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Mrs. God: A Novel
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Mrs. God: A Novel

2.43  ·  Rating Details ·  700 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
Esswood House. Home and estate of the Seneschal family, aristocratic patrons of the literary arts for well over a hundred years. D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, Ford Madox Ford, and Henry James were privileged to call themselves guests and Esswood Fellows. Even minor poets such as Isobel Standish found in Esswood a respite from the outer world and its refined atmosphere an in ...more
Hardcover, 185 pages
Published February 15th 2012 by Pegasus Crime (first published January 1st 1990)
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ugh - i don't know what this book is thinking.

it isn't so bad as to be unendurable, but it definitely is the kind of thing where you can see elements of it that make sense, but the overall effect is just not working.

i mean, i guess so. it is better than what i could make.

but when you are going up against:

you're pretty much screwed. and i don't know yet what the horror novel equivalent is to my little fashion gargoyle mondo, but someday my horror prince will come.

i read this one because it prom
Jun 23, 2012 emily rated it did not like it
Blah blah blah this thing looks like a fetus, oh hey I see that rock over there and reflect on whether it does or does not look like my wife engaging in coitus with a friend of mine.

That thing looks kind of bloody and resembles an aborted fetus again.

Hey, you know that poem I'm reading? It might be about my wife cuckolding me. Or maybe it's about fetuses.
Mar 05, 2012 R.J. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
WHAT was this book about.
I know three things.
1. the guy drank a lot
2. he masturbated in the bathroom a few times.
3. he was an American in England.


Nick Cato
May 09, 2012 Nick Cato rated it liked it
Originally released in 1990 as a limited edition novella and then in 1991 as part of Straub's HOUSES WITHOUT DOORS collection, MRS. GOD is now available as a trade hardcover from Pegasus Crime. WHY Pegasus Crime? I haven't the slightest idea...and unless you are a DIE HARD Straub fan, you'll have no idea why they felt the necessity to re-re-release this downbeat tale. In fact, I AM a die hard Straub fan and couldn't tell you...

THAT said, MRS. GOD is an interesting if unclear tale dealing with Am
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Mar 15, 2013 Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Esswood House is the dream of all literary types. Housing rare manuscripts from some of the literary elite. Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Ford Madox Ford are just some of the luminaries that not only stayed in the house, but left work to the great library. Yet, for researchers, there is a road block to this holy grail. Unlike many country estates in England, this house and it's contents aren't part of The National Trust or even open to the public. Oh no, the Seneschal family not only still reside wit ...more
Jason P
Dec 06, 2015 Jason P rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Ok first.

Holy shit. Peter Straub is not an author I would normally pick up, even though he writes the horror genre. I only know Straub through Black House, and I was unhappy with it. So I vowed not to read his stuff, even Ghost Story which apparently is his best one? Maybe it was Floating Dragon, I don't care either way. I just knew that his stuff wasn't my thing. Years later, I'm at a massive book sale and everything was a dollar, I picked up anything and everything that I thought would be good
Jun 24, 2015 Jaksen rated it it was ok
I'm giving it two solely for the author ...

I read this in a day, was looking for something short and quick to read between two longer books. Maybe I should have skipped it altogether.

The MC, Standish, goes to Esswood House, an ancient and secluded English estate to do some research on a little-known writer. He's been chosen from 600 candidates, he's told, to do this work. The estate is gorgeous; the food and drink sublime; the accommodations, though outstandingly creepy, are also five-star hotel
OK, I read the book and I STILL don't know if I liked it or not. I didn't NOT like it but.............a VERY odd book. This is a hard cover with illustrations (odd illustrations.
Standish has a very pregnant wife; they have had some issues in the past. He is invited to go to England to a very prestigious place called Esswood, where writers have been meeting for years for a kind of retreat. He plans to write about one of his relatives, Isobel, who spent some time there. Her writings took a totally
Oh sweet Lord does this book suck! After pushing myself through yet another chapter I have decided to give up 3/4 of the way in. No book, albeit even a short one, is worth the pain this story is causing. You know, it's not even the plot that's killing me, though Mr. Straub did stick to EVERY STEP in the formula to create an average but predictable outcome. And no, it wasn't the pace, though snails get to their destination faster. No, it was Mr. Straub's style of writing that made this read excru ...more
Lisa Vukmirovich
Mar 28, 2013 Lisa Vukmirovich rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I like to listen to audiobooks in the car and I usually think, "Not every book gets made into an audiobook. If the publisher thinks this is good enough to BE an audiobook, I can give it a go." Unfortunately, I think the publishers made a mistake here. After 4 CDs, I still didn't know what in the heck was going on, but I kept going to the end because I only had one more disc to go (what the heck?). Whew, I was glad when it was over! It was sweet relief to be done with the book, but I still have a ...more
Jun 14, 2014 Joey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
Total insanity. Peter Straub is a master wordsmith.
Cora Pop
An eerie book, exquisitely written. Must be read carefully to discover all the subtle layers of meanings...
Jul 30, 2014 Jack rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not one of Straub's better books. I can see what he was attempting to do with it, but I don't think he accomplished it, at all. There are a lot of horror themes that are being touched on in the books, too many actually. So many that it becomes difficult to know what the hell is going on, like genre ADHD. Is the guy crazy, is it the house, is it a past-life thing, the bleeding of time and space? Who the hell knows. I'm not even sure Straub does. That's the problem.
John Cooke
Apr 13, 2014 John Cooke rated it it was amazing
MRS. GOD by Peter Straub has been waiting for me for a long time. I bought HOUSES WITHOUT DOORS in the original Dutton hardcover when it came out in 1990, and was already aware of MRS. GOD anyway because it had previously been published in a limited edition by Donald M. Grant. But I don't ever like to read collections of short fiction all the way through in a gulp, and at some point I set aside HOUSES WITHOUT DOORS leaving MRS. GOD (the final tale) for a rainy day. That day finally came 24 years ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i like a ghost story. with shades of some of the best ever written (the haunting of hill house comes to mind, as well as stephen king's the shining), mrs. god paints a vaguely terrifying scene in the english countryside. almost immediately the reader questions exactly what standish is agreeing to when he travels to england to study in a famed library, supposedly overflowing with rare and wonderful literary finds. the trip from the airport to the castle is lovecraftian, with strange characters to ...more
Niki Krause
Jul 21, 2012 Niki Krause rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Collins
Straub's Mrs. God novella is a strange story, moving from what seems to be a commonplace drama (if one with a creepy setting) to a fast-moving horror story centered around an apparently devolving narrator. In fact, you can nearly cut the book in half to find that the first portion is decidedly unhorrific, and the second is nearly unfollowable it contains so much and moves so quickly. All together, the book is interesting, and the writing of atmosphere and descriptions is absolutely stunning. Tho ...more
Susan Mcgarvey
May 27, 2012 Susan Mcgarvey rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Shirley Jackson fans
I need time to think about this novella and possibly reread it. Too slow of an opening for me, but I had faith in Straub and was not disappointed once the MC reached his destination, the refined and subtly eerie English estate known as Esswood House. No doubt a high-bred cousin to Shirley Jackson's deranged Hill House, Esswood House reveals itself in stages as an intoxicating beauty with an illustrious literary past; a host of mazes and memories to trick the mind; a ghastly, ghostly maw that gor ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Steven rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, just brilliant. Mr. Straub sets up the information, and if you make the connections, appreciating the associations, you will get it. The writing was brilliant; the descriptions rich yet not overly wordy. I love the subtlety, and how Mr. Straub shows rather than tells. There was so much horror with so little gore. This story was far more frightening, and effective invoking horror compared to splatter punk or hackneyed horror attempts. Mr. Straub-BRILLIANT. This is one of my favorite bo ...more
I'm disappointed; I didn't realize when I got this from the library that it's actually a reprint of a novella from Houses Without Doors, and I've actually read it twice before. I always forget that this story starts out amazingly strong, but gets confusing and frustrating and eventually leaves the reader going "huh?"

