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Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Ghost Story (original 1979; edition 1989)

by Peter Straub

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1,979573,420 (3.83)140
Title:Ghost Story
Authors:Peter Straub
Info:Pocket Books (1989), Edition: Multiple Printings, Mass Market Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites

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Ghost Story by Peter Straub (1979)


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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this, both on a plot level and on the symbolic. There's a LOT going on inside of this book. For me, though, the principal joys of the book are the characters from Milburn. Straub does a wonderful job with these: even the passing characters are sketched in with great care and have a sustainable life of their own. I was never comfortable with Don Wanderley. If fact, the parts of the story narrated through his voice are the weakest. Perhaps this was because Straub wrote that section using Wanderley's literary voice -- something I quickly grew to loathe.

Straub's gives certain mythic types a modern spin, almost a meta-fiction angle, that I liked.

For me, besides the Wanderley section, the weakest part of the novel is the ending. It feels tacked on and abrupt, looses much of the majesty of the remainder of the book. ( )
  Michael.McGuire | May 22, 2014 |
I read this for a course in library school and wrote the following review for class:

Straub is apparently a master at building up the suspense in a long, roundabout way before denying the reader the big payoff. I waded through 567 pages of his wordy meanderings only to be highly disappointed in the lackluster ending. I thought this book was going to be a lot better than it turned out to be. Stephen King gave it high praise, as did many other reviewers. Well, I still don't know what they saw that I missed, but I found myself disgruntled as I realized the story was going nowhere. Regrettably, a waste of time. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
Another good story by mystery/horror master Peter Straub. In this one we have it all: a mystery, a serial killer, a haunted house, family drama and ghosts all around. One fine day, Mark Underhill´s mother decides to commit suicide and decides to go out the big way: takes a bunch of sleeping pills, slashes her wrists and ties a plastic bag over her head. Lo and behold, Mark is the one to find her. Mark, who has lately become obsessed with an abandoned house up the street, is positive some force emanating from that house had to do with his mother´s suicide. Along with his best friend Jimbo, they both set out to uncover whatever secrets the house holds. Several days after, Mark disappears and everyone seems to think that he was taken by a pedophile that has been lurking the area and who is believed to have kidnapped and killed other teenage boys. Tim Underhill, famed writer and Mark´s uncle, sets out to dig deep into all those secrets in order to find out what happened to Mark.
I would have given the book five starts if it were not for the ending. I found it pretty meh for such a build up the book created. Other than that it´s a "stay up late and read me" book. ( )
  AleAleta | Feb 26, 2014 |
One of my favorites of all time. ( )
  Emelymac | Jan 15, 2014 |
Rating: 3.5 of 5

Definitely not your traditional "ghost" story! Highly recommended for cold winter nights.

This was my first time reading a novel by Peter Straub and, while it was not at all what I expected based on the book's title, overall I enjoyed Ghost Story. Being a huge fan of the slow build / slow burn type of hauntings, I was a little disappointed when I found about 100-150 pages almost boring. It was by no means a page-turner but it kept the hooks in deep enough that I couldn't abandon the long journey to the answers.

I look forward to reading Straub's other novels; I think I'm gonna dig his style, especially his talent for atmosphere. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Dec 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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The chasm was merely one of the orifices of that pit of blackness that lies beneath us, everywhere. -- The Marble Faun, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ghosts are always hungry. -- R.D. Jameson
For Valli Shaio and Gregorio Kohon
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What was the worst thing you've ever done?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671685635, Mass Market Paperback)

In life, not every sin goes unpunished.


For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past -- and get away with murder.

Peter Straub's classic bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time -- and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:36 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past -- and get away with murder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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