BOOK REVIEW: JASON ARNOPP – THE LAST DAYS OF JACK SPARKS

JACKSPARKS

 

The Last Days of Jack Sparks boasts one unique and clever premise for a story. The book is written by British journalist and author, Jason Arnopp but is also presented as being the “final” book or epitaph by a controversial journalist and broadcaster named Jack Sparks. This is an unnerving and mysterious tale that throws up a lot of questions.

The story goes that Jack Sparks has carved out an illustrious career as a pop culture journalist and non-fiction author with the tales, Jack Sparks on Drugs and Jack Sparks on a Pogo Stick. Sparks has been labelled and lauded as a “rebel “and dismissed as a “hack”. He certainly has the ability to divide people and in some ways there seems to be a whiff in common between Sparks and the late Hunter S. Thompson. The two would make firm friends – if they were both still around.

It was with some trepidation that Sparks’ brother, Alistair learns about his brother’s latest work, Jack Sparks on the Supernatural. This all begins with Jack Sparks witnessing an exorcism. But he is also a disbelieving cynic who can’t control himself. His YouTube channel has a bizarre video uploaded to it and this could actually prove the existence of ghosts. But Sparks will suffer from an untimely death and this leaves some suspicious online fans suggesting that the writer had been a victim of foul play.

This book pieces together “Sparks’” draft book as well as interviews, emails and other material. This extra stuff shows that there is more than one side to the narrative and it will make the reader stop and question a few things, not least the veracity of Sparks’ own account. While the book starts off with a bang and it has a great idea, it does loose itself a little in the final act. The end does feature some slow pacing and some bizarre curveballs and some readers will find it hard investing time in such a disagreeable lead character.

Jason Arnopp’s debut novel is a quirky one boasting an excellent idea. The whole story is a refreshing take on the comedy thriller genre. Ultimately this is one creepy, weird and unsettling tale which is told in a clever way. Hopefully this is not the last you hear from Arnopp or Sparks because here, Arnopp proves he is bright spark indeed.

 

***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: https://www.thereadingroom.com/book/the-last-days-of-jack-sparks/9610094/

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