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Publisher's Summary

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.

On the same day, author Timothy Underhill, struggling with a new book about a troubled young woman, is confronted with the ghost of his 9-year-old sister, April. Soon after, Underhill begins to receive eerie, fragmented e-mails that he finally realizes are from dead people whom he knew in his youth. Like his sister, they want to tell him something. When Willy and Timothy meet, they recognize each other, realizing that they must join forces to confront the evils surrounding them.

©2004 Peter Straub; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Moving briskly while ranging from high humor to the blackest dread, this is an original, astonishingly smart and expertly entertaining meditation on imagination and its powers; one of the very finest works of Straub's long career." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Paul
  • parkland, FL, United States
  • 02-18-05

In the night room

I almost didn't get this book because of the review I read. I am not quite certain what his problem was but I found this book rather good and entertaining. The first 45 minutes to an hour, one had to follow closly but all came clear and became more and more engrossing.
I am happy that I relied upon past experience with this author and not the listener review.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Perfect Book

It took a little while to get into really confusing at first. Then I became totally engrossed. I don't want to give anything away, just get it. Get it now! Before someone tells you about it and messes up all the surprises.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Having read 'The Talisman' and 'Black House'....

....and simply adoring those books I was excited to jump into this book knowing that Peter Straub was the author....

Unfortunately.....this book was nowhere near the incredible stories of the above mentioned books (along with the help of Stephen King these 2 books are fantastic). The story was at times confusing and hard to follow.....there were some pretty entertaining parts such as the mass amounts of chocolate, Coca-Cola, and sugar needed to save Willy from perishing but the continuous use of "Butt-Sex" as the nickname for Timothy Underhill by his so-called 'spiritual advisor' Syrex was just annoying and a bit offensive.

The supernatural aspect of the book started out as a great concept but never did hash out to anything spectacular or fascinating. The book-within-a-book concept was also great in the beginning but ended up just fizzling out with a less than climactic ending.

I really want to read something else of Peter Straub's to find out how his writing can really reach out and grab just wasn't this book......but I am willing to give him another chance.....'Ghost Story' will probably be the book to do it for me.....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Read It Again

I almost didn't purchase this book because of the other reviews. At first I was wondering 'what is going to happen'; When 'it' happened it was done masterfully. This story is a roller coaster ride and definitely worth a re-read if you thought it wasn't a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and cannot wait to read Straub's other book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Morgan
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 03-01-11

Good story – terrible narrator

I really liked this book. At least I really liked the story, but it was really hard to stay focused on the writing what with the narrator, Scott Brick, treating every sentence as a dramatic reading. I had to keep backing up to re-hear passages since in my annoyance I would start thinking of how a normal person would narrate it. What a Drama Queen he is. Author and story were great though. I would have given more stars if it were a better narrator.

  • Overall
  • linda
  • Cedar Park, TX, United States
  • 10-20-10

just ok

this book was ok. not scary, but imaginative. the ending sucked though. i just wish i could find a book as worthy as stephen king's "the stand" to scare the pants off me!

  • Overall
  • Sandra
  • St. Louis, MO, United States
  • 07-27-07

Fantastic (except for the ending)

This book was incredible. The storyline drew me in and never let me go. I couldn't hardly stand to put it down. I fell in love with the characters and the story was presented perfectly. I was very disappointed with the ending. I felt it all got wrapped up too nicely and in about 2 minutes. I invested so much time (and it was absolutely worth it), but the ending left a lot to be desired.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I was dissappointed since I enjoyed Straub's other works so much. I thought this was just strange and boring. I was left very unsatisfied. Sorry Mr. Straub.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I haven't actually picked up a Straub book to read in over 20 years. But whether it was the reader or the author, I couldn't stick with this more than 5 minutes without tuning it out. It seemed very disjointed and the reader talked like he was a semi-automatic so I didn't get a feel for anyone's character. I never made it beyond 30 minutes on this audio before giving up. Anyone out there think it's worth it for me to go further??

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Plodding and hard to follow

This story dragged and was hard to follow in its own right. The narrator's inflectionless reading makes it even worse. Save the credit.

2 of 16 people found this review helpful