Ghost Boy

by Martin Pistorius & Megan Lloyd Davies


Martin Pistorius was twelve when he fell inexplicably sick in 1988. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound and doctors told his parents that an unknown degenerative disease had left their son with the mind of a baby. They predicted he had less than two years to live. What no-one knew though is that while Martin's body remained unresponsive his mind slowly woke up. Yet he could tell no-one; he was a prisoner inside a broken body. It was ten years before it was finally discovered that there might be hoped that Martin could communicate. Still in a wheelchair and unable to speak, he was discovered to be brilliantly adept at computer technology and soon learned to communicate. But with no memory of the time before his illness, Martin was a man-child reborn in a world he didn't know.

Megan Lloyd Davies

Insights into the book

Martin's unique perspective on the world – the 'ghost boy' who no-one knew understood everything around him – was what drew me to this book. Then I realised the depths of his determination not only to survive all the years when he was assumed unreachable but also to create a life in a world he didn't know anymore when he finally started to learn to communicate again. Then there was the amazing story of his love affair with his now wife Johanna. My interviews with Martin were unlike any other because he had to painstakingly type what he wanted to say using just one hand. It was a long process and a huge challenge but his story is quite simply astounding.

Publishing details

Ghost Boy was published by Simon & Schuster. Translation rights sold in Italy, Germany and China.