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Floating Dragon
 
by
Peter Straub
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Floating Dragon

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  6,848 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Two monstrous evils.
This quiet suburban town of Hampstead is threatened by two horrors.
One is natural. The hideous, unstoppable creation of man's power gone mad.
The other is not natural at all. And it makes the first look like a child's play.
Published (first published 1982)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
I keep on being drawn back to Peter Straub for my Horror fix. With this author it isn’t just about the nasty stuff: it’s about the presentation. Floating Dragon is a case in point: not only does Straub expose our fears; he toys with them.

The plot in a nutshell
What you’ve got here is essentially a town that is periodically plagued by a sequence of terrible events: serial killings; disappearances; children dying under mysterious circumstances. This only happens once every generation and only the i...more
Maciek
After the success of Ghost Story and Shadowland, Peter Straub wanted to try his strenght in tales that do not involve anything supernatural. Floating Dragon, published in 1983, was to be his final horror novel for a long time - till the 1999 return to the genre with Mr X.

As a novel, Floating Dragon operates on the ever familiar canvas of "horror in a small town", popularized in the 70's by Salem's Lot. While Salem's Lot was lean, swift and fast-paced, Straub's novel is much longer, much more com...more
Venessa
I don't quite understand the comparison between Straub and King: sure, they both write horror, but I think they have very different writing styles that I find it hard to explain. Straub is much more blatant with his psychological horror, whereas with King it kind of just creeps up on you. Both are equally scary in their own right. In a brief summary, this book is about a group of four people who must come together to fight an evil that has lived in their town for centuries. The evil hides under...more
Tee Jay
Apr 13, 2010 Tee Jay rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Die-hard Straub fans
Shelves: horror
It was long…but I finished it. It wasn’t bad, sometimes it was actually enjoyable. Nonetheless, I found it long, and so of course this little tidbit is going to prevent me from giving Floating Dragon a glowing review.
First off, I found that this novel’s strength was also its weakness. Early on in the novel, Straub delves into Hampstead’s history, a Connecticut town that almost literally goes all to hell. The town, and its inhabitants, are in terrible trouble from more than one facet of evil, si...more
Eliza Victoria
Floating Dragon could have knocked my socks off, but unfortunately the novel’s middle part got bogged down by too many abstractions, too much 80′s horror imagery – the pulsing red light, blood everywhere, visions in various stages of decomposition. Granted that it was written in the mid-80′s, but I’m reading this now in 2011, and it was just too much. Many times the horror becomes ridiculous, even cheesy, even laughable, far from the subtlety of his short story collection, Houses without Doors,...more
Paul Dinger
It was a really good potboiler. The biggest fault that I can see past the static characters is the confusing dragon itself. I don't think Straub really knows what caused this horror and his caricature of military and police types clashing has a real satric thrill that should have been developed. But it was still a good read. I read reviews here comparing it to Stephen King's It (which is probably the other way around considering It was written later) and The Tailsiman. I think Straub is in anoth...more
Brian
Oct 20, 2007 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Shelves: favorites
What would happen if a mysterious toxic gas leaked out of a research facility and drove almost everyone who came in contact with it completely and murderously insane? This book gives one possible answer to that question through excellent character development, pacing, and high-intensity suspense.
C.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike (the Paladin)
I'm sure there are those who will disagree strenuously with me on what I think about this book.


*************************Some Minor Spoilers Below *********************



I had just read Ghost Story and found it original, frightening, and enjoyable...so I picked this one up in paperback. It's the book that put me off Peter Straub for years. I won't go into great detail here, but frankly instead of frightening I found this one while at times disgusting also to be almost silly. The pathetic pervert tu...more
Marcus Trimpin
The only book that ever actually scared the s*** out of me. I am an avid fan of horror fiction but no other book, even other Straubs even came close to the visceral reaction that I had to this one. It very well may be that, as an avid cyclist that lived several towns away from the the town of "Hampstead, CT" (Wilton, CT), I could picture events in nearly every locale in this book as if I were there. But who's toe say? An engaging read and highly recommended.
Steven Kent
This was a long book and I ABSOLUTELY hung of every word on every page until the last few pages--which disappointed me so badly I stopped reading.

I give the first 610 pages five stars. If you read it and find your opinion slipping toward the end, stop reading and savor the first 98 percent.

