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In the Night Room by Peter Straub
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In the Night Room (2004)

by Peter Straub

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Author Tim Underhill is having a bad day. He gets weird emails that come from dead people- and also emails from an exceptionally rude angel. He sees his dead sister. A ‘fan’ approaches him as he has lunch, asking him to sign a whole bag full of books, proceeds to rant about finding the ‘real’, perfect version of books, and then stalks Underhill.

Willy Patrick, author of children’s books, is also having a bad day. She is convinced that her daughter is being held in a warehouse. But her daughter, and her late husband, were killed some time ago. She is well aware that this is a kind of madness, so she goes back home, to her incredibly wealthy fiancé’s house that she is moving into in preparation for their wedding. Her fiancé is very secretive about what he does and is a control freak. Quite by accident she finds that her fiancé may have had something to do with her husband’s and daughter’s deaths, and she finds herself on the run. She winds up meeting Underhill, and they both flee the area.

I found this book to be rather frustrating. Straub played with reality in ways that I found hard to follow for a good long time- which is okay for a while. Patrick is said to be the author of the book “lost boy lost girl”- which of course Straub wrote (and I suspect that ‘Night Room’ would be a lot easier to follow if one has read ‘lost boy lost girl’ first.) Some things are said to be from his imagination, but other things are supposed to be ‘real’. The plot takes its time to get anywhere, with many things introduced that ultimately don’t go anywhere and left me, at the end, wondering what that bit was all about and if I’d missed something. For example, the emails from Underhill’s dead acquaintances seem to merely function to let him know that something weird is happening; they have no impact on the story itself. But the thing that bothered me the worst is that the story completely failed to scare me. ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | Feb 8, 2015 |
I've generally enjoyed Peter Straub's books, but In the Night Room was a strange read, and I'm not sure what I think about it. Apparently, it's a sequel to the Bram Stoker winning novel lost boy lost girl, which I haven't read and this book makes reference to the first on several occasions. I think I might have done better to read them in order, though the structure is so unusual that I'm not sure about that.

The story followed Tim Underhill, a writer of dark tales filled with murder and suspense, who begins to received strange messages from the dead, and Willey Patrick, a writer of young adult novels, who is about to wed a dark and dangerous man. The tale alternates back and forth between the two and then slowly brings them together in a rather strange way. I'm not sure what else to add without including spoilers.

I can see what people might love this book, and I can also see why others might hate it. The structure and the tone evoke both possibilities. I'm settled somewhere uncomfortably in the middle, and I'm not sure which way to lean. ( )
  andreablythe | Dec 30, 2013 |
In general I've always like Peter Straub's books.... Not this one. A great premise, a lackluster effort. ( )
  pidgeon92 | Apr 1, 2013 |
Only an average read, it was not a page turner and not particularly scary. The concepts were interesting though but perhaps not explored as clearly as they could have been. ( )
  qofd | Feb 25, 2010 |
Really good thriller with a spooky twist ( )
  chicjohn | Dec 3, 2009 |
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About 9:45 on a Wednesday morning early in a rain-drenched September, a novelist named Timothy Underhill gave up, in more distress than he cared to acknowledge, on his ruined breakfast and the New York Times crossword puzzle and returned, far behind schedule, to his third-floor loft at 55 Grand Street.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345491327, Mass Market Paperback)

In his latest soul-chilling novel, bestselling author Peter Straub tells of a famous children’s book author who, in the wake of a grotesque accident, realizes that the most basic facts of her existence, including her existence itself, have come into question.
Willy Patrick, the respected author of the award-winning young-adult novel In the Night Room, thinks she is losing her mind–again. One day, she is drawn helplessly into the parking lot of a warehouse. She knows somehow that her daughter, Holly, is being held in the building, and she has an overwhelming need to rescue her. But what Willy knows is impossible, for her daughter is dead.
On the same day, author Timothy Underhill, who has been struggling with a new book about a troubled young woman, is confronted with the ghost of his nine-year-old sister, April. Soon after, he begins to receive eerie, fragmented e-mails that he finally realizes are from people he knew in his youth–people now dead. Like his sister, they want urgently to tell him something. When Willy and Timothy meet, the frightening parallels between Willy’s tragic loss and the story in Tim’s manuscript suggest that they must join forces to confront the evils surrounding them.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:56 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Willy Patrick, respected author of the award-winning novel In the Night Room, thinks she is losing her mind. She is drawn helplessly into the parking lot of a wareHouse, knowing somehow that her daughter, Holly, is being held in the building. But this is impossible-Willy's daughter is dead. On that same day, author Timothy Underhill, who has been struggling with a new book about a troubled young woman, is confronted with the ghost of his nine-year-old sister April. Soon after, he begins to receive eerie, fragmented e-mails from people he knew in his youth--people now dead. Like his sister, they want urgently to tell him something. When Willy and Tim meet, the frightening parallels between Willy's tragic loss and the story in Tim's manuscript suggest that they must join forces to confront the evils surrounding them.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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