Books Magazine

The Ghost Boy – Book Review

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

The Ghost Boy By Martin Pistorius

I saw the book in the store sat there on the shelf amongst hundreds of others yet something made me pick it up and read the back Ghost Boy cover The Ghost Boy   Book Reviewcover. I don’t know if it was the title “The Ghost Boy” itself or the back cover which convinced me to buy it, but I did.

I have had it a while now, sat on the bookcase and decided to start reading it last night. I finished reading it at 1am this morning. I had to know what happened.

The back cover of the book reads;

“Have you ever seen one of those movies where someone wakes up as a ghost but doesn’t know they’ve died? That’s how it was, as I realised people were looking through and around me and I didn’t understand why. However much I tried to beg and plead, shout and scream, I couldn’t make them notice me. My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren’t mine to control and my voice was mute. I couldn’t make a sign or a sound to let anyone know Id become aware again. I was invisible. The ghost boy.”

Martin was twelve when he became ill, the doctors had no idea what to do or how to help him. Within 18 months he had become mute and wheelchair bound. I can only imagine the turmoil his parents faced when they were told that their beloved son had the brain of a baby and to allow nature to take its course.

Martins experience made me think of my own time when I was there but not there, when my own mental illness prevented me from speaking out. I would feel people looking through me, I was the crazy women and would not understand what was going on so why bother to talk to me? While I did have a voice, Martin didn’t.  That sheer frustration at not being able to make a simple signal to the outside world must have been soul destroying.

Yes he faced abuse and stigma and even today people will stop and stare or do a double take on him when they see him, but Martin has proved how far he has come. Struggling to make sense of this new life he faced, he could so easily have given in and at times I guess he wanted too. But he didn’t and this man shows tremendous strength and inspiration.

I have to admin I shed a tear when I read the chapter where Martin and the love of his life get married. I also remember feeling that gut wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach when he traveled across the world to meet her for the first time, I was praying she wasn’t going to end up breaking his heart.

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye Says H. Jackson Brown, Jr. and this is exactly what happened to Martin. Who could ever love someone like him? Someone who could not talk, walk, even dress himself? Asking your partner to hold your straw so you can drink isn’t exactly a great chat up line is it?

Yet with the love that his partner gave he began getting stronger and the determination to make the most of what he had. The desire to at least try, has turned this rather sad story into one of sheer admiration.

I highly recommend the book and hope Martin continues to fight his demons of The Ghost Boy and can finally see himself what for he really is, a strong and inspirational man.

 The Ghost Boy   Book Review

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