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Ghost Story Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1989
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Stephen King The terror just mounts and mounts.
Chicago Sun-Times The scariest book I've ever read....It crawls under your skin and into your dreams.
About the Author
Peter Straub is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including A Dark Matter. He has won the Bram Stoker Award for his novels Lost Boy Lost Girl and In the Night Room, as well as for his recent collection 5 Stories. Straub was the editor of the two-volume Library of American anthology The American Fantastic Tale. He lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't read this if you're expecting a simple ghost story with cheap thrills. This book will envelop and draw you in. Be patient. Allow it to unfold because it moves at a slower pace than books written today, but sometimes epic thrillers are just what the doctor ordered, and this is one, scary elixir that's sure to give you chills deep into the night, and have you wondering about those sounds, creaks, and groans emanating from the unlit parts of your home. Prepare yourself for this book.
This book was very good. I would even, daresay that it resembled a Stephen King book in many ways. It was released in 1979 which was right around the time that Stephen King started to make a name for himself, so it’s difficult to say if either one of these authors were subconsciously borrowing from the other. This story in many ways reminded me of King’s “Salem’s Lot”. Although I wouldn’t say it was as good.
Straub is definitely a superb writer. I’m a big fan of his prose. He’s one of those guys that makes me realize that I could never (nor should never) attempt to tackle the task of writing a novel. Being the fact that this book was written almost forty years ago, it does seem dated when one, such as myself, picks in up for the first time in 2016. The story takes place in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. Since time hasn’t invented the internet or Facebook yet, people have to, you know, go out in public and talk to each other.
It's hard to nail down a specific plot other than to say that strange things have been happening in this small town, and none of them good. The reason I say it’s hard to describe the plot is because Straub doesn’t tell a linear story. He bounces back and forth quite a bit in terms of present day versus the past. In fact, the premise of the story is four older gentlemen that meet on a semi-regular basis to tell stories. So when these seniors start reflecting on what the “scariest thing that has ever happened to them” was, we see a story unfold.
I found this book to be a good exercise and use of my time. I can’t honestly say it’s the best, nor scariest thing that I’ve ever read, but it was well written. The jarring time sequences might put some readers off, as might the late 1970s feel, but Straub is worth giving a try if your palette of horror consists of only the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
But with passing eons, comes boredom, which would most likely explain the motivations of the "monster" in this novel. "Oh we love entertainment" says one of the undead. But beware those who dare interfere with that entertainment.
This may be Straub's masterpiece, and certainly ranks up there among the most horrifying reads of all time. And I've read quite a few.
This story is about a group of young men who become enamored of a monster, but like all monsters this one can't help but show her true face in the end. Sometimes out of rage, sometimes for "entertainment". The end result is the same. But if you think death is the end for those hapless victims, guess again.
Straub builds up slowly in his storytelling, and this being a large novel requires a small modicum of patience. But you won't have to wait long. Before lonf you realize that there is something not right coming for the "chowder society", and any of their remaining bloodline, for that matter.
As the story progresses, we see that immortal monsters are not just enamored with themselves (they are, after all, "splendid") but that they have no problem waiting decades to get their revenge. "You can be hurt!" says Sears James. Oh yes, but killed? For that you'll have to read on.
What makes Straub's "Ghost Story" better than most Stephen King novels is that he rarely overuses imagery for effect like his counterpart. His monsters are usually in human form, but you know that beneath that thin vaneer of humanity, they are more horrible than you can imagine. Although you will try--believe me. We never do find out the true origin of the monster of many names, but get hints that she has always occupied our nightmares: A Manitou, a werewolf, a zombie, a vampire, or a ghost?
And that odd girlfriend you had back in college? She always was strange, but little did you know...much more.
Take my advice and buy this novel and read it late at night in a dark room. You will not be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Also forcing the number of words. Uggggh!Read more