On a brisk autumn day, a 13-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: His father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America - and into another realm. One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery.
Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer traveled to a parallel universe called the Territories to save his mother and her “Twinner” from an agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, Wisconsin. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories....
"Jack Sawyer delivers"
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.
"Great Story! The Best of Peter Straub"
KOKO. Only four men knew what it meant. Now they must stop it. They are Vietnam vets — a doctor, a lawyer, a working stiff, and a writer. Very different from each other, they are nonetheless linked by a shared history and a single shattering secret. Now, they have been reunited and are about to embark on a quest that will take them from Washington, D.C., to the graveyards and fleshpots of the Far East to the human jungle of New York.
"Starts out slow, but builds suspense."
Tim Underhill, now an acclaimed novelist, travels back to his home - town of Millhaven, Illinois after he gets a call from John Ransom, an old army buddy. Ransom believes there’s a copycat killer on the loose, mimicking the Blue Rose murders from decades earlier - he thinks his wife could be a potential victim. Underhill seeks out his friend Tom Pasmore, an aging hermit who has attained minor celebrity as an expert sleuth, to help him investigate. They quickly discover that Millhaven is a town plagued by horrifying secrets....
"Very enjoyable culmination of Mystery & Koko"
With tales from Laird Barron, Stephen King, John Langan, Peter Straub, and many others, and featuring Datlow’s comprehensive overview of the year in horror, now, more than ever, The Best Horror of the Year provides the petrifying horror fiction readers have come to expect - and enjoy.
"Only a few decent stories in this bunch."
First setting: an all-male prep school in Arizona, where two sensitive freshmen form a bond based on their interest in magic tricks. Second setting: the labyrinthine house of a weird magician uncle in New England, where the two boys spend a memorable summer being trained in the art of illusion. Or is it real magic? Third setting: an alternate world where dark forces are at play - forces that first show up at the school, but intensify their power the summer.
"Still one of my favorite books!"
In a house in London, a woman starts a new life, trying to put tragedy behind her. Then a pretty blonde child runs into view, bringing with her an inexplicable suggestion of evil. Once, Julia Lofting had a husband and a daughter. But everything has changed since she bolted from her marriage, in flight from the unbearable truth of her daughter's death. For Julia, there is no escape. Another child awaits, another mother suffers, and a circle of the damned gathers around her. The haunting has begun....
"WHAT JUST HAPPENED??"
Tom Pasmore, ten years old, survives a near-fatal accident. During his long recovery, he becomes obsessed with an unsolved murder and finds he has clues to solving it that he shouldn’t. Lamont von Heilitz has spent his life dealing with mysteries, until he wanted to know nothing more of the terror of life and the horror of death. When a new murder disrupts their world of wealth, power, and pleasure, the two must form an unlikely partnership to confront demons from the past and the dark secrets that still haunt the present.
"Very confusing and slow; hated the reader."
The charismatic and cunning Spenser Mallon is a campus guru in the 1960s, attracting the devotion and demanding sexual favors of his young acolytes. After he invites his most fervent followers to attend a secret ritual in a local meadow, the only thing that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body and the shattered souls of all who were present.
From the incomparable master of horror and suspense comes an electrifying collection of contemporary literary horror, with stories from 25 writers representing today's most talented voices in the genre.
"STOP! READ REVIEWS 1ST!!!"
When Professor William Standish receives the rare honor of an Esswood Fellowship, and the chance to study Isobel’s private manuscripts at close hand, he is thrilled beyond his wildest ambitions. But upon arriving, something seems slightly strange at Esswood House. He hears faint laughter in the halls, the pitter-pattering of small feet in the night; strange faces appear in the windows of the library, and of course, there are those giant dollhouses in the basement....
"Buy HOUSES WITHOUT DOORS Instead of MRS. GOD"
Ballard and his considerably younger lover, Sandrine, have been brought together by a shared erotic obsession of the darkest kind. As they travel down a remote part of the Amazon River on a luxurious yacht, they spend their days indulging in their macabre pastime. Through a haze of pain and pleasure, the lovers are witness to a series of increasingly sinister portents, dreams and visions that haunt their claustrophobic and disturbing world. With Peter Straub's signature, breathtaking twists and an astonishing climax, you'll never forget The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine.
"Very Incomplete Story, Major Editing Error"
Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan is cursed with visions of horror committed by a savage figure he calls "Mr. X". This year, Ned's visions will become flesh and blood. A dreadful premonition brings Ned home to find his mother on her deathbed. She reveals the never-before-disclosed name of his father and warns him of grave danger. Driven by a desperate sense of need, Ned explores his dark past and the astonishing legacy of his kin.
A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son- fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill - vanishes. His uncle, novelist Timothy Underhill, searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help unravel this horrible dual mystery. He soon learns that a pedophilic murderer is on the loose in the vicinity, and that shortly before his mother's suicide, Mark had become obsessed with an abandoned house where he imagined the killer might have taken refuge.
"ALAN ALDA WITHOUT THE SMIRK"
They are dying, one by one. Wealthy, middle-aged women in an exclusive Connecticut suburb. Their murderer remains at large. Nora Chancel, wife of publishing scion Davey Chancel, fears she may be next. After all, her past has branded her a victim.... Then Davey tells Nora a surreal story about the Hellfire Club, where years before he met an obsessed fan of Chancel House's most successful book, Night Journey - a book that has a strange history of its own.
One summer night, a boy and his beautiful cousin plunge naked into the moonlit waters of a rural quarry. Twenty years later, the boy, now grown, flees the wreckage of his life and returns to Arden, Wisconsin, in search of everything he has lost. But for Miles Teagarden, the landscape he knew so well has turned eerie and threatening. And the love he shared has become very, very deadly....
“Little Red’s Tango” incorporates a vampire story, miracle legends, a saint’s legend, an epistle, beatitudes, and jazz minutiae within a contemporary faux-gospel.“Lapland, or Film Noir” is a journey to a place of the dark, paranoid crime movies made in Los Angeles between 1948 and 1956, which Straub calls “one of the most compelling periods in American film history.” “The Geezers” is a fascinating exercise in withholding everything that might explain what the protagonists and their friends were up to, and describing instead their reactions to the consequences of actions.
"Enjoyable all around. The first story gets an A+!"
One summer night a boy and his beautiful cousin plunge naked into the moonlit waters of a rural quarry. Twenty years later, the boy, now grown, flees the wreckage of his life and returns to his home town in search of everything he has lost. But for Miles Teagarden, the landscape he had known so well has turned eerie and threatening. And the love he shared has become very, very deadly...
Willy Patrick, the author of the Caldecott-winning young-adult novel In the Night Room, thinks she is losing her mind again. Two weeks before her second marriage, on her way home one day, Willy is drawn into the parking lot of a warehouse. Knowing that her daughter, Holly, is being held in that building, she wants to rescue her. But what she knows is impossible, for her daughter is dead.
"In the night room"