I am a fan of horror fiction. Not the slasher stuff or anything too corporeal but rather all things paranormal. The last 10 years have seen an explosion of the horror genre and the “paranormal twist” has been applied to almost every genre – its paranormal meets romance, paranormal meets detective mystery, and don’t get me started about zombies. Don’t get me wrong, I love the selection but sometimes I just crave the unadorned, back-to-the-basics ghost story. That is why when I came across Peter Straub’s “Ghost Story,” the unadorned title sold me.
“Ghost Story” is long, the characters are numerous, and it takes a while to get used to Straub’s shifting perspective, but those that stick with this book will enjoy what they find. This is a well written novel with a tight plot that is very good at setting a gloomy tone with tension that slowly builds. The mystery is slowly revealed and compelling. One particular aspect of this novel that I found unique was that the paranormal entities were multidimensional and had character with motivations that made sense. I am happy I found this novel, and I would put it on my list of “must reads” for the genre.
One other thing worth mentioning here is that the narration is excellent, and really helped with the shifting perspective and with keeping track of characters.
Ok...the operative word here is "creeping." I enjoyed the first ⅓ of this book, as it delves into the troubled memories and dreams of a group of elderly men who form a small social circle which they call the "Chowder Club."
However, at least for me, the second ⅔ slowed to an agonizing crawl, especially as the story ebbed into graphic horror and explicit supernaturalism. I prefer a more subtle horror, one which leaves some ambiguity as to the whether the nightmarish experiences of the characters arise from a state of mind or to objective reality. Regardless of whether you share this taste, the pacing of the book beomes almost painfully slow. The only thing that kept me going was curiosity about the teaser which appears in the book's prologue.
The narration is not nearly so bad as some would have it. It is quite well suited to the sections narrated by members of the Chowder Club, and somewhat less so to other sections, but still quite serviceable.
I read this book nearly 30 years ago and still remember how it spooked me yet I could not put it down. Ghost Story in audible form was excellent and just as scary as the first time I encountered it. This book has characters I have remembered for over 30 years and it was like hearing from old friends and scary enemies. I'm not much on scary stories but this one was great.
Sure. It's a good book.
He's not very good.
The book is a wonderful read, in print. I have read this several times since Peter Straub wrote it and have always enjoyed it.
I thought I would try out the spoken book while I drive, I drive a truck long haul and it helps the time go by.
The narrator does O.K. when he does a male voice but the female voices are absurd. Little girl, old women or young they all sound as if they're already dead.
The best I can say is that it was all right. The reader was TERRIBLE. his voice was too deep to sound like anything but a Monty Python skit when he tried to do female voices. He also make random sentences sound like questions for no reason and pronounces several words so strangely that I had no idea what he was saying.
A good book to listen to on a long car ride. Otherwise, listening piecemeal is confusing.
Which one? There seemed to multiple endings!!
The women...and the young man Peter.