BTW, and I am not exaggerating... there was a violent scene in this novel that was so brilliantly written I felt faint after reading it.
Isadora Wagner
AMAZING! What Peter Straub did for a a well-to-do Connecticut town, the imagery, the imagination, the horror, the sheer playfulness--this will go down as a classic of our age. A truly modern gothic classic, if such could be said. Worthy of N. Hawthorne, the best of S.King..these were about the only two I could compare this to...On my best favorite horror story list. I also highly recommend A Ghost Story.
Keith Deininger
Many amazingly creepy moments. Straub is the master. I've read Floating Dragon a couple of times now and I really want to give it 5 stars, but it falls a little flat in the last 100 pages or so. Still, an incredible read.
C. Lorion
Wow. Another Straub story that left me breathless at the end. How does this guy do it?
Maggie
This was enjoyable. It definitely dragged in some parts (especially toward the end), but on the whole was a good read. Similar to "The Stand" in many ways; it was also fun to find the Talisman/Black House references.
Jaime Contreras
This was an excellent bio-terror novel. If you do not mind melting skin, great characters and unrelenting thrills, you will become riveted. This is a superior writing effort by the gifted Mr. Straub.
John Moretz
Too much backstory and exposition but not enough actual suspense and action to keep me reading past the half way point. I tried...
Carol White
I just love the way you worked in the Ultimate Evil in the novel. Better than Stephen King. Loved this book.
Uncle
What the hell is wrong with Hampstead? Hampstead, an affluent, stuffy town in Connecticut is hundreds of years old. Yet it now serves mostly as a bedroom community for commuters who take the train to their high-paying jobs in New York. It has its mansions, its private beaches, its country club and tennis courts. Yet something is definitely wrong with the town. Eerie, seemingly inexplicable, events begin to happen. Dying birds drop from the night skies. Sober-minded individuals hallucinate in pub...more
Alessandro Balestra
Nella lussuosa Hampstead, cittadina che sorge nella periferia di New York, vivono grossi imprenditori e famiglie agiate. Tutto scorre tranquillo fino al giorno in cui una tragica serie di omicidi sconvolge l'intera comunità. Ma questo è solo l'inizio, nessuno infatti sa che un'entità malvagia, antica quanto la stessa Hampstead, si è risvegliata per riportare l'orrore e il caos sulla terra.
Come "It" di Stephen King anche il "Il drago del male" racconta la storia di un'entità malvagia che periodic...more
Squire
A government experiment goes awry and a deadly gas is released over the affluent suburb of Hampstead, Connecticut. Meanwhile, the decendants of the town's original founders return toHampstead for the firts time in over 100 years, igniting a firestorm of events that are the continuation of an ongoing curse.

After I read (and was completely scared shitless) by Ghost Story in high school, I was afraid to read anything else by Straub. I remember passing up Shadowland and this book; by then I was in...more
Tim Martin
_Floating Dragon_ by Peter Straub introduces the reader to a seemingly normal town in Connecticut, the town of Hampstead, a New York City bedroom community. It has everything a town of the time (the book is set in 1980) might have, including a bustling main street, a commuter train station, a small town police department, restaurants, a movie theater, tennis courts, a golf course, and a nice swimming beach. Oh, and a buried, ancient evil that periodically emerges and nearly destroys the town eve...more
CasualDebris
Really 3.5 stars, or 7/10

To read my full review, please visit Casual Debris.

The populace of affluent Hampstead, Connecticut, and its outlying regions are unknowingly facing the fallout of leaked bioweapon DRG-16. Simultaneously a generation-dormant supernatural evil awakens to claim vengeance on the descendants of four families that had defeated its previous incarnations. This unusual mix of mad science and outright supernatural horror is a rare combination, and Straub's attempt is a worthwhile...more
Mod186k1
Una esperienza da dimenticare. Lo lessi un bel po' di anni fa dopo la Spada di Shannara, comprato in edicola per ingannare il tempo sul treno... Ci credete? ho provoto, davvero, ma non sono riuscito a finirlo per quanto l'ho trovato noioso. Adesso mi ricorso solo che c'era uno che era affetto da un gas (ma forse no) che alla fine si era ridotto in una gelatina... cose schifose descritte con un ritmo lento e... noioso, non riesco a trovare un aggettivo un po' più gentile. Credo che sia il primo e...more
Olethros
-La otra novela que colocó al autor en el podio de su género en su tiempo, pero un peldaño por debajo de “Fantasmas”.-

Género. Narrativa fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. En la acomodada población de Hampstead hay un mal que vuelve a manifestarse cada cierto tiempo. Ahora, un accidente en un laboratorio de armas químicas libera el peligroso gas DRG-16, que flotando en la atmosfera llega hasta Hampstead, donde por primera vez en bastantes años vuelven a coincidir los descendientes de los fundadores d...more
Cheryl
I really enjoyed the build up of this story but as the end approached, I was disappointed. It was as if another author stepped in and just did not care. It was like there was a rush to just finish the book.
Thierry Nguyen
Decent horror book. It's somewhat like It, in that it deals with a group of distinct individuals dealing with an age-old menace in a small town -- it has a bit of The Mist thrown in (where a government entity has an accident that contributes to the mayhem). The ending feels a bit rushed and WTF (especially the singing part), but the way that Hampstead gets crazier and crazier, and the revelation behind Gideon Winter, was pretty good. Though, perhaps it's an artifact of age, as I recently read Be...more
Kim Higgs
Wow, I LOVED this book. It took me a while to get through with the holidays and new school semester because I really had to pay attention to follow so I couldn't read when I was tired and worn out which is usually when I'm reading. This book was very similiar to IT (although I'm pretty sure released before) so if you liked that book, you should like this one.

Peter Straub seems to be an author that many people know from his collaborations with Stephen King and are wary of. I know that I always ha...more
Jill Hutchinson
I seldom read horror/fantasy or whatever you call this genre and now I know why. This book, which started out pretty well, lost me about five chapters in and I started to think that it was just rather silly. Bad things happen in a small town and are linked to a noxious gas that escaped from a laboratory and to the "dragon", an evil entity from the past. The police are of the worst stereotype, and the story is full of characters that range from wife beaters to old, washed up writers to a child wi...more
Kaethe
It's been so long I can't remember anything, except that I loved Straub's writing. Time for a re -read I suppose.
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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...more
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