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Even a cold-blooded sociopath must learn some lessons in survival, in seems, and Uncle Till is only happy to provide a tutorial, in the latest imaginative and disturbing work from one of America's most celebrated horror writers.
Posted September 18, 2011
This is my first book of Peter Straub's and I was not dissapointed. The book is very disturbing. I, after numerous Stephen King books, is not easily unsettled by written material, i've become sort or sanitized, but this did it for me. The characters are scarily believable. Not only that but some of Straubs' ideas, such as the keys, are brilliant!
The only thing that I find dissapointing about this book is, A) Although it is a fun read it seems to me like it is rushed, the first chapter is when he is about 9, the next is when he is a sophmore in Highschool, that's a big jump, much time lost where Peter could've added more material, just to fill that hole in his life. B) the price. I got this book at Borders when they were going out of business, I nabbed it at $3. 50, a wonderful deal. I would've never bought it at its actual retail price, $14, simply because it is much to short. If I remeber correctly the story itself is only about 120 pages long, not counting the afterword. But those 120 pages are in large print, and wide margins. So in reality I guess this book is only about 80 pages. But If I were you i'd get it from the library and stay away from the insane cost.
If I could I'd have given this book a 4.4 out of 5.
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Posted December 3, 2010
I borrowed this book from a friend (she was enjoying it) and didn't expect much from it. Once I began to read, though, I was hooked. Straub intertwines deep backstories of other characters into the current, causing you to wonder the past and current ambitions of those others that create the main character's (Keith Hayward's) story. I loved "A Special Place" and can't wait to get my hands on other Straub novels!
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Posted September 1, 2011
Question: What does a budding twelve year old psychopath need most?
Answer: A blooming psychopathic uncle to be his mentor.
And this is the premise behind Peter Straub's novella "A Special Place: the Heart of a Dark Matter". Thank goodness for short books. This truly was a dark book - I'm talking pitch, midnight, moonless black. Had it been longer, my mind and body would have rebelled. As it was, I was left feeling more than slightly nauseous at the last page. I believe this was the author's intent.
While other people were slightly uncomfortable around Uncle Till as the story progressed, Keith simply recognized a kindred spirit. Instinctively he understood what Uncle Till was really saying. Uncle Till also recognized Keith as a younger version of himself and began to plant ideas and shed light on a path of horror for Keith to follow.
The progression of Mr. Straub's horror story reminded me of some of Edgar Allen Poe's writings or Hitchcock's plays (which were heavily referenced in the book). It is not for the weak of heart. The ending is awful in the deepest meaning of the word and leaves an entire black career to follow in the mind of the reader.
Posted September 5, 2011
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