My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story by William Hart Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author William Hart shares the true story of his connection with a friend who passed away years ago, but has returned to his life as a ghost in his book, “My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story”.


The Synopsis

A close friend of mine, maybe the brightest student in our high school of four thousand, came to see me some years back. He came as a ghost with a favor to ask, renewing a friendship that continues a decade later.

Richard has the same immature young adult personality he had when he died in a Haight-Asbury fire in 1970. But as a spirit he can travel very far very fast, appear and disappear at will, or shape-shift into a feisty moth. He enters locked homes to visit loved ones, sometimes projecting powerful images into their minds. Annoyed, he’s a smelly, destructive nuisance. Sometimes he’s affectionate.

Anyone wanting to know more about ghosts will find a wealth of firsthand information in this true narrative, which follows the life and afterlife of my artistically gifted but dismayingly self-destructive buddy. For adults and young adults.

The Review

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me beyond my book reviews, aside from being a writer and author, I am a paranormal enthusiast. I have a paranormal podcast, have joined several paranormal communities, and have even investigated a few locations with more to come. So anytime I am able to get my hands on a nonfiction narrative surrounding the paranormal, I am thrilled to do so. The author here did an incredible job of presenting a personal and relatable story of experiencing the paranormal and connecting with the spirit themselves. The imagery and tone the author struck felt both casual and yet emotionally in-depth. 

Yet it was the thoughtful and emotional journey the author went on that really resonated with me. The experience of seeing or hearing something paranormal can be a profound one. The experience is always unique to the individual. Sometimes it can be a loved one, family member, or friend who visits us. Other times it can be an encounter with something otherworldly altogether. Yet those moments that William Hart captures here with his friend Richard felt both relatable and heartfelt in the author’s delivery. The short-story format allowed the author to focus solely on this paranormal experience, and the relationship both in life and death that the author had with Richard is something so many people have experienced at one point or another in life, adding a very real human level to this nonfiction narrative.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and memorable, author William Hart’s “My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story” is a must-read short story and a nonfiction book. The book was both an easy read and yet a powerful and striking story of coming face to face with the unknown, opening oneself to new possibilities, and reconnecting with the people who have made an impact on our lives, even if they are no longer physically here. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

William Hart is a novelist and poet living in Los Angeles. After earning a doctorate in English from the University of Southern California, he taught college writing courses in LA and wrote. Now he writes–fiction mostly–while helping produce the documentaries of filmmaker Jayasri Majumdar, his wife. Hart’s work has appeared in several hundred literary journals, commercial magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, and fourteen books. A pair of one-hour documentaries from Hartfilms aired nationally on PBS, the latest receiving Emmy nominations. 


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