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Madeleine's Ghost [Paperback]

Robert Girardi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jun 1996
Brooklyn needs a saint. Ned Conti needs a stipend. So the struggling young historian agrees to trace the mysterious past of a Brooklyn nun for evidence of miracles. Trapped in a neighborhood of cheap rents and failed promise, in a rent-controlled apartment suddenly, inexplicably seized by a beautiful and angry ghost, Ned's only refuge is the F train to Manhattan's East Village bars, where he and his friends drown their sorrows in drink....

But Ned is about to heed another call, the siren song of New Orleans, where the history of countless lost souls seems to rise from the steaming streets—and where, ten years before, he ended a brief, passionate affair with a woman whose memory has haunted him ever since. Here, in a city of spirits, Ned will embrace a dead saint and a living sinner...as a beautiful ghost offers him her desire. And his destiny....

Set amid the sleepless energy and seething passion of New York and New Orleans, Madeleine's Ghost is a spellbinding novel of lost love, history, and desire—a work of startling originality that is at once exquisitely written and compulsively readable.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385316364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385316361
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 13.2 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 814,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'A seductive farrago of sex, sin and spiritualism...Girardi writes with wholehearted, infectious enthusiasm about his saints and sinners. Like Ned, he blatantly enjoys slumming in rough, tough bayou bars or swanning around the formal mansions of old New Orleans families, and his evocative style carries him triumphantly through the twists and turns of his preposterous plot'

The Sunday Times



'An achievement. The narrative wafts between garish, hallucinatory imagery of New York life in the 1990s and the equally chilling, endlessly intriguing life of New Orleans... The writing is meticulously detailed, distractingly beautiful and incessantly vivid'

Time Out



'This totally seductive first novel blossoms from mere chiller into something infinitely sweeter and warmer...a fiercely readable novel'

Julie Myerson, Mail on Sunday



'As the pulp thickens, you realise this is sick, slick, wall-to-wall pastiche. Great fun'

Observer



'An impressive debut by a writer who at thirty-one is young enough to get even better and old enough to have his own style...the writing is taut, almost terse... There's good descriptive text, good character drawing and good sex in Madeleine's Ghost. I venture that few will shut the book after 360 pages and not feel the better for it. It is that great an achievement'

Literary Review



'A spirited debut mingling past, present and the vastly different worldviews of New Orleans and New York... entrancing characters, finely turned comic flourishes and a cryptful of cann plot twists make for a smooth, intoxicating delight'

Kirkus Reviews



'In a first novel of astonishing accomplishment Girardi by turns portrays spooks, erotic love, muggers, Romanium mediums and the Catholic church with startlingly few slips and a shimmering style'

Publishers Weekly



'A modern ghost story that eschews graphic violence for mood, fascinating characters, and a story that opens strong and keeps building'

Library Journal



'Girardi quite wisely adds man elements to keep his narrative flowing. More than a tale of spiritual haunting, it's a story of how love can haunt a lover... And more than a love story, Madeleine's Ghost is a tale of hard contemporary reality, of how people try to destroy themselves if the city they live in doesn't get to them first... This book is a vivid, vibrant gumbo of ghosts and gypsies, lovers and others, making for a fast, can't-put-it-down reading experience'

New Orleans Times-Picayune



'Atmospheric, sweet-natured novel about the miraculous power of love... This satisfying novel is filled with a rich cast of supporting characters'

San Francisco Chronicle



'Ned [is] a hilarious mix of longing and arrested development... The narrative zings along... It is so freshly observed'

The New York Times



'A contemporary story of a haunting, beautifully written, highly intriguing and definitely worth pushing'

The Bookseller



'Immensely engaging, lavish in its descriptive details,with a good, engrossinng story to tell... Part love story, part ghost story, always absorbing, it is in many ways a remarkable achievement'

Los Angeles Times book Review



'Haunting... An engrossing, fast-paced debut that moves almost effortlessly between New York, New Orleans and the 19th-century South'

