It’s been a while since I’ve done an audiobook review! I recently listened to this one during a series of long runs while training for the Houston Marathon (which you can read about on my other blog, Long Run Amanda), and I enjoyed it immensely! It a wonderful book to have in my ears while I ground through long, slow loops around a park in the city I live in. So anyway – Ghostland! What a fun book!
In Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places, Colin Dickey describes several different types of hauntings – houses, commercial areas, hotels, and entire cities, among other things. It was a fascinating way to look at how America views hauntings, and the industry that has been built upon it. There were chapters on New Orleans; Richmond, Virginia; the Winchester Mystery House; a series of hotels in Los Angeles; a small town in upstate New York; Savannah, Georgia; and more. I loved it, and I’m really glad I chose to listen to it on audio, where I could space out and let the history fill my ears.
3 Things I Loved
- The breadth of the research. Colin Dickey knows his stuff, and that really shows. He’s able to offer tidbits and asides throughout the book that relate to the topic he’s currently talking about, and I really loved that.
- The historical take. One thing that I was afraid of when I started this book – that it was going to freak me out while I logged long miles alone on the trails. But it didn’t at all! It was historical enough that I never felt scared. I only felt like I was learning.
- The narrator. His voice was calming and interesting and reminded me a little of Aaron Mahnke, who I love. (The narrator’s name is Jon Lindstrom, if you’re curious.)
This is nonfiction, so I can’t say that I can assess the problematic content section in the same way. This book addressed the horrors of slavery and slaughters, so I think it did a really good job of covering its bases.
One thing I didn’t love about the audiobook were in some of the asides – I’d forget where we came from and how we got where we were in the story. That probably had more to do with the fact that I was listening while running than anything else, though.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
This audiobook was fun and interesting and I learned so much and added some new destinations to my bucket list. All things considered, I’m giving Ghostland a GREEN rating. If you’re into history and like to visit haunted places, check it out!