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Floating Staircase

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,015 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Following the success of his latest novel, Travis Glasgow and his wife Jodie buy their first house in the seemingly idyllic western Maryland town of Westlake. At first, everything is picture perfect--from the beautiful lake behind the house to the rebirth of the friendship between Travis and his brother, Adam, who lives nearby. Travis also begins to overcome the darkness o ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Medallion Press (first published October 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,759)
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mark monday
troubled writer, a tragedy in his past, moves back to the States with his wife to inhabit a haunted house on a lake in the middle of an especially chill winter.

this low-key novel is an improvement over the last Malfi i've read (Snow), which suffered from a certain anononymity. he gets the eerie atmosphere right and he has a sure hand when it comes to all of the minor note moments of the actual haunting, and the subsequent investigation into the death of a child the prior summer. he also does wel
I finished reading this with my Shelfari horror group on Friday. I've been mulling it over for a few days and this is what I came up with.

Floating Staircase is a well written tale about Travis Glasgow, a man who is haunted. Haunted by his new home and the things that may have been done there and haunted by the death of his brother, (which occurred when they were both very young). On top of all that, he is struggling to feel worthy in the eyes of his remaining brother, who is a cop. We join Trav
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Whenever I think of alt-horror writer Ron Malfi, for some reason I always think as well of cinematographer Frederick Elmes, who most famously was the director of photography for David Lynch's biggest films; because like Elmes, Malfi has an almost magical ability to set a very specific kind of atmospheric m
Trev Twinem
This is an extraordinary well written story about about one man's attempt to find redemption and some form of closure to an incident that occurred during his formative years. Ronald Malfi manages to blend superbly elements of horror and crime nicely presented in the guise of small town America. Travis Glascow and his wife Jodie have settled in the pretty little community of Westlake Maryland but as befits all good storytelling nothing is ever as it seems and, as we are shown, the perfect life is ...more
I'm a sucker for a haunted house story. Floating Staircase is the story of Travis Glasgow, a horror writer who moves into an old, run-down house with his wife. Haunted hijinks ensue.

Throughout the course of the book, Travis investigates the death of a young boy who drowned (or did he??) in the lake behind their house the summer before the Glasgows moved in. Through his investigations Travis also has to confront his guilt over the death of his younger brother, who drowned in a lake when they wer
Mallory Heart Reviews
Mar 19, 2013 Mallory Heart Reviews rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patrice Hoffman
Shelves: july-2012-reads
A tremendously involving and multi-layered novel of horror, suspense, haunting, character, emotion, sibling rivalry, marriage and family, and so much more, “Floating Staircase” proves that Literary Horror works-and finely tunes this sub-genre into a champion fright.

“Floating Staircase” is thematic as well, and operates on many layers of theme (perhaps I should write instead, “on many stairs of theme”). Travis Glasgow is a haunted novelist: haunted within, by the tragic demise of his younger brot
This is the second book I've read by Ronald Malfi, and while he has a nice writing style, his storylines underwhelm me and his characters are cardboard.

