Information about the author. See also www.peterstraub.net
No one tells a story like Peter Straub. He dazzles with the complexity of his plots. He delights with the sophistication and eloquence of his prose. He startles you into laughter in the face of events so dark you begin to question your own moral compass. Then he reduces you to jelly by spinning a tale so terrifying-and surprising-you wind up sleeping with the lights on.
With Magic Terror, the bestselling author of Ghost Story and The Talisman (with Stephen King) has given us one of the most imaginatively unsettling collections in years. The terrain of these extraordinary stories is marked by brutality, heart-break, despair, wonder, and an unexpected humor that allows empathy to blossom within the most unlikely contexts.
“Bunny Is Good Bread” takes us into the mind of a small boy trapped in grotesque circumstances to portray the creation of a serial killer in a manner that compels pity, sorrow, comprehension, and grief-as well as judgment. “Hunger, an Introduction,”…[more]
A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son—beautiful, troubled fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill—vanishes from the face of the earth. To his uncle, horror novelist Timothy Underhill, Mark’s inexplicable absence feels like a second death. After his sister-in-law’s funeral, Tim searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help him unravel this mystery of death and disappearance. 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. No mere empty building, the house on Michigan Street whispers from attic to basement with the echoes of a long-hidden true-life horror story, and Tim Underhill comes to fear that in investigating its unspeakable history, Mark stumbled across its last and greatest secret: a ghostly lost girl who may have coaxed the needy, suggestible boy into her mysterious domain.
With lost boy lost girl, Peter Straub affirms once again that he is the master of literary horror.
In his latest soul-chilling novel, bestselling author Peter Straub tells of a famous children’s book author who, in the wake of a grotesque accident, realizes that the most basic facts of her existence, including her existence itself, have come into question.
Willy Patrick, the respected author of the award-winning young-adult novel In the Night Room, thinks she is losing her mind–again. One day, she is drawn helplessly into the parking lot of a warehouse. She knows somehow that her daughter, Holly, is being held in the building, and she has an overwhelming need to rescue her. But what Willy knows is impossible, for her daughter is dead.
On the same day, author Timothy Underhill, who has been struggling with a new book about a troubled young woman, is confronted…[more]
Mr. X is Straub’s original and startling take on the theme of the doppelgänger. Ned Dunstan’s birthday is fast approaching, and every year on this date, Ned experiences a paralyzing seizure in which he is forced to witness scenes of ruthless slaughter perpetrated by a mysterious and malevolent figure in black whom Ned calls Mr. X.
Ned has been drawn back to his hometown, Edgerton, Illinois, by a premonition that his mother, Star, is dying. Before she loosens her hold on life, she imparts to Ned the name of his father, never before disclosed, and warns him that he is in grave danger. Despite her foreboding, Ned’s determination to learn as much as possible about his absent father ignites a series of extraordinary adventures that gradually reveal the heart of both his own identity and that of his entirely fantastic family: He discovers that he is shadowed by an identical twin brother who can pass through doors and otherwise defy the laws of nature; he becomes…[more]
A tormented writer, unable to exorcise the demons of his past…an all-American town, plagued by horrific secrets…a beautiful woman, brutally murdered by a twisted killer thought long dead—or by an even more terrifying copycat?
Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer travelled to a parallel universe called The Territories to save his mother and her Territories “twinner” from a premature and 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, WI. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories and was compelled to leave the police force when an odd, happenstance event threatened to awaken those memories.
When a series of gruesome murders occur in western Wisconsin that are reminiscent of those committed several decades earlier by a real-life madman named Albert Fish, the killer is dubbed “The Fisherman” and Jack’s buddy, the local chief of police, begs Jack to help his inexperienced force find him. But is this merely the work of a disturbed individual, or has a mysterious…[more]
The incomparable master of horror and suspense returns with a powerful, brilliantly terrifying novel that redefines the genre in original and unexpected ways.
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.
Years later, one man attempts to understand what happened to his wife and to his friends by writing a book about this horrible night, and it’s through this process that they begin to examine the unspeakable events that have bound them in ways they cannot fathom, but that have haunted every one of them through their lives. As each of the old friends tries to come to grips with…[more]
A wonderful collection of tales by the horror genre’s most literate and endlessly inventive writers.
“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 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 the unstated actions. It is Straub at his best.
“Donald Duck” is a surreal study of how a family can be changed irrevocably by the decisions of one reckless member. …[more]
Only four men knew what it meant. Vietnam vets. One was a doctor. One was a lawyer. One was a working stiff. One was a writer. All were as different as men could be—-yet all were bound eternally together by a single shattering secret.
And now they joined together again on a quest that could take them from the graveyard and fleshpots of the Far East to the human jungle of New York…hunting an inhuman ghost of the past risen from nightmare darkeness to kill and kill and kill…
Over twenty years in the making, Sides represents the first ever collection of non-fiction by bestselling author Peter Straub. Featuring introductions, essays, afterwords, and even a “frivolity” along with the collected works of Putney Tyson Ridge, Straub’s “self-invented human speed bump and alter ego” this collection presents a rare glimpse into the author’s tastes and personal musings on topics ranging from The Stepford Wives and Dracula to Lawrence Block and Stephen King.
Also included is “The Fantasy of Everyday Life”, Straub’s Guest-of-Honor speech at the 1998 International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts, and “Mom”, an essay that appeared in a book that combined short stories written by mother-son partnerships with essays written by male writers about their mothers. The “frivolity” here “Why Electricman Lives in New York” was written for an anthology celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of New York Is Book Country.
This long awaited collection closes with Putney Tyson Ridge’s reviews and commentaries on every Peter Straub book published since the 1970s.
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…
Suddenly terror engulfs Nora: She must defend herself against fantastic accusations even as a madman lies in wait. And when he springs, Nora will embark on a night journey that will put her fears to rest forever, dead or alive…
On a brisk autumn day, a thirteen-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. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother’s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest begin….
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. Shadowland is a superb, under-recognized, early novel from a master of literary terror. Get it while it’s back in print!