this novel three stars. It's predictability is the main contributor to such a "ghoulish" score.


Check under the Mass Market paperback option for some really big savings.


I thought the book was kinda boring... did you?

See results

A film version of 'Ghoul' has been made. Are you going to watch it?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • YimmyP profile imageAUTHOR

      James Pagatpatan 

      6 years ago from Washington State

      Thank you. You're right, there were a lot of accurate pop culture name drops to suggest an 80's time era. It's just that as I was reading the story, it was just the impression that I got. With the introduction of video games and MTV etc. most kids were more inclined to stay inside rather than make their own entertainment. Plus the sleepy little town where women and children acted so subservient just suggests and older time frame to me.

    • profile image

      Pat Dreadful 

      6 years ago

      Nice review. Personally, I love Ghoul but I am a total sucker for a well told coming of age story.

      I’m curious what didn’t click with the 80’s theme? I thought Keene did a great job of incorporating the comics, television, music and films of the era into the plot.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)