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GHOST STORY by PETER STRAUB
“You know how when a woman gets angry, really angry, she can reach way back into herself and find rage enough to blow any man to pieces.”
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I absolutely loved this story. I'm sure that it has been compared to Stephen King's IT over the years, it certainly shares some similar concepts. Small town horror with an ensemble cast of characters facing against a shape shifting being with what little meager means they can. I wouldn't be surprised if Straub and King bounced ideas off each other back in the day, considering their previous collaboration on The Talisman. But Ghost Story holds its own big time.
I was deeply invested in these characters, and trying to determine just what it was that was after them, and what reason it had to haunt them in such a way. The stories-within-stories, also kind of similar to IT in terms of structure, built a strong rooting toward the final confrontations, of which I thoroughly enjoyed as well.
Although I say it’s similar in structure to IT, there is definitely one major difference; in Books like IT or Summer Of Night the characters were mostly kids, facing an unknown monstrosity they don’t understand. In Ghost Story, most of the cast are in their senior years, happy to have lived out their lives instead of facing the evil force that they must. It changes the dynamic greatly.
Having said all that, there is one problem. The audiobook version wasn't assembled very well. There are chapters within the audio listings that actually cut the book's chapters into pieces. You could be finishing a chapter of the audio, but find that it ends midway through a chapter of the story. They compiled the audiobook chapters badly.
Perhaps I'm biased because I'm developing my own small town horror story (which I'm sure this will influence), or perhaps I'm biased because one of the main characters is a writer (which I've mentioned in other reviews I am a sucker for), but I definitely recommend it. If you are a fan of Stephen King's IT or Dan Simmons' Summer of Night, I think you'll really like Ghost Story.
If you don't mind split chapters, then go ahead and give this a listen. Or definitely read the book itself.
I'm a Straub fan now for sure.
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