The Washington Times



'Readers have waited too long for Robert Girardi's peculiar, mesmerising genius. With the publication of Madeleine's Ghost, they may now experience his penchant for the grit and history of cities, for the beguiling passions that bind men and women, and, above all, for the hauntedness in all of us'

Colin Harrison, author of Manhattan Nocturne

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Girardi lives in Washington D.C. with his wife, poet and novelist Linda Girardi and their three children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A great debut novel for Robert Girardi. My friend loaned me a copy for a holiday and I was unable to put it down. Travelling back and forth in time to the very different cities of Brooklyn, New York and New Orleans, the story revolves around Ned Conti, a thirtysomething who lacks direction in his life and the paranormal events that occur in his apartment during one hot summer in New York. Wonderfully atmospheric descriptions of Conti's gritty existence in New York and the seedy side of 19th Century New Orleans. Amazing - I haven't read such a good ghost story since Susan Hill's "The Woman In Black".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Read It!! 27 April 2001
By Sawbuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have no idea what book the negative reviewers were reading - but my well-worn copy, and much gifted copies to friends was and remains a wonderful, powerful read. The book is much deeper than you think - yes it is a love story, a ghost story, a history, a mystery and God forbid, even a happy ending for the troubled souls in the book, and the audience. As a person who is haunted by places at times, the book evokes that sense of lost time wonderfully - and Ned Conti is proof that persistence is key, although good fortune, even in small amounts never hurts. This is a wonderful book. Read it and enjoy the trip. I have given away 10 copies, and everyone loved it. Who you going to believe?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally something worth reading! 30 Sep 2002
By DeeDee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I knew from Paragraph 1 that Madeleine's Ghost would be a winner. The haunting in his apartment, his relationship with his neighbors, friends and the priest, and the uncertain life of living in New York (with the low rent, projects and bodies) all work together to make this an excellent novel. Ned Conti seems to be hovering on the line between skepticism and faith. He and his friends, Chase, Jillian, Molesworth, are ever so alive in the story. Parts of the book made me laugh out loud and other parts made me think. It's also nice to read a novel where the main character hasn't shed his religious faith, either. The story kept going at an even pace and was well put-together. Very entertaining.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Cheesy Spooks In White Sheets Here!!! 26 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A very classy debut novel from Robert Girardi. My friend loaned me a copy for my vacation and I was completely engrossed from start to finish. Travelling back and forth in time to the very different cities of New York and New Orleans, the story revolves around Ned Conti, a thirtysomething who lacks direction in his life and the paranormal events that occur in his apartment during one hot summer in New York. Wonderfully atmospheric descriptions of Conti's gritty existence in New York and the seedy side of 19th Century New Orleans. Amazing - I haven't read such a good ghost story since Susan Hill's "The Woman In Black".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ghost/love story novel 3 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book combines the best of a ghost and a love story. It also manages to convey the gritty, seamy side of New York City where crime and muggings have become second nature and contrast it with the down-home, blues-driven, relaxed style of New Orleans life - past and present. You read of drugs, despair, saints and sinners and what happens to people who make wrong choices for what they perceive to be right reasons. You can travel back and forth in time and when the story ends, you end up knowing that there is another story still to be written about many of these characters. These people were humans with human weaknesses and failings. You could sympathize as well as recognize their fantasies and beliefs and you are satisfied at the book's end that everything came together in a complete circle of time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully grounded for a ghost story. 1 July 2000
By Kristin Summerlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was caught from the opening scene, with the stones falling from the ceiling. The book held me fast with its intricate twining of cities, people, places and times, not to mention the juxtapostion of the supernatural on the often otherworldly weirdness of the modern world. The mingled plots developed and kinked and then worked themselves out beautifully. The protagonist, painfully naive at times, managed to have his eyes opened and maintain his innocent dignity through to the end. Very engaging story.
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