But these lives are never easy. Bergmann defines his title this way: "As young drug dealers strive to find ways toward 'legal' jobs and straight lives, getting ghost is a rich metaphor-for leaving a scene, for quitting the trade, and for their own mortality." In that early definition, he prepares us for the hopes and tragedies we find in the narrative that follows. The reader moves with this author as he discovers these two lives in Detroit, and at the end it is impossible not to be moved as deeply by the young men who have become his friends.
Luke Bergmann, who now lives on the East Side of Detroit, returns to Ann Arbor to read from Getting Ghost at Shaman Drum Bookshop on Tuesday, February 3.
[Originally published in February, 2009.]