"Beginning this book, I was expecting to be reading about painkiller junkies fighting off their demons habits. Do not be mislead ... painkillers play a role in this story but there is so much more to it. The characters are very "real" and the author gets deep into their heads so you can join them in self-realizations and motives. The plot points are unrelenting and often brutal, and there is always something unexpected happening that just comes out of nowhere. The writing style is very poetic in its rhythm and stream of consciousness. You begin to feel the pace of the lives of the characters in an eerie way. The book is also a thriller in a big way. You will not regret reading this book, and it shouldn't take you long to finish considering how hard it is to put down!"
"Painkiller Ghosts is written in an interesting manner; it's an unusual narrative, with various parts of the Thymothy/Thyme's life in the past and present. It may take a bit of adjustment for some readers, though it makes perfect sense in telling his story.
Another Amazon reviewer describes Harding's writing as having "elements of the dry wit of Bukowski mixed with the satire of Kurt Vonnegut." I have to agree. Though fictional, the characters are believable, resilient and complicated. Sometimes I saw parts of people I know in them; other times, parts of myself. I felt a great deal of sympathy (but not pity) for Thyme.
I had a really hard time putting this book down - even late at night knowing I had to get up early for work the next day. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen, or what story of Thyme's bizarre world would be told next. Highly recommended!"
"I found myself pouring through the book. The characters are unique people but you will find they all contain characteristics one can identify with. I'm a bit of a book snob and tend to get easily frustrated never finishing a book. Between the writers style and well all of it I couldn't put it down. It's a bit dark but I enjoyed that...
I encourage you to buy the book be prepared it's not what you will expect. Read it more than once it just gets better. I won't compare the author to others as I never found myself thinking " oh this is just like another book" a pleasant surprise...
I won't ruin your experience by giving you my own interpretation of the book. I'm just going to say it's a must read!!!
"A wonderful variety of characters will be seen within this book. The first thing you'll notice, however, is that the writing style is very different. I questioned if I'd like it when I started. As readers, we seem to get *set* into a certain preferred writing style. But, I have to say, give it a chance. It becomes a most welcome change in writing from most books that you'll pick up.
I wasn't sure of much to expect when I decided to read this book. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's a quick read that keep s you guessing and wanting to turn the page. Another book that should be a welcome addition to most personal book shelves."
"Marc Harding's novel is short and to the point, like me. His subject matter is somewhat dark, but the writing is punchy and upbeat, kinda like Jerry Stahl with a better sense of humor.
I read it and liked it. I went back to the book over this past weekend and thought, 'This is really good. I mean, really good.' There are books about addiction and death and loss that are just so damned relentlessly dark. PAINKILLER GHOSTS is upbeat and --in it's own way-- hopeful.
Check out PAINKILLER GHOSTS. You will not be disappointed."
"Thymothy X. Exler, former addict, survived the death of his girlfriend and dog, the latter he frequently thinks he sees and hears. Finally emerging from his drug induced haze, Thymothy moves back home with his Mom and decides he only wants to be called Thyme as he tries to find some type of normalicy. When Thyme finds a old camera and begins taking pictures everywhere he walks, and he stumbles upon something he hadn't noticed until he developed the film. When event's start to permeate into his new life and those around him, will his eyes see thru the lens of his faithful camera to solve the unraveling?
The author's rhythm and style usage is different, but doesn't take away from the overall story. The author provides a good solid plot to keep the reader enthrawled. This was a very enjoyable read."
