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Magic Terrorby Peter Straub
Synopses & Reviews
Straub mines new territory in this extraordinarily powerful collection of short fiction — territory marked by brutality, heartbreak, savagery, wonder, despair, and an unexpected humor which, although often arising from the narrator's unconscious revelation, ultimately leads to a germ of understanding.
"Bunny is Good Bread" enters the mind of a small boy being raised in grotesque circumstances and portrays the creation of a serial killer in a manner that compels pity, sorrow, comprehension and a sense of grief as well as judgment. "Hunger," narrated by the ghost of a pompous, self-pitying murderer, creates a profoundly beautiful vision of earthly life, one appreciated far more by the dead than the living. "Mr. Club and Mr. Cuff" uses the material and structure of Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" to create a revenge tale in which torture is a moral art and the avenger undergoes a transforming education.
Straub's devotees will be swept away by the potency of this collection and the uninitiated are in for a startling — if occasionally harrowing — literary treat.
"Compelling...Magic Terror is bliss for readers whose love of the eerie doesn't preclude a taste for literary elegance....[Straub] is one of the few fin-de-siècle writers whose stories can stand alongside works by 20th-century masters of the macabre..." The Washington Post Book World
"[B]eautifully written stuff that breaks into the place where you live, breaching all psychologically installed security systems....Peter Straub writes with compassion. He gets the link between modern horror and classic tragedy." The Philadelphia Inquirer
"["Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff" is] the best thing Straub has yet written....The creepy archaisms and deliberately fruity neo-Victorian style [are] used to devastating effect in the best of these vivid stories..." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"[C]lever exercises in horror..." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"Mixing stark realism with black comedy, and reverberating with echoes of Conrad, Melville and the Brothers Grimm, these excursions to the dark side of life set a high standard for the literature of contemporary magic terror." Publishers Weekly
"Straub is not called a master of horror for nothing....The true power of the stories here will not really affect readers until several hours after they have finished reading the tales....Highly recommended." Library Journal
"The protagonist of each of these stories has had a horrible, frightening life. Yet, the compassion you feel for them doesn't keep your skin from crawling as you descend deeper and deeper into their terrible, twisted minds." The New York Post
"When Peter Straub turns on all his jets, no one in the scream factory can equal him." Stephen King
"I have been a fan of the novelist Peter Straub ever since Ghost Story. That he can be just as compelling and scary in brief bites is a welcome revelation. Seven wonderful tales." Donald Westlake, author of The Hook and The Ax
"[A] variety of genre-defying tales, no two of the seven remotely resembling each other except in the brilliance of the invention and the writing, and in Straub's power to spook you out of your wits." Donald Harington, author of When Angels Rest
Welcome to another kind of terror as Peter Straub leads us into the outer reaches of the psyche. Here the master of the macabre is at his absolute best in seven exquisite tales of living, dying, and the terror that lies in between.
Welcome to another kind of terror as Peter Straub leads us into the outer reaches of the psyche. Here the master of the macabre is at his absolute best in seven exquisite tales of living, dying, and the terror that lies in between. . . .
AshputtleIsnt It Romantic?
-The New York Times-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The Ghost VillageBunny Is Good Bread
Winner of a World Fantasy Award“TERRIFYING.”
“VERY, VERY SCARY.”-The Washington Post Book World
-The Philadelphia Inquirer
Porkpie HatHunger, An Introduction
“DARK TWISTS AND“BRILLIANTLY SUBVERSIVE.”
Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff
Winner of a Bram Stoker Award
“[A] TOUR-DE-FORCE . . . [THAT] WILL HAUNT READERS LONG AFTER THEYVE CLOSED THE COVERS.”
-The Denver Post
“PETER STRAUB IS AN EXCELLENT WRITER. . . .
HE MAKES US FEEL THE TERROR.”
-The Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Peter Straub is the author of fifteen novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. He has won the British Fantasy Award, two Bram Stoker awards, and two World Fantasy awards. He lives in New York City.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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