Ghost Story

( 47 )

Overview

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 bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time - and conjures our darkest fears and...

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Overview

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 bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time - and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

Four men who inadvertently caused the death of a young woman in the 1920s must pay their dues in their old age. 2 cassettes.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter S. Prescott
Gave me bad dreams the first night out...the best thing of its kind since Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. -- Newsweek
Christopher Lehmann-haupt
I jumped six inches...when someone came up behind the chair when I was reading it and announced that dinner was ready. -- The New York Times
From the Publisher
Stephen King The terror just mounts and mounts.

Chicago Sun-Times The scariest book I've ever read....It crawls under your skin and into your dreams.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455830190
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 1,128,627
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Straub
Peter Straub is a New York Times bestselling author, most famous for his work in the horror genre being honored as a grand master at the 1998 World Horror Convention. He has won the World Fantasy Award for Koko (1989), and the Bram Stoker Award for his novels The Throat (1993), Mr. X.(1999) and Lost Boy, Lost Girl (2003) as well as for his collection of short stories, 5 Stories (2007). He lives in New York City.
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    1. Hometown:
      New York City
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 2, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1965; M.A., Columbia University, 1966
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    There are few ghost stories that rank among the highest, those t

    There are few ghost stories that rank among the highest, those that you never forget and those, when asked for a recommendation, that you will always think of. This is one of those books. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    Highly, highly recommended

    I wasn't quite sure where this book was going; now I cannot put it down.
    Plus,it is a lot of book for the price. It is scary in an unconventional manner - I read The Hauntin by Shirley Jackson first -
    so I was somewhat prepared. Stay with this, it gets better and better over 500 pages. I would read Peter Straub again!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2003

    8 years later....

    8 years ago I read this book,and I still can't forget it.I could never remember who wrote the book,(not because he was not important)but I did remember the story.It scared me to the point that I could not sleep.I thought it would be like any other horror story I had read....I quickly found out,that was not the case.No book ever has measured up since.It pulls you right in and doesn't let go,even after you are done reading the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2001

    Supernatural terrorism

    This 22-year-old novel still stands as Peter Straub's best work, despite a few backgound details and cultural riffs that tie it to the seventies. It offers a complex, intelligent integration of deceit, murder, intrigue, and terror tactics, all with a supernatural twist. Straub, along with his contemporary and buddy Stephen King, mass-marketed the concept of organized, celled assaults from beyond the grave on the collective inhabitants of smug, self-righteous, blue-blooded establishments like the book's Milburn, NY. In this case, the ghost leader is Gregory Bate, a predator and pedophile murdered by his younger siblings during WW1 who reappears during the ensuing decades with a cadre of the victimized dead to strike terror and exact gruesome vengeance from the town he despises. Milburn is thematically represented by the Chowder Club, a group of old men, respected citizens all, who share some connection with Bate and his familiars, primarily from a terrible event 50 years past. Bate uses the town---its people, its sins, its weaknesses, and its hypocrisy---as weapons to terrorize, maim, destroy, debauch, and defile the living and the dead. As Straub points out in a reference to the legend of the Manitou, the demon's vanity requires that he identify himself to the victim to heighten the pleasure of terror and annihilation. Bate lopes through the town like a wolf in the fold, striking both carefully and indiscriminately, by himself and with his helpers. Straub shows the scholar's ability to link both myth and morality, and the conflict at the center of the book must ulimately unfold as Order v. Chaos. Straub's supernatural terrorists enjoy the unimaginable powers of darkness and are implacable in their fury, but through occasional moments of pathos, we never forget they once were human and might have a legitimate score to settle. Straub's narrative and tone sometimes crowd the rail, but GHOST STORY is one of the best modern tales of the supernatural, and may be the best of its particular type.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2014

    Very slow to get going,and its all over the place.Halfway throug

    Very slow to get going,and its all over the place.Halfway through it was still too vague to interest me.I liked the characters but was never scared,never enthralled
    and feel this book is over-rated and/or miscategorized as horror when its more drama than anything.

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  • Posted September 27, 2013

    Ghost Story is an extraordinary story, told from the perspective

    Ghost Story is an extraordinary story, told from the perspectives of four aging men, with a writing style I can only admire, and a plot that left me wanting more. It’s a large novel, but it didn’t read like one. By the end, I wanted more, whereas by most books this size, I’m kind of glad it’s over. The four old men hold regular meetings where they tell each other ghost stories. Sometimes they’re not sure if what they’re saying is a product of their own imagination, or driven by some darker force. A secret from the past binds them together, but they’re all too afraid to talk about it. They mourn the one year anniversary of their best friend’s dead by holding yet another ghost story soirée. Except this time, evil is already among them.

    The protagonists remain passive. When evil descends upon their town, nobody takes up the arms to fight it. At first, this annoyed me, but upon thinking about it – how many men would truly dare to fight the evil they created? Much like Dr. Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel, they are afraid of their own creation, an evil of their own doing, shrouded in the clouds of the past. This secret, which we know is there from the start, but which is only explained toward the end, had me so curious I almost flipped through to read what it was. Past and present masterfully collide in this novel that talks more about the sins of men than about incromprehensible evil.

