Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan has a paralysing seizure in which he is forced to witness scenes of ruthless slaughter perpetrated by a mysterious figure in black whom he calls Mr X. Now, with his birthday fast approaching, Ned has been drawn back...more
How good can a story be if you struggle to read it but then are left unable to stop thinking about it. I have come to the conclusion that Peter Straub is the best writer I have ever read. Ghost story was good with...more
Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan is cursed with visions of horror committed by a savage figure he calls "Mr. X." This year, Ned's visions will become flesh and blood.
A dreadful premonition brings Ned home to find his mother on her deathbed. She reveals the never-before-disclosed name of his father and warns him of grave danger. Driven by a desperate sense of need, Ned explores his dark past and the astonishing legacy of his kin. Accused of violent crimes he has not committed and pursue
That said, I really enjoyed the characters. I found this book INCREDIBLY difficult to read. As much as I wanted to get into it, and really enjoy it, I couldn't. The narrative was jumbled, especially Mr. X's chapters. The last 80 pages of the book was akin to the end of a James Bond film, where everything gets explained in dialogue instead of shown to the reade...more
It was an enjoyable experience listening to it, but having finished it and looking back it was more than a little convoluted and indulgent. The characters themselves were the highlight, the kooky family, the small town heavies and the seedy underclass of Hatchtown. But the plot itself wasn't quite what it need to be and having the anti-climactic climax happen so long before the end of the book was an odd choice. I may just have not caught on to it enough but the last line...more
(it should probably be noted - my mother did find this book gruesome and hor...more
The story was fresh and the writing tight and captivating. The plot itself was highly original, and the working in of Lovecraft was brilliant. I hadn't read "The Dunwich Horror," and when I realized how...more
(update several days later) To tell you the truth, I went online to see if I could make sense of my confusion regarding "Mr. X...more
I listened to this book as a book-on-tape.
This novel is complex, convoluted, fast-moving, and just plain strange. It takes an enormous amount of concentration and analysis to follow the plot...more
The viscerally skewed town he creates, where both the mental and physical geometry expands and collapses like a bad dream, goes to the root of what is unsettling in life. Horror? Yes, but something far better, an unsettling sense that the world could be ... waiting.
When kindergarten turned out to be a stupefyingly banal disappointment devoted to cutting animal shapes out of heavy...more