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Le club de l'enfer
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Le club de l'enfer

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  4,309 ratings  ·  85 reviews
They are dying, one by one. Wealthy, middle-aged women in an exclusive Connecticut suburb. Their murderer remains at large. Nora Chancel, wife of publishing scion Davey Chancel, fears she may be next. After all, her past has branded her a victim . . . . Then Davey tells Nora a surreal story about the Hellfire Club, where years before he met an obsessed fan of Chancel House ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 762 pages
Published August 26th 1999 by Pocket (first published January 1st 1996)
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My first Peter Straub novel and I loved it! Great read. I loved the story, and the characters were very well written. Highly recommended.

Edit: Just remembered that this was not my first PS novel. Lol
Althought the title suggest much, there is virtually nothing about the titular club in The Hellfire Club. It's one of many interesting themes which Straub piles one on another, but it is never really developed. The real star of this show is a book called Night Journey and a woman named Nora Chancel.

Almost baroque in in the excess of character, themes and plot threads that run through it, The Hellfire Club attempts to be many things but doesn't really succeed at any of them. A book about books, s
The Basics

Nora lives in an upscale suburb where it just so happens a serial killer is on the loose. The latest disappearance of a woman who leaves a blood-drenched bedroom behind has Nora more embroiled in these killings than she ever wanted to be. And it makes her a new target.

My Thoughts

That’s a really bad attempt at “The Basics" up there. Because all that was definitely true. The book is about a woman named Nora who comes face-to-face with a serial killer who makes her life hell. It’s also a
On the heels of the author's really good novella Special Place, I was interested in checking out a full length novel of his. This might not have been the one to start with, but it was available at the library, so I read it. If I didn't know the two were written by the same author, I never would have guessed. Where one is succinct, the other one is verbose (and not just because of the difference in format), it just seemed like completely different writers. Hellfire Club is an exhausting read and ...more
I picked this book up at a book sale. I was enticed by the blurb on it by Stephen King that this was Peter Straub's best book ever. Well, it's not--not even close. King must have been trying to help Straub sell books. Not much in this book moved me or kept my attention. Years ago, Straub wrote one of the best horror novels ever--Ghost Story. It was old fashioned story telling with chills. Read Ghost Story--skip Hellfire club.
Dany Wilson
Well where to start? WOW! What a journey this book was!

Very-well written! It was my first book by Peter Straub and really had no clue at all who he was... I only knew he was a close friend and collaborator of Stephen King, and thought to my self "gosh another author who writes a book once a week about anything without any real sense" (p.s.: sorry for all of the King's fans).
The real reason why I wanted to read this book was because of an tv episode of the UK show "Most Haunted". The episode was
Not a horror story.

When I try new novels like this one, it reminds me why half the time I just listen to Salem's Lot over again. But, I've listened to everything Stephen King has on audiobook, so I keep trying new titles by different authors.

This is my second novel by Peter Straub. Ghost Story was the first, which was actually a horror novel. I reread the jacket, and I feel like The Hellfire Club tries to portray itself as horror, so it only gets one star. I had hope in the beginning, but then
Scott Kleinpeter
The title is a lurid publishers trick, is my guess. The Hellfire Club is really only a minor plot element. The real mystery is what happened to an author in the 1930's and whether or not a manuscript was actually written by the man to whom it is ascribed.

As far as dark suspense novels, this one certainly has a husband's character you won't soon be able to get over how awful he is, and how patient his wife is. It's truly cringe-inducing.
I am really struggling with his style.

"This stage of events was coming to an end. Nora remembered a sense of resolve, but could not remember what she had resolved to do. With the memory of her own determination came the return of renewed strength. She had resolved to act."

I keep on mistaking this for a trashy airport novel and I don´t know why. I may bail out on this one unless it doesn´t grab me somehow by page 100.


It's Xmas. There's so many better things to read and do.

