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3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,636 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
In a house in London a woman starts a new life, trying to put tragedy behind her. Then a pretty blonde child runs into view, bringing with her an inexplicable suggestion of evil.

Once Julia Lofting had a husband and a daughter. But everything has changed since she bolted from her marriage, in flight from the unbearable truth of her daughter's death. For Julia, there is no e
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 3rd 1995 by Ballantine Books (first published 1975)
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(showing 1-30)
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Edward Lorn
Sep 20, 2014 Edward Lorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperbacks
Julia is my first Peter Straub read in over a decade. I came across a bulk lot of his books on Ebay, all of his novels in paperback for less than eight bucks, and couldn't help myself. I'd previously read Ghost Story and Koko, and loved both, but I find myself in a dark gray area with Julia.

What started as one hell of a creepy ride soon became an exercise in tedium. All the book's major questions are answered around the halfway mark, but I trudged along anyway, because I was invested in the stor
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 28, 2014 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia isn't a modern horror novel racing with flesh-eating zombies or vampire romance or evil imaginary friends; it is a ghost story in a sense, but it's more so about how evil people never die... they get revenge. Julia was made into a movie as well, and the movie, albeit very good, isn't as descriptive or disturbing as the book.

The book follows Julia Lofting, a woman who has recently left behind her daughter's death, an involuntary placement in a mental hospital and her son-of-a-b!tch, control
Feb 04, 2016 Bandit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the author's first venture into the supernatural genre, originally published in 1975 and it reads like it. It isn't dated per se, it seemly belongs to another time, one where attitudes where different, women's lib not quite there (or at all there really), one had to go to the actual library for research, etc. Although yoga was as popular as it is now. The eponymous heroine is a woman of 36, who has recently lost her only child under tragic circumstances, even more recently left her husb ...more
Über weite Strecken eine klassische Geistergeschichte, die sich etwas in die Länge zieht.
Trotzdem: gut geschrieben und unterhaltsam, und nicht oberflächlich.
3,5 Sterne
Holly Lindquist
Sep 04, 2009 Holly Lindquist rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
One of those rare cases where the book isn't quite as good as the movie. Still worth reading, but if you like the story definitely check the movie out. It's called The Haunting of Julia and it stars a wan-looking Mia Farrow... very creepy. Lovely music too.
Feb 14, 2011 A.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful creepy and perverted tale that was the basis for the movie, The Haunting of Julia. It doesn't bust out till around page 200, so stick with it.
Mar 15, 2013 M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Julia" is an incredibly well-done modern Gothic in the same vein as Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" or Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House," though not quite so masterful. We see through they eyes of a main character, the fragile Julia Lofting, who at best is an unreliable narrator, and at worst an outright madwoman. Straub crafts an eerie novel about madness, death and the notion of true evil. If you like this kind of story, it's a definite must-read, but good luck finding a cop ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Venessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Evil isn't like ordinary people. It can't be got rid of. It gets revenge. Revenge is what it wants, and it gets it."

"There was no safety, only its illusion."

INTENSE - the most terrifying book I've read in a long time. Peter Straub is a master at psychological horror, at getting under your skin and making you believe, even if just for a few moments, that you are the character being watched, stalked, threatened. Staying up late to read this the other night, the only one awake in the house, I hear
Kevin Lucia
Jan 24, 2015 Kevin Lucia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. Wonderfully tense and atmospheric, with classic gothic sensibilities. Thing is, I've heard lots of folks say, "If you loved GHOST STORY, JULIA will blow your mind!" In this case, I beg to differ. GHOST STORY painted with a much richer story, and the characters were far more likable, with a lot more substance. But still, that doesn't say anything bad about JULIA. I just like GHOST STORY a whole lot more.
Feb 29, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, owned
I didn't like this one nearly so well as Straub's other novels. The beginning was promising, and the tension builds nicely through the first 3/4 of the book, but the ending seemed really abrupt and overly vague to me. I kept reading because I thought there was going to be a pay-off, and I was going to find out something really creepy and interesting, but instead things just stayed obscure and I was left confused by the ending.
Nov 21, 2016 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, horror
Aside from the novel he co-wrote with Stephen King, The Talisman, this is the first Staub book I've read. (I'm not sure that The Talisman even counts, because his and King's writing blended so seamlessly that I could almost never tell which of them was writing any given scene.)

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed so much as surprised. This is very different from the modern horror novel, which I suppose I should have guessed given that it was published in 1975. It reminds me quite a bit of Rosemary's
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I really wanted to like Julia. However, she must have been the most vapid main character I have ever read about.

Also, no one in this novel seemed to actually work. Almost everyone is rich and has all the time in the world. I simply could not connect to any of the characters in this book, which obviously hindered my enjoyment of the story.

