Ghost Lights: A Novel (Paperback)
"Surreal, darkly hilarious and profound." —San Francisco Chronicle
Ghost Lights stars an IRS bureaucrat named Hal—a man baffled by his wife’s obsession with her missing employer. In a moment of drunken heroism, Hal embarks on a quest to find the man, embroiling himself in a surreal tropical adventure (and an unexpected affair with a beguiling German woman). Ghost Lights is Lydia Millet at her best—beautifully written, engaging, full of insight into the heartbreaking devotion of parenthood and the charismatic oddity of human behavior.
About the Author
Lydia Millet has won awards from PEN Center USA and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her books have been shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award and longlisted for the National Book Award. She lives outside Tucson, Arizona.
[Millet’s] writing is always flawlessly beautiful, reaching for an experience that precedes language itself.
— Laura Miller
Strange, alternately quirky, and profound.
— Josh Emmons
Gorgeous…If literature can under the best circumstances transport, then Millet’s extraordinary vision brings us in on the float.
— Minna Proctor
A yarn about marriage, fatherhood, and idealism, its every page idiosyncratically entertaining, amusing, and insightful. Millet proves she might have Jonathan Franzen beat at expertly mixing the political and domestic.
Millet is that rare writer of ideas who can turn a ruminative passage into something deeply personal. She can also be wickedly funny, most often at the expense of the unexamined life.
— Tricia Springstubb
With its linguistic and plot pranks and underlying moral complexity, Ghost Lights recalls the laconic, Lacanian novels of Paul Auster. Like Auster, Millet presents a disoriented postmodern hero who becomes a willing but only marginally competent detective in a mystery that requires a series of absurd divagations leading to a life-changing or life-threatening existential inquiry.
— Carolyn Cooke
Millet…skillfully interweaves the personal and the political, making Hal’s journey both specific and universal.
— Christine DeZelar-Tiedman
Thrilling, witty, and philosophical.
— Kimberly Cutter
Millet is a gifted writer, often dropping droll and sardonic throw-away lines of surprisingly smart humor.
It’s always hard to wait for the next Charles Lenox mystery to come out, and they keep getting better all the time. In this one, a man’s body is found one night in 1855 on the last train into Paddington Station, but he has no identification, luggage, or possessions and the labels are cut out of his clothes. Where does detective Lenox start? At the same time, Lenox is hoping that his relationship with Kitty Ashbrook will deepen. Finch’s characters are so engaging and show all the foibles of human nature, and his Victorian London setting is as delightful as ever—you can practically taste the tea and toast and feel the creeping mists. - reviewed by Nikki