I THINK I understood it a lot better this time through. Straub has a real fondness for unreliable narrators, and Standish is a prime example. In this case, though, Straub takes thing
Jun 27, 2012 Merredith rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1-or-2-stars, horror
This is a..ghost story? vampire story? story about a crazy man? i really have no idea. Here is a horror novella by peter straub and a man goes to a house and then um. i have no idea what i read. it read like an old fashioned back in time horror story, only those usually make sense. i don't know what to make of this one. from other people's reviews, they were just as confused. at least the writing style flows..
Kristin Elizabeth
Sep 24, 2014 Kristin Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Literary masterpiece! A novel that necessitates multiple readings to merely attempt to determine the reality of the occurrences. The setting of Esswood House with its abundantly wealthy library of scholarly rarities and meticulously manicured grounds is exquisite. The juxtaposition of a completely convincing, yet unreliable, narrator's descent into insanity amidst such opulence is complexly satiating.
Apr 27, 2012 Louise rated it did not like it
I'm generally not a horror type reader but in the past I have read some very good Peter Straub books. This however, is not one of them. Since it only had 173 pages I read the whole thing but it actually was terrible. I can't remember reading a book that was so bad since I read a Baldacci Christmas story. Straub should be ashamed of himself. YUCK. It gets a 0 on my 10 scale.
Feb 25, 2013 Kim rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
This the 2nd Straub book I have read in the past week - the 1st being The Dark Matter - they were both horrible! My god I wished Mrs. God would just end - the entire book can be summed up with WTF!?

Feb 24, 2012 Erica rated it did not like it
Did not like at all. Couldn't care less about any of the characters and found it to be very boring. Finished through sheer willpower. Major bummer since I've liked all of Straubs other books I've read.
Beverley Albright
Sep 01, 2012 Beverley Albright rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I normally like Peter Straub, but this time....well, let's just say that I would have a better understanding of alien speak that I did of this book. The book, to me, was an absolute mess. If anyone can explain it to me, I am certainly willing to hear it.
I don't know what to say about this...well written, nice detail, but I have no idea wtf I just read. I hated to protagonist, he was a jerk, but umm...this was just an odd one. I can't really rate it.
Jul 13, 2012 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Wow!! That's sums it up perfectly.
Feb 10, 2017 KevinT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this originally in HOUSES WITHOUT DOORS a few years ago. For me I suppose it was the right story at the right time. I seem to like it abundantly more than 90% of the Straub reading public. I loved the bizarreness of it. A more atmospheric book you'd be hard pressed to find. M.R. James with a bit of Clive Barker thrown in. First you have the wife hating and feared unborn child to deal with, then his dog eat dog world of academia. Who knew ivy league professors were such bitches? (If any 's ...more
Sherry (sethurner)
I enjoyed the spooky atmosphere, but thought the story was needlessly convoluted. It's sort of Turn of the Screw meets Fall of the House of User meets The Shining.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Mrs. God 1 3 Mar 22, 2012 03:31PM  
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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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“He did not recognize himself either. He was a totally new being, bald, covered with grease and blood, pink and blue eyed: he was his own baby...He was a great fat chuckling baby, and he shat and peed in his filthy trousers and kept driving.” 3 likes
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