This book was recommended to me by my mother, and she said it was one of the most terrifying books that she had ever read in her entire life. So I was pretty excited, because my mom is usually pretty spot on about horror movies and books. But then I read it, and I got so absolutely bored with it. There was no real hook in the beginning and the twists were all predictable. You pretty much knew what was going to happen from fifty pages before it actually happened. I was very disappointed with this ...more
The thing about Straub that drives me nuts, is his buildup. Shadowlands was GREAT! if you could make it past the first 120 pages. I was hoping for the same with this one.
I was dissiapointed.
The only novel thing I enjoyed about this book are His subtle and not so subtle Mockery of Dean Koontz. Oddly enough, I also just finished "What the Night Knows" by Koontz and can see that the mockery is two sided. Koontz mocks straub as much as he mocks Koontz.
I couldn't finish this. I know I’m loosing the taste for certain genres, but I don’t think that was the whole reason I dropped it. It just didn’t read like Straub. The beginning did, because as always he loads us up with a whole lotta characters to juggle at once and try to figure out. But then the story just isn’t… good enough. It’s not… preternatural enough. It’s not… enough. Maybe next time.
Apr 21, 2008 Rachel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: umm... bored people
So I was hoping this book would be about, you know, The Hellfire Club, since that is what it's called. There were only a couple of Hellfire Club scenes. Mostly it was just some crazy, nigh-invulnerable guy continually kidnapping and tormenting one woman. It had tense moments and was definitely the sort of thing you have to read to the end, but not great.
I listened to this on audiobook during my commute. The plot had a number of interesting twists, but left a lot of loose ends undone. Also fairly disturbing subject matter, although not gratuitously violent or gory. The villian of the piece is way over the top - seemingly superhuman - but there's a wonderfully poetic ending to the final climax.
S.L. Dixon
An wildly intense and somewhat raw story.
This was another wonderfully written thriller-horror-mystery combination. The characters all had strong and interesting traits. Dick Dart with his cucumber cock and yearning to be of the opposite sex was a fantastically troubling character.
The entwining of the mystery of the book worked along the story of the kidnapping and Nora Chancel's will to live seamlessly. All along it seemed just as important that she find out as to avoid becoming a victim of rap
Didn't enjoy this book at all - did well to stick it out to the end.
Not read this author before so was a little disapointed as I expected more.
Some bits of the book were exciting but far and few between. The majority was boring and I still don't quite understand where it was going.
Alan Nicholas
Like a child with limitless potential, but ADHD, the novel kept churning up to something big and never quite delivering. Not a bad read, but when you're 100 pages from the end and you can't decide if you like the novel or not, that's usually not a good sign.
Peter Straub really is an awful author....I don't understand how he is so popular. This marks my last Straub book, unless I come across something really interesting.
Straub writes like a dream, but sometimes the subject is just too vile. I didn't like (or care about) anyone in this book, but it was exceedingly well written.
I read almost half of it, but it never got interesting, so I quit. Too many other books I want to read.
I read this out of boredom while laid up with a broken elbow. Seriously not worth the effort.
Could not get into this one.
The Elves
We had always avoided reading Peter Straub, assuming he was your typical horror fiction writer. However, we turned out to be very wrong. Recently, we had to spend some time in Hospice, waiting as some of our kin went through their transitional period from life to life and we came upon the Hellfire Club in one of the waiting rooms and were intrigued by the title.

It turned out to be a murder mystery of sorts, but in no way a typical who-done-it, and a quite well written literary work that involved
Paul Dinger
Peter Straub is an entertaining writer who does try to give more with his novels. This book, an excercise in a Lovecraft vien, is fast moving. However, much of it, including the title is from central casting. Even Dick Dart, easily the most obvious name ever, as a villian is straight from the cliche pile. Even the title is ultimatly a cliche. Why not have a secret organization that makes its members behave for a change? However, he does have an interesting dynmaic here, it seems as though the bo ...more
Chris Ingalls
Let me say right off the bat that this is my first Peter Straub book. I'm not sure if this is representative of his work, but I will say that overall, I liked this book. There were parts that were fascinating, others...not so much.

I've been wanting to read this book for years. I acquired a hardcover version of it a long time ago, and the blurbs on the back made it seem like a terrifying, leave-the-lights-on thriller. It wasn't quite that terrifying...but it's a mostly solid thriller.

I won't bo
Stefan Glosby
I’d tried to read this 3 times before so I thought I’d give it one last go and actually finish it.

Peter Straub’s novel tells the story of Nora Chancel’s attempt to unravel the sordid history of her father-in-law’s publishing firm, all of which revolves around their best-selling novel "Night Journey". Nora’s mission is by turns thwarted and assisted by serial killer Dick Dart, who has his own reasons for seeking out the company’s secrets.

It’s a fairly enjoyable read, although there are niggles.

While the saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” sometimes you can. For instance when I bought Peter Straub’s novel THE HELLFIRE CLUB in 1996. I knew as soon as I saw it this book was going to be a chore to read. And the 463 pages inside it weren’t helping. I bought the novel on the strength of KOKO, another Straub novel I’d just read a few years earlier. But no matter what I did, I just couldn’t bring myself to read it. I couldn’t say why that was, what it was specifically that seemed s ...more
While I found this book absorbing and had difficulty putting it down, overall it didn't quite gel for me in the end. It has a lot of great elements: kidnapping, a serial killer/rapist, a possibly stolen manuscript, and (of course, being a Straub novel) an entire bed of lies and half-truths which our heroine must decipher. I did really like the protagonist, Nora Chancel; she's tough, smart, and resourceful, yet also human. The serial killer, too, was absolutely frightening, and whenever he was in ...more
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  • Silent Children
  • The Presence
  • The Freakshow
  • Children of the Night
  • Nailed by the Heart
  • After Midnight
  • Sacrament
  • All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By
  • The Summoning
  • Billy
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 about Peter Straub...
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“She had been like a roller coaster aficionado for whom tame county fair roller coasters were as good as the ones that spun you upside down and dropped you so fast your eyes turned red. It was all just a ride.” 1 likes
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