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THE WORTHY by Will Clarke

THE WORTHY

A Ghost’s Story

By Will Clarke

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7432-7315-X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The ghost of a Louisiana State frat boy, seeking revenge for his death; the salvation of one of the fraternity’s big dumb pledges; and a few of the good things in life not generally available to the dead.

The excesses of Greek life proved fatal for Gamma Chi pledge Conrad Sutton when the exceedingly handsome, coke-snorting, date-raping Ryan Hutchinson threw Conrad down the frat-house staircase, breaking the freshman’s neck. The unwitnessed murder was listed as just another boyish disaster in the notorious history of the hard-partying fraternity, and Ryan has continued to live the good LSU life unpunished, making life hell for a new pledge class and for his gorgeous girlfriend Maggie. Now Conrad’s ghost roams Baton Rouge plotting retribution. He is at first visible only to Miss Etta, the deeply religious frat-house cook, who explains to him that he isn’t supposed to be working on vengeance but on the salvation of poor, thick-witted, gargantuan, red-headed Tucker Graham, whom Ryan has singled out for particular attention in the new pledge class. Tucker is prepared to endure all that his prospective brothers can dish out, believing that as a Gamma Chi, he will at last be able to lose his virginity. But Conrad, who finds he can slip into Tucker’s skin whenever the pledge passes out (a not-infrequent event), uses the boy’s great strength to start smacking Ryan around. He gets a little help from his ex-girlfriend’s best friend and sorority sister Sarah Jane, who is on to Ryan’s evil ways and has her own plans for his downfall. Retribution will come in steps that include the unwitting application of depilatory to Ryan’s gorgeous locks, another grisly murder and a surprising liaison for the hard-used Tucker.

Clarke (Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles, 2005) paints an amusing and jaw-dropping (but only slightly exaggerated) picture of a life treasured by generations of beer guzzling food fighters.