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Ghost Story | [Peter Straub]

Ghost Story

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (300 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
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3.6 (273 )
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Story
3.7 (273 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jaimie Platteville, WI United States 07-17-12
    Jaimie Platteville, WI United States 07-17-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story! The Best of Peter Straub"

    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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 12-11-13
    Matthew 12-11-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long Story Short."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda San jose, CA, United States 10-04-12
    Amanda San jose, CA, United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2012

    Probably reading something spooky...

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    "Fun and spooky, perfect for October"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost Story to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but it's definitely better than the movie!


    What did you like best about this story?

    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?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jacques otterburn park, QC, Canada 11-11-12
    jacques otterburn park, QC, Canada 11-11-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Give it time to get into gear..."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 03-20-14
    Joseph 03-20-14
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    "This was a struggle."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I'll say up front I didn't finish it. I know this is considered a classic story, but for me it wasn't very ghost-y and it seemed disjointed.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Peter Straub again?

    Possibly, but I will find out more about the story first.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the narrator did a good job with character voices and keeping a steady pace.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 12-01-13
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 12-01-13 Member Since 2007
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    "A Must Read for Horror Fans"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 11-29-12
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More than ghosts!"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 10-23-12
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 10-23-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Creeping horror..."

    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.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Webb 05-20-12
    T. Webb 05-20-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Great story, bad narration."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure. It's a good book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not sure.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He's not very good.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Crawford 10-30-14
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    Story
    "Dear God, I thought it would never end"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Nobody with any sense.


    What was most disappointing about Peter Straub’s story?

    It was long. Long and boring. The story could have been told in approximately 1/4 the number of pages.


    How could the performance have been better?

    This narrator only had about 3 variations with his voice. The different characters, male and female all sounded alike. It might have been better to just read it straight and not try to do the voices.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ghost Story?

    There are too many to mention.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're on a deserted island and you need to kill time, it might be worth it. But probably not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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