Forget the movie version. That was a pale comparison to the original source novel. As a lifelong fan of the horror genre I devoured it in any medium available, from Creature Features every Friday night at the stroke of midnight to Famous Monsters of Filmland every month and then Fangoria. The genre was given a bit of a bump up with early Stephen King novels and then comes Peter Straub who was the literary opposite of King. Where King was more visceral, Straub was more cerebral and required a more literate and patient reader. As my appreciation of Stephen King faded I was still a fan of Peter Straub for some time afterward. Ghost Story is my favorite and I am glad to have added this my permanent library and can reread it every few years with an undiminished fascination as the story slowly unfolds. It will bore those who are looking for cheap shocks. Even though it plays with many horror genre conventions it is never cliched or silly. As with my favorite Stephen King novel 'Salem's Lot it has many realistic and likeable characters that never feel like they are just meat to be disposed of by the villian of the story. I don't want to go deeper into the story itself and deprive any first-time reader of that pleasure. It is still among the best examples of the horror genre and does stand up to multiple readings. The writing is very tight and never so pretentious that it would not turn off even the most casual horror fan. Since '79 I've read Ghost Story at least three or four times (excluding my current reading) and it still feels fresh and unmarred by the passing decades.
1979 it was, I believe, when I became first acquainted with this stunning work by Peter Straub. It put a completely new face on the "written" terror!
Of course, back in High School, and College, many years ago, Poe was who one looked to for "creepy", and "a good scare".....
Then, Stephen King burst onto the scene with "Carrie", "Salem's Lot", and "The Shining", and horror had a new "King" so to speak! Certainly, "The Shining" was one super-creepy and scary piece of work. And, it would come to be followed up by this little shocker by Peter Straub.
Truly, of all the books I have read in my 61 years, this, "Ghost Story", is the one single book that I remember and think of as "the scariest book I have ever read"....bar none. Perhaps in the case of "The Andromeda Strain" by Michael Crichton, we get "scary" of another sort, certainly unnervingly upsetting and worrysome to the reader, but I place this "Little Shocker" in a class held solely by itself, perhaps touched only by Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House"...surely another of the great classic horror stories of all time.
While reading this book, I distinctly recall getting up "to check the doors", "closing the blinds", and several times while wending my way through it, "putting it down for a bit" because I was, frankly, too unnerved to continue at the moment to "go on".....
Sadly, "Hollywood", when it came to make this into a movie, ruined this scarey story completely, by delivering up anything but the story here in the movie version. I have LONG waited for someone else to come along and FINALLY turn this into a faithful horror flick....it truly would be awesome, were someone to do this book justice.
I thus cast down the gauntlet, to all Hollywood, or Independant Directors, challenging one of them to PLEASE take this awesome scary story and make a truly "fitting" film version of it!
Do grab yourself a copy of this book, and sit yourself down to a truly frightening, and deeply upsetting read.....you will LONG remember "Ghost Story"....believe me!
It was a great transaction! The book was described well and came in stated condition. It was shipped promptly and made it well before the due date. The whole transaction was easy and simple, no troubles.
Purchased "Ghost Story" from "Wonderbook and Video". The item stated used but very good condition. The hard bound book came as stated. It was absolutely perfect, like new condition and I saved around $10.00.