Check out some reader reviews of Painkiller Ghosts:
Published in 2010 and currently being adapted into a film by FoxDrive Media, Painkiller Ghosts is available as an ebook, a paperback, or a hardback. Get a copy of Painkiller Ghosts online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble:
"I just put down the novel Painkiller Ghosts and wow. I am blown away. I'm going to describe how I felt the moment that I started on the last chapter... First, after just reading what I read (you must get the book to know) I was breathing fast and my eyes started scanning all over the page. i wanted to read the whole page as if I could just gulp it down. I had to know what happened. I couldn't read fast enough all the way to the fantastic end. Marc's frenetic pace of writing sucked me in and I had a hard time putting it down or even getting off at the right subway station while reading the book. Painkiller Ghosts caused me to miss my stop on two occasions. I was so absorbed in the characters (which are flushed out beautifully) and the story (which is addictive) that I never even noticed that I was leaving Manhattan and heading into Queens. The characters are beautifully woven together. & the story is fascinating and gritty. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a story to get lost in."
"I read this book twice. If you like Tom Robbins, then you will like Marc. The story is easy to follow and you always have Thyme. And then there's Chasity, Lincoln and Stan. Saying any more will just give away too much, read this book."
"J. Marc Harding is a world class writer. Simply put, this is a great book. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something other than a read it and forget it book to pass your time, this book has great substance. Like a ghost, this story will haunt you."
"From the start, this book hooked me, and by the end I found myself reading faster to see what happens. Very good book from a very good up and coming author. I can't wait for the next one!"
"This was a wild ride to say the least. Written as sporadic as the life of someone dealing with the ups and downs of addiction. There were points in the book I found myself relating to the main character. This book was refreshing to me. Very different from a conventional novel, and in my personal opinion, in a very good way. All of the characters are pretty relatable, and I could even compare some of them to people in my own life. Looking forward to more from J Marc Harding. I was very pleased and it's certainly worth the read!"
"I did not know what to expect when I purchased this book and was very pleasantly surprised. You come to like the characters and want to see what is going to happen to them. If I were to compare the prose to other authors I would say it has elements of the dry wit of Bukowski mixed with the satire of Kurt Vonnegut. I can't wait to see what the author does next."
J. Marc Harding
"I really liked the style in which this was written, and the story kept you guessing. The author has a good feel for how real people act and talk, and for how things happen in real life. He has got a good flow down, and he has things in the plot make sense and wrap themselves up without insulting the reader's intelligence - Highly recommended!!"
"The vengeance of one night brings about more revenge than could be handled. Painkiller Ghosts tells the tale of Thyme and his clash with a man who was stalking his mother. One act has led Thyme to new challenges and fears for himself, his love, and his family. In a search to the get to the bottom of it, Painkiller Ghosts is an intriguing mystery, recommended."
"Looking for thrills? Mystery? Flipping Pages? This book is for you!
I thought the story was developed well enough to keep me engaged while the characters felt real to me as well. Both important for a good story.
A unique premise, I have not seen this kind of story before nor the style in which the story is told. I thought the novel was refreshing and kept me hooked.Brilliant cover and I recommend this book to many kinds of people."
Painkiller Ghosts is available as a paperback, a hardback, or an ebook:
"Painkiller Ghosts is a fun, quick read, featuring a charismatic, rhythmic composition. The narration and dialogue seem a little jumpy at first, but the author's control and intent hold things together. Within each "book" of the novel, the sub-plots and character development are orchestrated and interwoven; the flow of the storyline is held back from slipping into stream of consciousness. This style takes a little time to get used to, but the humor and variety of characters and plot activity compel you to see it through. It's not just the author's voice or ego driving this style, it's an appropriate choice for the lifestyle and spirits of the main characters.
There seem to me to be three concentric circles of characters in this novel - Thyme and Chastity are strong leads, if somewhat obscured in definition and archetypal, as suggested by their overtly symbolic names. Thyme's mother Suzanne is integral to both the plot and character/setting context, and the main antagonist would also fit into the second ring of characters - representative, if not built quite the same was as the two leads. The third ring consists of the main characters' friends - though more peripheral, they are most human and realistic - they could be people you know, or would want to know - and they add much dimension to the novel. I was able to easily connect with these characters while following along the play among the leads - this was a real strength to the novel for me. It's great to have this "way in" into the story, which might otherwise read as a little hazy and symbolic."