I kept waiting for the scares in this ghost story, but it was a formulaic story about a spirit helping a living being solve his disappearance. Sorry, I've read this story many times before.
Author Travis Glasgow recently completed a novel titled The Ocean Serene, written as Travis’s way of dealing with the death of his brother Kyle, whom he felt he had killed years ago. Thinking he had put his past behind him, he and his wife, Jodie, move to Westlake, Maryland to be closer to his living brother, Adam. However, upon arrival to the house, Travis starts noticing strange happenings. He is hearing noises and seeing strange sights in the basement. What he witnesses makes him believe that ...more
This was a pretty book that might have/should have been great or close to it. Malfi has certainly got the writing chops to create a massively long finely crafted literary mystery/thriller with slight supernatural undertones. This isn't a straight up horror he's known for, this is more along the lines of Jennifer McMahon's territory. The basic premise was solid enough at first glance but didn't hold up to scrutiny of logic nor was it particularly original. Horror writer moving out to a small rura ...more
This is quite a hefty book at almost 500 pages and yet I read this in one sitting. The story just sucks you in from the first few pages and doesn't let you go. I thought that this was more of a murder mystery than a horror novel but it had its moments. At the core of the story is a writer who is still dealing with the death of his younger brother. I think that his personal journey was what interested me most. Loved this one! Can't wait to check out Mr. Malfi's other works.
Three point five stars for the creepy imagery of a staircase rising up in the middle of a lake. Ghost story or mystery? Ghost story with a mystery to solve, a pretty good one at that. Would give it four stars except for the ending, just kind of an old horror movie, well that's over so let's ride off into the sunset somewhat altered and changed by our creepy experience because we can't think of any other way to end this thing kind of ending.
Kevin Lucia
There are some books that leave you breathless. This is one of them. Full review soon...
Elliott Capon
This is one of those rare books of which it can truly be said “I hated to put it down.” As you start to read it, you are immediately taken by the author’s opening up to you in his personal aside to the reader, by the baring of his soul and his innermost torments, and then you realize . . . wait a minute, this is the novel!
While the jacket describes this book as a horror novel, it’s not quite horror, yet it’s more than that. A man who is living with guilt about having been the cause of his younge
Brett Talley
Ronald Malfi’s Floating Staircase was nominated for a 2012 Bram Stoker Award in the Best Novel category and for good reason. Ghost stories can be hard to pull off (I mean, they’ve all been told, right?). But somehow, Malfi manages to infuse his story with a tension and air of horror that is all too often missing in lesser novels.

Travis Glasgow is a writer (stories about writers are a sub-genre in themselves it seems) who’s seeking a new start with his wife, Jodie. What better place than Westlak
While billed as a ghost story, ‘Floating Staircase’ is more of a detective story. There seems to be a ghost- there may even be two of them- the psychological ghosts of the past are every bit as strong a force as it is.

Travis Glasgow has just moved to a very small town where his older brother lives. He and his wife love the old house, but as soon as they move in strange things start to happen. A tiny, hidden room in the basement is found. Unexplainable noises come from the dark. Things are moved
This could go either way, either a ghost story or a mystery novel. When a man becomes obsessed with strange goings on in his new old house, he soon finds himself attempting to unravel just what happened to the young boy haunting him. With some good twists and turns the reader is taken for a good spooky ride. Malfi has a very good writing style that brings out the haunting scenes with just the right amount of creepiness fitting for the story. Overall I would give this one an extra half of a star ...more

This book what not what I anticipated. It was recommended as a "spine tingling horror novel" but was more of a detective story. The writing was excellent so not a disappointing read by any means, just not what I expected.
I jumped for joy when I received an email from Medallion Press asking if I was interested in reviewing Malfi's newest book. I'd received The Ascent from them before, and it was my first experience with Malfi's writing. I was not disappointed and so I was ready, willing, and able to read this and review it.

As you may have read before, while this book has nothing to do with spiders, reading it before bed gave me a tidbit of anxiety, perfect for a good mystery/horror story and resulted in some inte
Matt Cowan
This story is told in first person by Travis Glasgow, a writer who has just moved with his wife Jodie into a lake house near his brother’s family. The relationship between Travis and his brother is difficult due to a tragic accident during their childhood and the proceeding years spent struggling to cope. While still children, Travis’ younger brother drowned in a lake near their house. Travis has blamed himself ever since

