Ghost Boy | October Book Club

Written By: Martin Pistorius

They all thought he was gone. But he was alive and trapped inside his own body for ten years.

In January 1988 Martin Pistorius, aged twelve, fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin's parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live.

Martin was moved to care centers for severely disabled children. The stress and heartache shook his parents’ marriage and their family to the core. Their boy was gone. Or so they thought.

Ghost Boy is the heart-wrenching story of one boy’s return to life through the power of love and faith. In these pages, readers see a parent’s resilience, the consequences of misdiagnosis, abuse at the hands of cruel caretakers, and the unthinkable duration of Martin’s mental alertness betrayed by his lifeless body.

We also see a life reclaimed—a business created, a new love kindled—all from a wheelchair. Martin's emergence from his own darkness invites us to celebrate our own lives and fight for a better life for others.

Martin Pistorius was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1975.  At the age of twelve, an unknown illness left him wheelchair bound and unable to speak, and he spent fourteen years in institutions.  In 2001, he learned to communicate via computer, make friends and change his life.  In 2008 he met the love of his life, Joanna, and immigrated to the UK.  In 2009 they married, and in 2010 he started his own business.  He loves spending time with friends and, most of all, being with his wife.


Interview reel:

"A deeply affecting and at times shocking book... The Diving Bell and The Butterfly but with a happy ending." - The Sunday Times

"Martin’s writing makes you feel what he feels. He vividly reminds us of all those little injustices we each experienced that help us to grow and be stronger because of them. He reminds us that we all can grow from life’s twists if we choose to do so. Most important, Martin Pistorius shows us that God really does not give us more than we can handle, but rather he gives us the opportunity to meet adversity head on and overcome it no matter what the challenge. Read Ghost Boy. It really is a “page turner” and you will be a better person for experiencing Martin Pistorius’ life." - Michael Hingson, New York Times best-selling author, Thunder Dog

"Ghost Boy is a book to open our minds and our hearts." - Sue Swenson, former US commissioner for developmental disabilities

"It's impossible to read this book without understanding just how much most of us take for granted." - John-Paul Flintoff, author, How To Change The World