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GARGANTUANA’S GHOST is a beautiful story about loss, connection, and wonder, filled with achingly real characters and an almost-tangible sense of place. Patrick Barb’s debut novella is a perfect mix of heart and imagination.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 17, 2022
This quick adventure takes place in the NYC subways, where the two main characters Antoine and Lottie try to reconnect with a figure of city history as well as their own personal pasts. They're chased by contemporary bullies and haunted by historical ones. This is a hopeful story about grief, and about the potential to reconnect with lost ones and to form new communities.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 19, 2022
I wasn't sure what I was getting with this book, a tale of two people trying to locate the ghost of a giant ape haunting the F train, but man, what a beautiful story. This is a story of history and myth, and how they comingle. This is also a story of loss and mourning, and finding yourself in a world that seems poised to relentlessly beat you down. A phenomenal read.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 21, 2022
I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read about a girl and her ape and a boy and his ghost-ape. There is a lot of heart among these pages. I can feel the clatter of the subway, can hear the hustle and bustle of the city, and can smell the bananas and ape like musk. Transportive.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 18, 2022
Patrick Barb masterfully conjures vivid imagery and sensory details that make the reader nostalgic for a time and place they never knew. Gargantuana's Ghost is the heartfelt and poignant tale of two strangers bonding over the spirit of a giant ape, and never does it devolve into camp or parody. At its heart, this is a broad picture of humanity at both its best and worst.
I really liked the structure of GARGANTUANA'S GHOST. Loved the interplay between the ghost, Antoine, and Charlotte. The relational aspect was moving and the characters well rendered. What stood out to me, and impressed me in this novella was how Barb alternated POVs with such quick, tight chapters. It made the story move swiftly, but somehow he managed to do it in a way that wasn't abrupt or jarring. This is the second book I've read by Barb and it's solidified me as a huge fan. Highly recommend!