The lake near their new house has an unusual feature. A staircase ascends
Man, I love Malfi's writing and want to read more of his books. I consider myself a horror movie buff, but I never really read much non-YA horror published past 1864 (Walpole, Poe, and Hawthorne are my homeboys), so this is a nice introduction. Malfi's themes and tropes resonate well: the loss of a child, fraternal relationships, dysfunctional familial dynamics, and the familiar arc of a family moving to a new home and discovering things aren't quite as they seem. It's a classic horror trope but ...more
Tony-Paul Vissage
This was such an intense and enthralling story I didn’t want to put it down, but I had to…for more mundane things like sleeping and eating. The storyline is familiar…new couple moving into house where tragedy occurs; one of the two stirring up echoes of trouble by asking too many questions and being too curious, but the ending to The Floating Staircase and the twists Mr. Malfi supplies make this several cuts above the rest. Tense, atmospheric, with almost lyrical descriptive phrases and deft cha ...more
Jeff Heimbuch
I'm not entirely sure how the hell he does it, but I seem to enjoy every book Malfi rights more than the last.
Floating Staircase is everything you want in a ghost story, and more. Unlike other books, which through the horror right in your face, Malfi manages to slowly seep it in. He has it slowly slink around the outskirts of the story, bidding it's time before it comes out ever so briefly for you to see it.
This isn't so much a ghost story about a man being haunted by ghost as it is a man haunt
Writer Travis Glasgow is a haunted man, in more ways than one.
Burdened with guilt over the death of his younger brother as boy, he feels he must solve the riddle of another tragedy years later.
Written in the first person, the reader is right there with Travis as he grows increasingly obsessed with the fate of the boy who once lived in the Glasgow's new home, vacillating between trying to convince himself that several paranormal incidents are merely the workings of his own troubled psyche and sur
Ronald Malfi is such a genius writer! In this story, Travis and Jodie return to the States from London after a long absence to reconcile with Travis's brother Adam and to be closer to family. Travis has always felt guilty for the accidental drowning of their younger brother when they were children and felt that Adam had always blamed him too. Now he has moved into a house where a similar tragedy has taken place and the genius of Malfi has us there an actual haunting taking place o ...more
Timothy Ward
Ron's description can make the simplistic scary and creates characters that are realistic and possibly mischevious. This story reminded me of my love of ghost stories and I want to have one of his books up next. My only complaint is that I sort of lost interest in the mystery around 70%. Maybe I wanted more. The last five percent, including the epilogue redeemed some of the mojo from the beginning. In short, very good at horror, but the mystery didn't engage as much as some mysteries have. Part ...more
Stephen Osborne
If you're looking for scares, this may not be the book you're looking for. While there are paranormal happenings, they aren't of the jump out at you variety or even the bloody, gory type. Floating Staircase is more of a mystery, where a writer with a troubled past of his own may be being manipulated by the ghost of a young boy into solving the mystery surrounding the boy's death. Well written and thought provoking, I found Floating Staircase to be a perfect ghost story for the Christmas season! ...more
Travis Glasgow is an author who's penned a few horror novels. What most don't know is that he lives with the ghost of his little brother in his head, whom he believes he killed when they were both children. When his big brother gets him a house, finally a house instead of an apartment, Travis is faced with the literal ghost of another little boy ... that wants him to solve his murder.

Though not one of the best horror novels ever, this book will hold your attention from start to finish.
Dave Thomas
If you can read the first few pages of "Floating Staircase" without nestling in for a few hours' worth of quality time with Malfi's prose, then I commend you. Equal parts ghost story, thriller, and drama, Malfi weaves a haunting tale of love and loss, with characters that leap off the page, dialogue that sings, and an ending that will leave the reader astounded. You will not be disappointed.

Reese Copeland
I really enjoyed this book, and I'm not much for mysteries. Malfi wrote in such a poetic, beautifully scenic way that you truly are with the character throughout the journey that is the book. It is extremely well written. I have recently discovered Malfi, and will eagerly read his other books. I would highly recommend this story!
Fun book with the perfect balance of creep factor and psychological drama. Also the "meta" level of the book with an horror novelist writing a novel with the same title as the book and at one point explaining the first line of the book we are reading is neat.
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Books that are no available as e-books 5 22 Apr 23, 2014 01:50AM  
Horror Aficionados : November 2012 Group Read: Floating Staircase *SPOILERS* 54 193 Dec 01, 2012 04:59AM  
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Ronald Malfi is an award-winning novelist and short fiction writer whose most notable works include the novels Via Dolorosa and Shamrock Alley. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and collections throughout the US and abroad. Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi writes fiction that transcends genres to gain wider acceptance among readers ...more
More about Ronald Malfi...
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