The Worthy: A Ghost’s Story

The Greek system sure must have pissed off WILL CLARKE during his brief stint as a college lad in a toga, because he returns the favor in his second novel, THE WORTHY: A GHOST’S STORY, by mercilessly satirizing frat boys and their obsessions: sex, beer, and beer—in roughly that order. Not unlike a savvy, bastard offspring of Ghost and Animal House, The Worthy finds the confused spirit of recently dead Gamma Chi pledge Conrad Avery Sutton III wandering the Louisiana State University campus trying to protect young pledges and his ex-girlfriend from Ryan Hutchins, the Gamma Chi brother who killed him in a hazing incident (fratricide?). Conrad finds that he can possess and control people, though it is, oddly enough, not as easy as it looks in the movies. Clarke plays the fraternity shenanigans as slapstick—the spoofing is broad, and the characters are more like caricatures—but he introduces consequences that make clear he’s not laughing on the inside. Simon & Schuster, $23

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