Ghost Story

Ghost Story

by Peter Straub


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Ghost Story by Peter Straub

#1 New York Times bestselling author Peter Straub’s classic tale of horror, secrets, and the dangerous ghosts of the past...
What was the worst thing you’ve ever done?
In the sleepy town of Milburn, New York, four old men gather to tell each other stories—some true, some made-up, all of them frightening. A simple pastime to divert themselves from their quiet lives.
But one story is coming back to haunt them and their small town. A tale of something they did long ago. A wicked mistake. A horrifying accident. And they are about to learn that no one can bury the past forever...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101989197
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 63,098
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Peter Straub is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. They include Ghost Story, Koko, Mr. X, In the Night Room, and two collaborations with Stephen King, The Talisman and Black House. He has written two volumes of poetry and two collections of short fiction, and he edited the Library of America’s edition of H. P. Lovecraft: Tales and the Library of America’s two-volume anthology, American Fantastic Tales. He has won the British Fantasy Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, three International Horror Guild Awards, and ten World Fantasy Awards. In 1997, he was named Grand Master at the World Horror Convention. In 2005, he was given the Horror Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. At the World Fantasy Convention in 2010, he was given the WFC’s Life Achievement Award.


New York City

Date of Birth:

March 2, 1943

Place of Birth:

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


B.A. in English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1965; M.A., Columbia University, 1966

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Ghost Story 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Integrity_Consultants More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Refill 6 months ago
“What was the worst thing you’ve ever done?” So starts the 1979 Peter Straub novel "Ghost Story" with this fascinating question. Of what I have read from Straub so far, it is by far his best work. The Chowder Society is a four-man group of storytellers. Stories of horror are told, and it starts to lead to strange occurrences in their town, where these men’s pasts may be coming back to haunt them. As their lives are affected by horrible events, so may the town also be being affected. That is a very basic explanation of a very well-crafted book partly because I do not want to give much away. What Straub does is create a town of characters that are interesting, flawed, and trying to live relatively normal lives as events around them become less and less normal. In some of the early chapters, there can be a little slowness, but these are brief instances while a foundation is being laid where you will see revelations made that are macabre and then tense and then flat-out scary. Without question, this is one of the scariest novels I have ever had the pleasure to read. It is my fourth Straub novel (“Marriages” – absolutely awful, “Julia” – good, not great, but there were flashes of greatness, “If You Could See Me Now” – well, at least it’s not as bad as “Marriages”), and it is not only the best I’ve seen from him, it’s also one of the best books I’ve ever read from any author. The joy of reading this is only superseded by the growing awareness of the sun going down and your imagination having fun with you as the goosebumps form. For full effect, read this at night. The inclusion of a few slow parts and a bit of writing style than can be difficult to follow at times are just not worth more than barely mentioning. The characters and what they have done, are doing, and may do is far more captivating. I love this book, and it should make for a great re-read someday. 4.5 stars out of 5.
GLOCKfan More than 1 year ago
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.
Cynthia_77 More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this over 30 years ago with my mom, and it's just as good today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too bad I couldn't give 6 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a rare case of the film being far better than the book. Writing was slow, boring and overly detailed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How anyone thinks that this book is good or scary is completely beyond me. Do not waste your time reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twenty five years later, this is still one of the best horror/ghost stories ever! This books encapsulates everything an excellent horror novel should be. This isnt just a horror story, its a true ghost story. This is a must have novel. You will read it over and over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was made into a movie. I seen it years ago. I've never read the book, but the movie was great. R G
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I reread this story. It's just as capable of giving chills as when I first read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jjasont More than 1 year ago
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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bkrdr63 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nodnarb225 More than 1 year ago
The kind of book you don't dare read with the lights off. Fantastic!!
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