Ken McGorry's Ghost Hampton
Now on Amazon.com & BarnesandNoble.com
YEARS IN THE MAKING, AUTHOR ASSURES HIS SCARY/FUNNY BOOK "WON'T TAKE YEARS TO READ"
A terrific car crash in Bridgehampton ends the career of Lyle Hall, the town's most resented lawyer. Now he hears things, and sees things, no one else can -- especially at the old Victorian house nearby that's about to be demolished. A little girl's voice pleads for his help. In return, the ghostly apparition shows Lyle an appalling vision: his own daughter's tombstone. Lyle's daughter is a young police detective. But etched in stone is a shocking date only four days away.
The locals will never believe Lyle. But when it leaks that the old house might be haunted, a horde of paranormal buffs descends on the town. So does Big Media. And a scheming TV reporter in high heels with Lyle Hall in her sights.
My first novel! I fell into a love/obsession with the characters (most of them) in this dramatic telling of life and one death in a substance-abuse rehab in 2005. Yet Smashed is weirdly funny. The main character, "Butch," a newly minted counselor and former Wall street big shot, is a memorable rip.
He's assigned a dirty-dozen-style group of patients who connive to benefit from his inexperience. Butch suffers from sadly funny flashbacks as he tries to manage a radically new life, a surprising new love, and, most critically, stop his ex-wife from taking his son away (to New Jersey). Butch's core issue is severe guilt over surviving the collapse of the Twin Towers. (Smashed offers a true, factual account applied to our fictional hero).
Fact: Smashed was actually scoured by a professional book editor. Then I wheedled the manuscript to only 126,000 captivating words.
PRAISE FOR SMASHED
What readers have to say about Smashed
From Nan Talese
From: Talese, Nan, randomhouse.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 4:16 PM
To: Ken McGorry
Dear Mr. McGorry,
I have read your synopsis and part of the novel: the voice is very male, very contemporary and the pace awfully good. I am not much of a judge of commercial fiction, which SMASHED surely is, as I publish mainly literary fiction and non-fiction. But I think you have a good story and the writing really moves along. We know the voice right away, which is good. And the situation as a survivor of the Twin Towers is splendid and fresh, but I think the telling of that should be less macho and more serious. But if I were you I would send it back to the associate editor at Penguin and if it is not for them, ask for a suggestion for a literary agent; because agents know exactly what editors are looking for something like SMASHED.
Good luck. I am sure you will find the right publisher.
From general-population readers:
All are adult professionals, mostly women, all enjoy reading fiction and nonfiction. They were asked, without coaching, to comment on their reading experience:
I loved Smashed! I did pass out last night, but woke early this morning and finished it. I like the characters in it and how you brought them to life. The descriptions of the facilities and all that is involved was really good. The ending was great, too...not toooo rosy. loved your son's picture. Really nice touch.
I have also read all about EMDR...interesting, provocative therapy. I am sure, somewhere, there are heated discussions on the ethics of the treatment. -- Suz B
Ken, I loved your book!! This should be out there. You are really a very good writer.
I sincerely hope that you believe me; I read constantly (and listen to books in the car which is sort of 'reading'). This story goes to some dark places but the protagonist seems very real to me. I will pass this book along to a fellow reader.
Do you have an agent? You should. Thank you again for sharing your work of art with me. I so appreciated reading it. -- Suzy K
Ken, thanks so much! Very, very good read. Hope you get it published. -- F. T.
"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your book. While reading it I couldn’t wait to get back to the further ‘adventures’ of Butch and the cast of characters. Great dialogue." -- Bart
"Hated to put ‘Smashed’ down, thoroughly enjoyed it, written with great style and humor." -- Jeannie S.
“‘Smashed’ is the real deal! It's intelligent, funny, poignant, modern, and clever, and I will be shocked if it isn't huge. Have you been approached for the movie rights? The book is really great -- congratulations!” – Corey
"I really enjoyed the character development and the incredible story. Butch became a part of my life while reading. I thought the book really spoke to the severe tragedy experienced by so many families in this metropolitan area... I know many people who lived that fast and furious financial lifestyle. All who experienced the severe trauma of 9-11 and the loss of so many colleagues and friends.
I really think ‘Smashed’ caught the intensity and shock, which led to results such as Butch's. The most important part of the book for me was the incredible sense of redemption the character experiences. I want to hear more.” – Ria E.
“It’s a great story, a terrific read; I couldn't put the book down. I’m VERY jealous of you; you have a gift -- really. I loved so many parts about the book, especially the appendectomy chapter and how fate tied in all together with ‘Star Trek’ -- it was brilliant.” -- Elise
"I know your protagonist . . . that is to say, I know two people who if combined would be this guy [Butch]. Great book, I like the Ninth Step . . . that works really well. And I’m a sucker for happy endings featuring sexual tension.” -- Greg
"Just wanted to send you congratulations on your wonderful book. As with other great novels, I really miss reading about the characters, now that I've finished it." -- Becky
"Just finished reading ‘Smashed’ and really enjoyed it. I started to appreciate my job a lot more after reading about Butch’s first two weeks on the job. I was very into it and looked forward every morning and evening on my bus ride to reading more (even took the opportunity during the work day to read as well)." – Ed A.
"I loved the ending, and am actually sorry not to still be a part of his adventure. (As a fly on the wall, not a drinking partner or patient!)" – Jeannie O.
"I felt buoyed in my belief that the only way to find true happiness is through service to others. By the end of the book I felt like I really knew and understood Butch -- you could feel him evolve as the story went along." -- Dawn
“A terrific read! I didn’t want it to end. I loved the surprise ending. When’s the movie?” -- Ginny
“For me, Ken’s style conjures up a mix of Joseph Heller and Nelson DeMille ... specifically the ironic humor of the former and the character development of the latter. ‘Butch’ reminds me of men who served in the Marine Corps with me and, after becoming successful in life, reverted to that animal proclivity that enabled them to face the prospect of combat without trepidation. Thanks for the page-turner. Oh, and I can't stand Cameron either!” -- Peter
“’Smashed’ provides a paradoxically entertaining, gripping, heart-wrenching story of the strengths and weaknesses found in both patient and clinician. Thank you!” – Ed J.
“I enjoyed reading about all Butch’s problems and how he pulled through. The story moves quickly. I was very interested in his 9/11 experience -- you could almost feel it – and I loved the “Free Pass” scene with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.” – Betty R.
Ghost Hampton Harrier