- File Size: 1030 KB
- Print Length: 580 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (December 20, 2012)
- Publication Date: December 20, 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AJ1ZP0K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,178 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Ghost Story Kindle Edition
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Chicago Sun-Times The scariest book I've ever read....It crawls under your skin and into your dreams. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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I first read this book when it was published in 1979. I loved it then and, now almost 40 years later, I love it just as much.
If you are looking for blood and guts horror (although there is some of that) you might not appreciate this book. This book builds its layers of horror slowly and it is one creepy tale.
It is a ghost story but it also is a character study, a horror story, and a marvel of storytelling.
It starts slowly but each piece that is added to the story is integral to the overall tale.
I am so glad I read this book again. I felt like I was discovering it all over again.
Ghost story is especially chilling, not just in the main narrative that progresses, but in the secondary narratives that support the unfolding mythology. Evil spirits and monstrous changelings lurk between the pages, and make for a thrilling read.
They adapted this novel into a movie... but the film is a terrible interpretation, altering the dynamic between the characters and the creature- mutating it into a kind of supernatural revenge story. Ghost Story is far superior to that cinematic rubbish, and the antagonists far more menacing. If you love the feeling of something watching you in the dark, the shiver up and down your spine, and the sense of heavy foreboding, Ghost Story will probably suit your fancy.
So, let me begin by saying...if you're reading this book and find the first few chapters uninspiring and confusing...keep pushing through. The story does eventually come together and the reader starts getting a much clearer sense of where it's going, and what it all means. Actually, it was fairly easy to figure out the plot, which I found disappointing. Surprises are limited.
The style of writing is overly wordy and a bit old-fashioned. I have an extensive vocabulary, but there were several words I was forced to double click on, in order to research their definitions. The story, easily, could have been cut in half. At times, it felt never-ending.
One peculiar thing I noticed at various points throughout the novel was that Ghost Story reminded me a bit of Stephen King's Needful Things. I assumed Mr. Straub was inspired by his future co-author. Then I realized this book was actually published in the late 70s, long before Needful Things. It appears to me that Mr. King may, in fact, have been inspired by Peter Straub. Both stories cover an entire town full of characters, and their lives (or lack thereof) during a paranormal event.
Is this book worth reading? If you enjoy vintage horror, then yes, I'd say you'd enjoy this novel. For me, personally, it was a bit too long-winded, with not enough action, and some intensely unlikable characters. Having said that, the story is, indeed, creepy. I can understand it's appeal.
Top international reviews
Set in a small fictional town so we see the main characters, who are all ageing men get together every fortnight for a story and a few drinks. As this opens one of the members of the group we see has already died, and since then the stories told by the group have really been ghost stories. But why is this so – and why are there now strange things happening in the town and immediate area of where they live?
As they write to the nephew of their dead friend so they are about to find something too horrible for words, that in this world the native Americans which make up the Algonquin language group were right, and that manitous do exist, here indeed we have an otshee monetoo loose, and having done harm for a very long time.
This is quite a long and in certain ways complex novel, and those who are familiar with Stephen King’s works will notice certain inspiration from this book appearing in at least a couple of his novels. As we read this so we read of winter coming early, and being colder and with more snow than usual as the small town becomes cut off and isolated from the rest of the neighbouring region, and then we see what happens, with evil a definite presence and the power that it has.
With manipulation by the supernatural so we see that our main characters have mostly had dealings with the evil presence in the past but were unaware at the time. And with a secret that the older characters share, so retribution is coming their way. This is well plotted and shows some very creative ideas, along with some very good writing and characterisation. This isn’t a quick read but more something to sit back and savour, so take your time with this and really get into the story.
Note: If you enjoy this I seriously recommend his equally fantastic ghost story Full Circle (aka Julia/ The Haunting of Julia).
I am utterly compelled by Peter Straub’s world and character building. This is such a well conceived and fully fledged story.
You’d be crazy not to read this.
At times I found myself wondering where the plot was trying to go and the final chapters were laughable.
Talisman (co-written with Stephen King) is miles better.
Very long book but almost felt sad to finish it as I enjoyed reading it so much.
Best book I've read in ages.
Some sections seemed a bit samey and I didn't find it scary both of which were a little disappointing.
The ending was really impressively done and I had not anticipated how well it would connect and reference earlier stages of the book.
I am 64 with a more than normal IQ and aptitude for crap when I read it. I have never read a novel that I could
not finish, this is close.
It is too disjointed.