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 best seller is a work of "superb horror" (Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time - and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.
©1989 Peter Straub (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
If you are looking for fast-paced horror this is not the book for you. But if you enjoy an interesting, eerie story that slowly unfolds you will love this book. It is well written, steady paced, and, for the most part, well narrated.
I was initially discouraged from this book because other listeners had complained of bad narration. While it is true that the narrator does a poor impersonation of a woman's voice it is not completely off-putting. Imagine Charlton Heston impersonating a woman and you will have a good idea of what to expect.
The main characters are wealthy, retirement-aged, small town men who befriended one another years before the story picks up. Don't let this put you off. The characters will become relatable and endearing shortly into the story.
If you enjoy this book, you will also enjoy The Good House by Tananarive Due and Phantoms by Dean Koontz.
Quite a few reviewers have said the first part of the book (it's three parts) was long and uneventful. It's true. However the author spends quite a bit of time getting you to know the characters and shows you how each ended up where they are at and why they are in the book. I enjoyed it and will listen to it again one day. I highly recommend it.
This download is separated int three parts. The first is very, very slow moving. Add to the overall blandness of the beginning; a narrator that sounds as if he is just about ready to keel over and die, ( he ends his sentences with a wierd kind of gasp, like he's run out of air) you might be tempted to leave the book unfinished: DON'T!
I put my Ipod on double speed and the narration sounded just about normal.
When this book took off, it was worth the agony and doubt of the first part. Death and betrayal and destruction in a smalltown community, which, strangely, seems to have a problem with primiscuity among its leading, and aged citizens.( Thankfully there were no embarassing descriptions of senoir love making.) Reminded me a lot of Stephen King, sans the anticlimactic ending. Good story, give it a chance.
Probably reading something spooky...
I have not read the print version, but it's definitely better than the movie!
The intricacies of the American Gothic represented. This is a traditional masculine Gothic tale that is complex and heavily character driven. Tons of embedded narratives allow for multiple ghost stories within "Ghost Story". And for the more horror-oriented it includes hints of witchcraft, ghosts, changelings, vampires, werewolves, haunted houses AND murder! What more could one want?
I liked the embedded narrative about Fenny Bate the best. It is a story told by Sears about when he was a new school teacher in the town, and his experience trying to act as mentor to Fenny Bate. I don't want to give spoilers, but the tale is at once frightening, disturbing and tragic. There are many great scenes in the novel, but this one struck me the most.
I couldn't if I tried! It's too long for that. I did have the urge to listen to it for large blocks of time.
This book is perfect for October. If you have seen the movie, don't let it fool you. "Ghost Story" is chilling and complex, and will keep you at the edge of your seat.
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.
Brett from NC
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.
Tell us about yourself!
If you are looking for a book that is short, fast paced, has thrills in every chapter, and lots lots of ghosts, this isn’t it.
However, this is a well written eerie story that covers the adult lifetimes of five men, now at retirement age. An incident that happened when they were young men bound them together and twisted their individual and collective fates. The consequences happened subtly at first and to some more than others. In their late years things get more intense and blatant; they realize that the consequences of their youthful deed will kill them, all their relatives, and many others.
The story is created in layers. The horror in the present is punctuated by flashbacks into the lives of the five members of the Chowder Club that has kept them close friends over the many years. They enlist the help of the nephew of an already deceased member and find that he has been affected too. The “evil” that is toying with them gradually comes into focus. Their town and its people come under siege. This requires that the author explain the histories and relationships of some spouses, business clients, friends, and the sheriff.
Peter Straub does an excellent job of creating all the story strands and weaving them together. Be prepared to sit back and let the 22.5 hours unwind. The end is satisfying, but leaves just enough to the listener’s imagination.
Buck Schirner's narration is more than adequate. Since most characters are male, a male narrator is most appropriate. It’s understood that he can’t do female voices.
I enjoyed the development of the plot.
Yes, it was an interesting twist on the same old horror story.
I liked one of last major battle scenes at the end where peter saves the remaining members of the chowder society.
It's a scary story that is beautifully plotted. Having it narrated is a real treat.
The camaraderie of the key characters, and the unfolding story of the evil that pursues them.
Stella -- even though not a main character.
The worse thing that could happen . . . .
I have read this book several times over the years. It's my ideal of a scary story, and the audio book version does it justice. Very satisfying.
I just can't get past the narrator in this story. I've tried to listen over and over, but just can't get that far before I switch to another book. The story isn't that great, hard to follow at times, for me, and I've been generous in giving it four stars. I just can't get into this one. This isn't my favorite genre to begin with, but it's the narration vs the story that keeps me hitting the switch the book button even though I want to stick with it to find out why all of these club members are having the same dreams. so even though I'm eager to move on, I just can't.
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