    The pacing is spot on. It’s slow at first, gradually growing faster as the book progresses, which is the ideal pacing scheme for a ghost story. Slow and haunting, then fast like a rollercoaster. The book is complex, rich in detail, and has so many layers it’s difficult to tell where one story begins and the other ends. It’s an intelligent book and it pays hommage to the old masters of the genre, not only by the writing style – it kind of reads like Dracula, with the switching POVs and the many details – but also because of the subject matter. It’s the kind of book Poe and Lovecraft would probably enjoy.

    The evil we meet here is everywhere. Nobody in town is safe. The atmosphere is drenched in darkness and despair, sipping through every page. It’s truly a sublime, powerful, horrifying read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good ghost story.

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  • Posted January 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I actually stopped reading this to come and write this. I am 102

    I actually stopped reading this to come and write this. I am 102 pages in. I am a big Straub fan but this one just isnt grabbing me as well. I should know somewhat what the story is about by now and I still cant even understand what the characters are talking about. I read alot of books, especially horror books. I am going to read all of it since everyone says it gets good and will come back and write what I think but I am not impressed so far.... i am glad this wasnt the first book of his that I read or I might have never known how good he was.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent ghost story

    This was a great read. This story gave me the chills while reading some sections. The story was a little slow in the beginning, but towards the end I couldn't put the book down.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Ghost Story is one of those books that will leave you saying, &q

    Ghost Story is one of those books that will leave you saying, "Now that was some good writing!". The story builds slowly from the beginning to the middle, then things get a crazy for the main characters, plus the whole town in the story. The story was not overly complex, but it was well thought out and told amazingly.

    This was the first Peter Straub book that I've read, and because I enjoyed Ghost Story so much, I will be reading more by this author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Still a uniquely horrifying novel

    I saw the title of this book when it first came out, and thought it was pretty unoriginal. I only bought it because it said "scary enough to jolt the most jaded ghost story addict" which I pretty much was those 30ish years ago. The title is deliciously understated, because this is still one of the most original story lines that is genuinely terrifying from every angle. The character that says, "We are what scares you," sums it up nicely. It is well developed to the point of feeling like you really understand the Chowder Society members at a personal level, then...all you-know-what cuts loose and never stops with the unexpected ways of frightening the characters and the reader. I have bought at least a dozen copies of this book to share with people, and...all these years later, it is still my all time favorite.

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  • Posted December 27, 2011

    The Creep Factor Flushed Out By Too Many Details

    I enjoyed the overall story-the richness of the history, the well development of the characters. However, I feel the book had too much going on. Some of the characters could've been eliminated and would not have been missed. I would've liked more detail on certain characters such as the Bates Brother and the De Peyser character. While the story was good, I found myself skimming through a lot of the pages because I felt too many "fillers" were getting in the way of the point of the story, thus making it less scary.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really creepy!

    This book starts off a little slow for my taste, but once it grabbed me it didn't let go! I haven't been creeped out by a book in a long time, but this one seriously creeped me out. I couldn't read it when I was alone. I highly recommend adding this book to your library.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book is super scary

    This book made me a Peter Straub Fan. Although I was disapointed in his writing style and the ending. I was never the less compeled to read this book. The Charachters are supeberb. Especally The main female villan. This book is super scary. If you live alone, DO NOT read this book at night. I am serious.

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  • Posted March 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A book that I always love to recommend!

    I read this book years ago and absolutely loved it! It's just a really terrific horror story/mystery without all of the gore found in alot of this particular genre of books today.I love all the deep dark buried secrets and the delicious way they are revealed! And the movie(came out around 1982) with Fred Astaire,Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and several other old times actors who are now gone is terrific and very true to the book.A MUST READ for anyone who loves a good creepy story!

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    Excellent

    The kind of book you don't dare read with the lights off. Fantastic!!

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Don't read at night while alone!

    This is one of the best books of its genre...ever. Period.

    Beautifully written, this book evokes chilling imagery. Just read it again after many years - even better now that I'm older and can understand nuance even more.

    Not for those who want movie-inspired scariness.

    Just a really great read.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    Awesome book

    I got so into reading this book, my husband actually was able to scare the living daylights out of me. Excellent read -- especially if you are a horror fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2007

    Very good read.

    I have read this a long time ago, and have lent it to friends at work. They have all agreed that it is a great story. An old fashioned ghost story that holds up throughout. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    A Horror Classic!

    One of my favourite authors, this book is a classic that has a special place in my library of horror and always will. A master of spooky horror!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2006

    Don't read on snowy night while you're alone

    I read this one as a teenager back in the early 80's, including several chapters while I was alone in the house on a snowy winter night. Big mistake! This is the kind of book that freezes your blood, raises the hairs on the back of your neck and makes you see horrors lurking in every shadow and behind every sound. It is a seminal ghost novel that compares favorably with anything Stephen King has to offer. Just like 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' took all the elements of chop-socky Kung Fu movies and created something epic, Straub deftly blends all the elements and conventions of supernatural horror into something that transcends the genre. It's all here--demonic possession, ageless evil taking on human form, the walking dead, corpses in the morgue that ... move ... spiritual rage and vengeance. As their town becomes a snowbound, icy prison, the hapless denizens of Milburn pay the blood-curdling price for offending the powers of darkness ...

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