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"Debut novelist Morton tells a gloriously macabre young-adult tale about the difficulties of being a teenage ghoul in the 1970s... pairs the darker aspects of life in high school with the lighter aspects of cannibalism, including details that range from humorous, poignant reflections on monster movies to quirky details of grave robbing. Howard’s very human struggle to find acceptance explores whether being a monster is in fact a choice. The ending will likely leave readers happy and delightfully disturbed. Once readers dig up this clever supernatural YA story, they likely won’t want to put it down."
-- KIRKUS REVIEWS
"With AMERICAN GHOUL, Walt Morton has created a universally relatable New Jersey high school setting in which to plunk down outsider Howard Pickman. Howard struggles with his ghoulish burden, but it proves to be his greatest strength. An immensely compelling story that stays in your mind long after you've finished reading."
-- Julia Dray, Film Producer
"Forget vampires, zombies, and werewolves. Ghouls are the new face of monster horror. And in AMERICAN GHOUL, Walt Morton has written the Urtext of ghoul fiction. Not since Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN has an author penned such an original tale of macabre terror. The creep factor in Morton's debut novel is off the charts, the humor is dark, and the characters are disturbingly real. For every geek, nerd, or outsider who's been bullied in high school, this book is for you. For everyone else, you'll want to be cremated after you die. At least I do now. If I had four million dollars, I'd buy the movie rights immediately." -- Eric Coyote, author of THE LONG DRUNK
"Funny, scary, and moving. American Ghoul is a fast-paced thriller and coming of age story. Set in the 1970's amidst high school, muscle cars and punk rock is a teenager trying to find his way. The main character Howard is a likable kid trying to do his best as he battles his true nature; but he needs his true nature to survive. His best friend and band mate Sebastian is hilariously quotable as he constantly rages against the machine. Granny is blast as well as an unlikely, quirky voice of occasional reason. Reminiscent of Heathers, this book explores what it is like to feel like an awkward monster and looks at just who the real monsters are. It is humorous, sometimes dark, and filled with witty social commentary. A fun read for teens and their parents who will appreciate the nostalgia for the '70s." - KMD, San Francisco
"I read a lot of fiction, mostly sci-fi and horror. American Ghoul is not quite like any other fiction that I've read before. It's not exactly horror, it's not exactly a coming of age story, it's not exactly a comedy, but somehow has elements of all of these. It *is* one of the most original pieces of fiction that I have read in quite a while, and is a heck of a fun read. ... I was very surprised at how much I liked American Ghoul, mostly for its portrayal of of how Howard makes a new life for himself in NJ, finds a group of likewise socially outcast friends and deals with all of that and his senior year in High School, plus his and Granny's unique eating requirements. It is exceedingly well written. Once I was in, I was never jarred out of the story by poor or clumsy writing, giant plot holes, lame vocabulary or poorly drawn characters.The writing, editing, dialog and pacing are so well done that it is hard to imagine that this is Morton's first novel. There is little or none of the horror or gore that I would have expected from a "ghoul" novel (of course, come to think of it, I've read tons of novels about vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons etc, but this was my first ghoul), but there is horror - of the human kind. That is often the worst. Morton brings everything to a exciting and satisfying conclusion, with a couple of large twists en route. All in all, very well done. Highly Recommended." - J. Tepper, New Jersey
"Howard and his family are not ordinary people. They are ghouls who survive by eating the dead. They live among us, pretending to be just like us, and fearing discovery. Simply put, this is an example of horror at its finest. The story is unique, the characters are fantastic, and there's just the right amount of gore. In addition, the author has a wry sense of humor which adds just the right touch. The book takes place in the seventies and the references are fabulous.... The editing is impeccable. Every word was chosen with exacting care and the book reads beautifully. A huge key for me in reviewing books is the question, "Would I read this author again?". Well, after finishing this book, I immediately got back onto Amazon and searched for more books by this author. I was ready to buy. Unfortunately, there weren't any others listed. I was incredibly disappointed. I simply want more..." - OP, Pasadena
"This is a first novel for the author, and a first novel in what is bound to be an engaging series. Told from the POV of a young man who is about to enter his senior year of high school, and who also happens to be a ghoul. The time is the 70s on the East Coast. The author makes great use of the time and location, inviting the reader to jump into the era with gusto. At the same time, issues like bullies, standardized testing, class rankings, and other gory aspects of the high school experience at handled with deft attention to detail and insight that speaks to teens of any era. I really like that the hero has only a partial handle on his ghoul side. The learning process, which is a combination of embracing and rejecting the instructions of his elders, makes for an interesting read. The characters in the book are all memorable. They don't feel like place keeper foils for the hero's development. Small details about even the most minor characters (the principal's haircut) bring real dimension. I would highly recommend this book as a solid, fun read." - Woperd.
"What I most appreciated about "American Ghoul" was not necessarily its ghoulish context but how effortlessly Walt Morton works the Gothic elements into the story of what would otherwise be that of a typical teenage boy. I say Gothic because the novel is not really horror. The ghoul is the main character and the reader cheers for him--there is no supernatural force or creature for the reader or main characters to fear. The most evil things in the book are humans and a society that doesn't understand ghouls, and especially a group of teenage boys who like to bully Howard and his nerdy friends who are starting up a punk band--it's the 1970s when punk was still taking off. The book's real moments of horror all derive from being in high school and dealing with the bullies. Anyone wanting a refreshing story with a young voice full of humor and teenage angst, yet with all the Gothic trappings that have kept the genre popular for over two centuries would do well to give "American Ghoul" a try. It's Morton's first in an intended sextet of books in the supernatural horror genre, so don't miss out and get left behind." - T.Tichelaar, Michigan
"We've all read novels about what it's like to be a high school outsider. So it's even more fascinating to read Morton's account of 17-year-old Howard Pickman, and realize you feel a profound empathy for his protagonist despite the rather gruesome secret he must strive to protect. What's also fascinating is how Morton recreates the high school experience of the late 1970s, complete with jocks, freaks, and the dark artists who came of age in the heyday of punk rock. This is a book rich in spirit, and transcends the usual exploitation of the horror genre to offer a redemptive tale of Howard and his friends Sebastian, Gerald, and Dwayne, who form a bond, and a band, while trying to stay alive in a world that doesn't take kindly to strangers, individuals, or ghouls. But maybe it should." - FCP, Connecticut
"It's hard to say exactly why it's more interesting now to read this story of a young American Ghoul than all of the Zombie Apocalypse stuff. Maybe because the main character is the Ghoul. Actually he is a teenager who happens to be a Ghoul and has to deal with it....The reader is actually involved in journey of the monster and not just the killing of the monster. That's what made the original Frankenstein so compelling. You felt for the tortured soul and the same time you feared it. And "American Ghoul" is simply a great and very original story, very well told." - M.R., Portland