Mrs. God: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Mrs. God: A Novel

2.4 of 5 stars 2.40  ·  rating details  ·  483 ratings  ·  124 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mrs. God, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mrs. God

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 829)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
Nick Cato
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...more
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.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
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
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.


Lisa Vukmirovich
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
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
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.
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
Niki Krause
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Mcgarvey
May 27, 2012 Susan Mcgarvey rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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...more
John Cooke
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
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..
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.
Charlie Boucher
It's definitely creepy and definitely keeps you guessing, but Standish is completely unsympathetic as a main character - in fact, no-one turns out to be particularly worth liking. Normally this means a "did not finish" for me, but because Mr Straub is my favourite author I kept going. There's something quite classical about the horror - the slow realisation that nobody in Esswood House may be real, and the never quite explained diseases of the Seneschal children. But ultimately this book feels l...more
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.
Feb 25, 2013 Kim rated it 1 of 5 stars
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!?

Jennifer Lauren 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
Jan 27, 2014 Tracy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO one
Shelves: abandoned
When I listen to an audiobook, it gets more of a chance because it's often in the background and I don't have to dedicate as much of my time and attention to it as I do to written books.

The book started out confusing - I kept thinking that I'd been inattentive and missed something in the narrative - and the main character quickly exposed himself as a boor (that's an unrefined, ill-mannered person - not someone who puts you to sleep).

After Standish arrives at the House he sees, hears, and dreams...more
Wow!! That's sums it up perfectly.
Mrs. God
By Peter Straub

Publisher: Pegasus Crime
Published In: New York, New York
Date: 1990
Pgs: 185

On a lonely estate home in England, the Seneschal family, historic patrons of the literary arts, one-time hosts of D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Elliot, Ford Madox Ford, and Henry James among others, a new honoree has been invited. Invitations to Esswood House come and are rescinded regularly. This one comes to a distant relative of a previous darling of Esswood, Isobel Standish. It couldn’t have come...more
While the novel's set up sounded very promising, I was disappointed in the tale itself. Academic gets invited to an exclusive English estate due to some research on a poet that is realted to him. He hopes his access to her private papers, journals, and other writing stored there will help him write the academic work his institution Zenith has been pushing him to produce. The Old "Publish or Perish".

In previous times, the estate had played host to literary heavyweights like T.S. Eliot, etc who al...more
This strange little horror book is our selection this month for our Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club, which meets tomorrow night (March 12, 2013). We should have an interesting meeting, because while I did enjoy this book, I cannot say that I understood everything that went on in the story.

Professor William Standish is an English professor at a Midwestern college in the 1980s. He hears of the coveted Esswood Fellowship; the estate of Esswood House in Lincolnshire, ancestral home of the Seneschal family,...more
Linda C
I'm not real fond of the horror genre, but thought for the Halloween season I would give one a try. This book did not change my mind. The main character, William Standish, is a mediocre English professor at a Midwest college. He needs a book to seal his tenure and looks to his one almost family claim to fame. His grandfather's first wife is a little known poet who spent her last years at Esswood House, an English manor, art/literary colony, at the turn of the 20th century. The house is a reposit...more
Joshua Rubin
Horrible, don't get fooled by the decent beginning, this book is horrible. It starts off as a ghost story/mysteries of the past, and ends in a nonsensical haunted house that is passive tho the point of almost not being haunted. Straub uses the device of not telling to much in hopes of creating more mystery, but it just makes the book more absurd. He must have owed someone money when he wrote this garbage and just needed a quick buck.
Gerald Kinro
The home and estate of the Seneschal family, Esswood House, has hosted literary heavyweights for over a century. D.H. Lawrence and T.S. Eliot were proud to be Esswood Fellows. There has been, however, a dark secret in the estate’s past. The Seneschal children were often not well. American professor William Standish receives the honor to become a fellow with the opportunity to study the works of Isobel Standish, a distant relative. William Standish dreams things, sees and hears things. Then comes...more
Found this one a bit confusing. The characters were not likeable to the extent that I didn't really care what happened to them. The story did not flow at all, totally lacked cohesion and the ending made no sense at all. I don't even get the link of the title with the story. Will need to re-read at a later date I think. Perhaps. Or maybe not.
Nicole Chiodo
What in the heck did I just read??? I was enjoying it up until he was uncovering the "mystery." The house sounded amazing and the back story of Esswood was fascinating; I thought I was in for a good, creepy literary tale. As it turns out, I was in for a "mystery" that left me scratching my head at the end wondering where this book went wrong.
Marguarite Markley
Nothing about this "horror" novella was horrifying. Peter Straub (an award winning horror author) disappoints. I finished the short book feeling like I wasted an afternoon of my life. I was terribly confused. I sort of "got" the whole meaning of the story, but was left with too many unanswered questions. I enjoy books that make you reflect and can have several possible meanings, but this book did not inspire me to think deeper about the meaning. A ridiculous read. Because Straub is a highly reco...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The House of the Vampire
  • Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories
  • A Vampire Among Angels (The Vampire from Hell, #2)
  • Earthbound
  • They
  • The Lake
  • Beyond the Door
  • The Price
  • Carnacki, the Ghost Finder
  • The Family Bones
  • The Doll
  • Linger
  • Twittering from the Circus of the Dead
  • The Island: Part Three
  • The Indie Eclective: The Halloween Collection
  • Dead on Ice
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Two
  • Abbot's Ghost: A Christmas Story
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...more
More about Peter Straub...
Ghost Story Floating Dragon Shadowland Koko The Hellfire Club

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“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.” 2 likes
More quotes…