The development of the story wasn't amazing either. There is an air of mystery but on the other hand not so much, as Jul
Sep 16, 2012 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I love good haunting books. If there is such a thing as a literary vice, that is probably mine. Straub is an excellent writer, and creates a lot of atmospheric tension. This novel definitely falls in to the "quiet horror" side of the genre, and while there are some grotesque scenes, the horror is generally accomplished by what you don't know, and what you haven't seen. Julia is the quintessential haunted female, spiraling down into madness, but is the madness a result of the haunting, or is the ...more
Victoria M
Jan 18, 2015 Victoria M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time I came across Peter Straub - that I knew of - was during a Stephen King spree I had some years back, which eventually led me to read The Talisman and Black House, two The Dark Tower-related novels that he and King wrote together. Only in November last year, did I realize that a horror movie I had watched at the tender age of 11-ish was in fact based on another of his books, Julia. What exactly made me look the movie up that random evening in November, I do not remember anymore, but I ...more
Jul 15, 2016 Redri9hthand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great literary horror novel. Before this one, I had recently read "Ghost Story" and "If You Could See Me Now" both of which I enjoyed a bit more possibly because the supernatural in "Julia" is ambiguous. Was she really being haunted, or was she mentally or emotionally unstable? As much as I've always loved the idea of ghosts and mysterious creatures, I can't help being very skeptical about their existance. So when I read a ghost story, I prefer those that at some point convince me that the haunt ...more
Cecilia Solis-sublette
So no one's written a review of this 1970s novel, yet, huh? Well, let's see. The writer is good in keeping you guessing, through the end, as to whether this woman is crazy, whether her husband and brother-in-law are driving her crazy, or whether she is really being targeted by a supernatural force. The fact that her sister-in-law dabbles in the spirit world helps as does the fact that she is a grieving mother living in the house of another past-grieving mother. The elements are all there for a g ...more
Aug 09, 2012 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story leaves the reader with a lot of questions. I tend to believe that Julia, a haunted woman, was fated to become the victim of the haunted house.

The scene where Julia meets Heather Rudge was quite chilling. Two women, both with sanity issues, both of whom have a daughter in the grave, both women have lived in that house on Holland Park. The deeper connection that they both share is really the clincher.
John Kim
Nov 14, 2008 John Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Straub's breakout book that launched him in the ranks of premier horror writers such as Stephen King and Clive Barker.

It established him as the master of the modern day ghost story and all his books have a running theme of past mistakes catching up with you in really bad ways.

It's very gothic, a damsel in distress, a haunted house and a very evil ghostly presence, but updated to our times.
alessandra falca
Jun 17, 2011 alessandra falca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ho fatto fatica a finire questo libro. Julia ha una buona trama e dei buoni personaggi ma non ce l'ho fatta ad entrare e questa volta i "fantasmi del libro " mi hanno respinto. Non è un libro scritto male solo che in maniera molto soprannaturale non mi ha fatto entrare. Non ero nel mood. Pazienza Peter, sarà per la prossima volta.
Jan 20, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes horror
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
When Julia Lufting loses her child horribly, she moves to a new house to deal with her grief. What she finds is that her house is haunted by a little girl who died mysteriously. Now she must deal with her own grief and discover how the child from her house died. I sort of enjoyed this book and give it a B+!
Freaky thats just one word to describe it. Another word may be boring. I was expecting more but for it being so old it was good. Now adays however you want to be so scared that you have to have the light on to go to sleep.
Aug 25, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book of 2015! Also my first Peter Straub. Very creepy and enjoyable. The ending was a little muddled; I feel like I devoured most of the book in the last two days. Looking forward to reading more of his.
This one confounded me. It didn't have a single story element that would normally scare me, but ir utterly messed with my head and had me checking in the closet and under the bed for boogeymen. How does he do that!?
Apr 06, 2013 Kit★ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Picked this up at Goodwill today. Put it with the other Straub books I have, I swear I will read him one day!
Dec 26, 2009 Krista rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pure stubbornness got me through this one. Do not recommend.
Jul 28, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just got into a Peter Straub mood all of a sudden. I'd forgotten how dark this one is.
Linda Moens
Feb 26, 2017 Linda Moens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gelezen in Nederlands
Donna Davis
Straub is always strong, although his work is not for the squeamish. I bought this book twice and was surprised the second time to see I'd already read it.
Christine Webb
Sooooooooo boring. I didn't actually finish it. Maybe I didn't give it enough of a try but I've read other Straub and expected much more of him.
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  • Nazareth Hill
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Peter Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 2 March, 1943, the first of three sons of a salesman and a nurse. The salesman wanted him to become an athlete, the nurse thought he would do well as either a doctor or a Lutheran minister, but all he wanted to do was to learn to read.

When kindergarten turned out to be a stupefyingly banal disappointment devoted to cutting animal shapes out of heavy
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“She thought, instead, with longing of more books—of buying books—of slipping into a narrative of other people’s lives. That was release.” 8 likes
“I'm being haunted," she blurted out.
"My dear," he cooed. "Turn yourself into a tourist attraction and charge admission.”
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