The Spirits Up: A Novel (Paperback)

The Spirits Up: A Novel By Todd Babiak Cover Image
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Warm, witty, and unsettling all at once, here is an unforgettable story of a family desperate for something to believe in.

Benedict is an inventor whose life’s work is a clean energy machine. It has just made him an overnight sensation and his family is suddenly wealthy. Benedict’s wife, Karen, and his teenage daughters, Charlotte and Poppy, are proud of him. But there are problems Benedict is too busy to see: Karen is deeply unhappy in the marriage and contemplating an affair, Charlotte, who is dealing with a chronic illness, is growing more and more distant, and Poppy is cracking under the pressures of her social circle. And there’s another problem. Benedict holds a rather terrible secret about his clean energy machine.
Then, on Halloween night, an accident threatens to make everything far worse for the family. The accident kicks off a series of hauntings in their beautiful, historic home in affluent Belgravia, and the ghosts make it clear that they want something from them. Karen has to save her daughters — and herself. Meanwhile, Benedict is consumed by the knowledge that he has to achieve the impossible by Christmas. As time ticks ever closer to the revelation of his secret, he spirals further into despair . . .
The Spirits Up is the story of a family haunted by the charmlessness of middle age and the cruelties of modern teenage life. Part social satire and part contemporary ghost story (with a hint of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol), it is an exploration of a timeless question: what happens when there’s nothing to believe?

About the Author

TODD BABIAK's most recent novels are The Empress of Idaho, Son of France, and Come Barbarians, which was a Globe and Mail Book of the Year and a number one bestseller. His earlier work includes The Garneau Block, which was a national bestseller, a longlisted title for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the winner of the City of Edmonton Book Prize; The Book of Stanley; and Toby: A Man, which was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal and won the Alberta Book Award for Best Novel. Todd Babiak is the co-founder of Story Engine and CEO of Brand Tasmania. He currently lives with his family in Hobart. 

Praise For…

Praise for Todd Babiak and The Spirits Up:

“A perfect novel for the fall season, from the spooky season to the festive.” —Toronto Star
“A family tormented by the past, a house terrorized by supernatural vandals and a holiday threatened by ghastly apparitions — Todd Babiaks’ new book, The Spirits Up, has all the hallmarks of a good Christmas ghost story.” —Edmonton Journal

Praise for Todd Babiak and
The Empress of Idaho:
“If Gillian Flynn, Richard Ford, Vladimir Nabokov, and John Irving got together to write a novel, they would come up with The Empress of Idaho. Plan ahead before you start—once you do, you will not be able to stop.” —Cathal Kelly, author of Boy Wonders
“Todd Babiak’s writing is so perceptive and witty, his characters so thick with life that you’ll find yourself carried along the novel’s twists and turns . . . Part dark comedy, part thriller, and part coming-of-age tale, The Empress of Idaho is a kaleidoscope of masterful storytelling.” —Amy Stuart, author of Still Mine
“An achingly tender read shot through with Babiak’s humour and grace, this novel charms you as it haunts you. I could not put it down.” —Claudia Dey, author of Heartbreaker
“Babiak skillfully develops his characters and their connections in a manner which reveals their individual depths. . . . A powerful, unsettling novel.” —Toronto Star
“Babiak has created a wholly believable boy on the verge of manhood . . . The Empress of Idaho is a brave book. [A] challenging and compulsively readable novel.” —Quill & Quire

Product Details
ISBN: 9780771096242
ISBN-10: 0771096240
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: October 26th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English