Book Tour & GIVEAWAY: ‘Giving Up the Ghost’ by Eric Nuzum

Giving Up the Ghost

by Eric Nuzum

The Dial Press

Pub. Date:   August 7, 2012

Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours


Genre:  Memoir

Cover:  Fits the story, but nothing super special

Characters:  Real people with mystery surrounding them

Worth the read?  Yes, if you like memoirs that are not about rainbows and kittens

Tagline:  A story about friendship, 80s rock, a lost scrap of paper, and what it means to be haunted

Favorite quote:

“I never knew why or how, but I felt the Little Girl in a Blue Dress was the harbinger of my own self-destruction.  I had no idea who She was.  I had no idea how She was connected to me.  All I knew was that the Little Girl in a Blue Dress knew the truth.

I felt trapped.  Trapped between the world I didn’t understand and a ghost that I didn’t understand.”


Eric Nuzum is haunted- in every sense of the word.  He is haunted by a ghost of a little girl he has seen since he was a child.  He is haunted by the memory of those who seem to fall all around him.  Mostly, he is haunted by Laura- or the idea of Laura-, a girl he tried to love, but who would not let herself be known.  In an attempt to conquer his fears and the ghosts of his past, he goes on a journey to America’s haunted spots, attempting to find validation in the stories.  However, what seems to result is a debunking of the myths of not only the ghost stories, but those of his past.

Giving Up the Ghost does not exactly focus on 80s rock as much as I was hoping it would.  However, this story is told as only a true punk-rock/New Waver could tell.  Being a child of the 80s and living near Canton, Ohio, I found additional connections to the story that some may not find.  Nuzum, undoubtedly has slight psychological issues, but he does not allow them to control his life today.  This is the story about how he got to the point of living with the ghost, rather than allowing the ghost to dictate his life.  It is a journey of rebellion, drugs, searching for something that can never really be found, and the definition of friendship.

The most important character in this book is not Nuzum, not the ghost of the little girl, and not those who tried to help him along the way.  It is Laura, the girl that remains a mystery in her death as much as she was in life.  Her character tells far more of what was going on at the time than Nuzum may like to admit.  She is the mysterious girl that was obviously deeply troubled by a reason she never would let be known, and she left a trail of clues about herself that no one can seem to puzzle out.  Her story is what is truly haunting about this memoir.  She is the intriguing and elusive character that many have tried to write novels of, but only a true-life story could bring to life.  She is the one that those she touched look back on and wonder about from time to time, and who refuses to be known even in death.

Nuzum delivers a memoir that is a downward spiral, on the way back up.  Not everything is perfectly and neatly connected, but that is merely a reflection of how life really is.  The girl that haunts the story will stay with you long after, even if Nuzum’s journey does not.  In the end, it seems that he may not be able to outrun the ghosts of his life, but he has learned to live with them in a new way.  This is an interesting take on discovering truth and chasing down the demons.



The Dial Press has generously offered a copy of ‘Giving Up the Ghost’ for one lucky reader.  To be entered, simply comment below & tell me what your favorite memoir is, with your e-mail address in the comment.   
Must be at least 17-years-old and live in the US/CAN.  I will pick a winner by random August 18, 2012.


Check out the entire blog tour calendar.

‘Giving Up the Ghost’ can be purchased at, as well as your local independent bookseller.

For more about Eric Nuzum, go to his website here.


5 thoughts on “Book Tour & GIVEAWAY: ‘Giving Up the Ghost’ by Eric Nuzum

  1. I really can’t say I’ve read too many memoirs. Since I can’t recall one being my favorite, I will say the last one I read was ANYTHING GOES by John Barrowman. He was Captain Jack on Doctor Who and then Toarchwood. He’s beautiful and I find him very interesting.

    Laura Kay

  2. My favorite memoir is “Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s” by John Elder Robison. It was very readable and I learned so much about how someone with Asperger’s sees the world! This book sounds really interesting! I think most people are haunted by something so I am curious to read this author’s story! Thanks for the amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

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