A short, infectious, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of Stranger Things and Stand by Me about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends. Finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
When neurosurgeon Jake Baker operates, he knows he's handling more than a patient's delicate brain tissue--he's altering the seat of consciousness, the golden vault of memory. And memory, Jake knows well, can be a tricky, quicksilver thing.
When growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls, a.k.a. Cataract City--a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place--one of Jake's closest confidantes was his uncle Calvin, a sweet but eccentric misfit enamored of occult artefacts and outlandish conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turned twelve, Calvin invited him to join the "Saturday Night Ghost Club"--a seemingly light-hearted project to investigate some of Cataract City's more macabre urban myths. Over the course of that life-altering summer, Jake not only met his lifelong best friend and began to imagine his own future, he came to realize that his uncle's preoccupation with chilling legends sprang from something so painful, and buried so deep, that Calvin himself was unaware of the source.
From the Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated author of Cataract City and bestselling memoir Precious Cargo, here is a note-perfect novel that poignantly examines the fragility of mind and body, the resilience of the human spirit--and the haunting mutability of memory.
CRAIG DAVIDSON was born and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. He has published five previous books of literary fiction, including Rust and Bone, which was the inspiration for a Golden Globe-nominated feature film of the same name; the Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated novel Cataract City; and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize finalist The Saturday Night Ghost Club. His bestselling memoir, Precious Cargo, about his year spent driving a school bus for children with special needs, was a finalist for Canada Reads. Davidson lives in Toronto, Canada.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
“Davidson makes beautifully clear how the ghoulish tales we feared when we were young can’t compare to the blood-bathed teeth we eventually encounter as adults. The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a tale for those who like their Stranger Things spiked, Stand By Me charred, and who are battered enough yet still brave enough to revisit that moment when made-up horrors finally come to root in a world beyond invention. A novel that both stabs and breaks your heart.” —Mark Z. Danielewski, bestselling author of House of Leaves
“A moving, delightful, thrillingly unexpected coming-of-age story about the irresistible collision of childhood’s dark wonders and adulthood’s haunting mysteries.” —Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays
“A nostalgia-driven coming-of-age thriller in the vein of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things and golden-age 1980s Stephen King. Davidson writes so convincingly from a twelve-year-old boy’s perspective—vividly capturing those first pangs of love and the torture of being bullied—that it takes the puzzle of unravelling Uncle C’s troubled mind and the scalpel-sharp sections in which adult Jake describes his work as a brain surgeon to remind readers that this is, in fact, a book about the disquieting nature of memory and the stealthy ways the past can haunt someone. For sheer storytelling prowess, and the chops to scare readers screwy with monsters both real and of our own imagining, the label of Canada’s Stephen King . . . belongs to Craig Davidson, claws down.” —Stacey Madden, Quill & Quire
“A coming-of-age novel, marking the time when you realize there’s more going on in life than meets the eye. In Saturday Night, ghost stories are used to explore how resilient we are, how our mind helps us to survive, and how, sometimes, our memories help us take the horrible things that happen to us and weave them into a life that still has hope. It’s an examination, like most good literature is, of how we live our lives.” —Deborah Dundas, Toronto Star
Praise for Craig Davidson:
“Craig Davidson is one of this country’s great kinetic writers.” —Steven Beattie, The Globe and Mail
“Davidson’s remarkable storytelling gifts are several . . . [He] possesses a stealthy capacity for pace and plot exercised in a cinematic array of places . . . Superb, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining. Davidson is a seriously talented writer.” —Noah Richler, National Post
“Davidson balances his headlong plotting with fresh, poetic language . . . bracing and poignant.” —Maclean’s
“I can’t think of another prose stylist out there as visceral and kinetic as Davidson . . . Utterly compelling.” —The Independent