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Floating Staircase

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3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,523 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
Following the success of his latest novel, Travis Glasgow and his wife Jodie buy their first house in the seemingly idyllic western Maryland town of Westlake. At first, everything is picture perfect—from the beautiful lake behind the house to the rebirth of the friendship between Travis and his brother, Adam, who lives nearby. Travis also begins to overcome the darkness of ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Leisure Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
Dec 06, 2012 mark monday rated it it was ok
Shelves: horrortime
troubled writer, a tragedy in his past, moves back to the States with his wife to inhabit a haunted house on a lake in the middle of an especially chill winter.

this low-key novel is an improvement over the last Malfi i've read (Snow), which suffered from a certain anononymity. he gets the eerie atmosphere right and he has a sure hand when it comes to all of the minor note moments of the actual haunting, and the subsequent investigation into the death of a child the prior summer. he also does wel
...more
Charlene
I finished reading this with my Shelfari horror group on Friday. I've been mulling it over for a few days and this is what I came up with.

Floating Staircase is a well written tale about Travis Glasgow, a man who is haunted. Haunted by his new home and the things that may have been done there and haunted by the death of his brother, (which occurred when they were both very young). On top of all that, he is struggling to feel worthy in the eyes of his remaining brother, who is a cop. We join Trav
...more
Trev Twinem
Feb 09, 2016 Trev Twinem rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, lovehorror
This is an extraordinary well written story about about one man's attempt to find redemption and some form of closure to an incident that occurred during his formative years. Ronald Malfi manages to blend superbly elements of horror and crime nicely presented in the guise of small town America. Travis Glascow and his wife Jodie have settled in the pretty little community of Westlake Maryland but as befits all good storytelling nothing is ever as it seems and, as we are shown, the perfect life is ...more
Jason Pettus
Mar 01, 2011 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Whenever I think of alt-horror writer Ron Malfi, for some reason I always think as well of cinematographer Frederick Elmes, who most famously was the director of photography for David Lynch's biggest films; because like Elmes, Malfi has an almost magical ability to set a very specific kind of atmospheric m
...more
Tressa
Nov 07, 2012 Tressa rated it liked it
This is the second book I've read by Ronald Malfi, and while he has a nice writing style, his storylines underwhelm me and his characters are cardboard.

I kept waiting for the scares in this ghost story, but it was a formulaic story about a spirit helping a living being solve his disappearance. Sorry, I've read this story many times before.
Miranda
Mar 08, 2012 Miranda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, ebook, horror
I'm a sucker for a haunted house story. Floating Staircase is the story of Travis Glasgow, a horror writer who moves into an old, run-down house with his wife. Haunted hijinks ensue.

Throughout the course of the book, Travis investigates the death of a young boy who drowned (or did he??) in the lake behind their house the summer before the Glasgows moved in. Through his investigations Travis also has to confront his guilt over the death of his younger brother, who drowned in a lake when they wer
...more
Mallory Heart Recommends  [#VoteCthulhu Why Choose the Lesser Evil?]
Mar 19, 2013 Mallory Heart Recommends [#VoteCthulhu Why Choose the Lesser Evil?] rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Patrice Hoffman
Shelves: july-2012-reads
A tremendously involving and multi-layered novel of horror, suspense, haunting, character, emotion, sibling rivalry, marriage and family, and so much more, “Floating Staircase” proves that Literary Horror works-and finely tunes this sub-genre into a champion fright.

“Floating Staircase” is thematic as well, and operates on many layers of theme (perhaps I should write instead, “on many stairs of theme”). Travis Glasgow is a haunted novelist: haunted within, by the tragic demise of his younger brot
...more
Wart Hill
Oct 03, 2015 Wart Hill marked it as gave-up  ·  review of another edition
this book and I are not getting along
Chelsea
Mar 05, 2012 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, adult, mystery
This is quite a hefty book at almost 500 pages and yet I read this in one sitting. The story just sucks you in from the first few pages and doesn't let you go. I thought that this was more of a murder mystery than a horror novel but it had its moments. At the core of the story is a writer who is still dealing with the death of his younger brother. I think that his personal journey was what interested me most. Loved this one! Can't wait to check out Mr. Malfi's other works.
Patricia
Jun 26, 2012 Patricia rated it liked it


This book what not what I anticipated. It was recommended as a "spine tingling horror novel" but was more of a detective story. The writing was excellent so not a disappointing read by any means, just not what I expected.
Rhonda
Apr 02, 2012 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2011
Author Travis Glasgow recently completed a novel titled The Ocean Serene, written as Travis’s way of dealing with the death of his brother Kyle, whom he felt he had killed years ago. Thinking he had put his past behind him, he and his wife, Jodie, move to Westlake, Maryland to be closer to his living brother, Adam. However, upon arrival to the house, Travis starts noticing strange happenings. He is hearing noises and seeing strange sights in the basement. What he witnesses makes him believe that ...more
Brett Talley
Jul 06, 2013 Brett Talley rated it it was amazing
Ronald Malfi’s Floating Staircase was nominated for a 2012 Bram Stoker Award in the Best Novel category and for good reason. Ghost stories can be hard to pull off (I mean, they’ve all been told, right?). But somehow, Malfi manages to infuse his story with a tension and air of horror that is all too often missing in lesser novels.

Travis Glasgow is a writer (stories about writers are a sub-genre in themselves it seems) who’s seeking a new start with his wife, Jodie. What better place than Westlak
...more
Bandit
Oct 19, 2014 Bandit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty book that might have/should have been great or close to it. Malfi has certainly got the writing chops to create a massively long finely crafted literary mystery/thriller with slight supernatural undertones. This isn't a straight up horror he's known for, this is more along the lines of Jennifer McMahon's territory. The basic premise was solid enough at first glance but didn't hold up to scrutiny of logic nor was it particularly original. Horror writer moving out to a small rura ...more
Susanhayeshotmail.com
Three point five stars for the creepy imagery of a staircase rising up in the middle of a lake. Ghost story or mystery? Ghost story with a mystery to solve, a pretty good one at that. Would give it four stars except for the ending, just kind of an old horror movie, well that's over so let's ride off into the sunset somewhat altered and changed by our creepy experience because we can't think of any other way to end this thing kind of ending.
Stephen
Jan 21, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Floating Staircase

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it had me thinking" what's going to happen next"? This story was creepy throughout and had me on the edge of my seat. Ronald Malfi knows how to weave a creepy story that will remain with you long after you finish!!
Kevin Lucia
Aug 14, 2011 Kevin Lucia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that leave you breathless. This is one of them. Full review soon...
Elliott Capon
Oct 06, 2011 Elliott Capon rated it it was amazing
This is one of those rare books of which it can truly be said “I hated to put it down.” As you start to read it, you are immediately taken by the author’s opening up to you in his personal aside to the reader, by the baring of his soul and his innermost torments, and then you realize . . . wait a minute, this is the novel!
While the jacket describes this book as a horror novel, it’s not quite horror, yet it’s more than that. A man who is living with guilt about having been the cause of his younge
...more
Laurie
Apr 26, 2012 Laurie rated it liked it
While billed as a ghost story, ‘Floating Staircase’ is more of a detective story. There seems to be a ghost- there may even be two of them- the psychological ghosts of the past are every bit as strong a force as it is.

Travis Glasgow has just moved to a very small town where his older brother lives. He and his wife love the old house, but as soon as they move in strange things start to happen. A tiny, hidden room in the basement is found. Unexplainable noises come from the dark. Things are moved
...more
Regan
Jul 01, 2013 Regan rated it it was amazing
My Review:

First thing I am going to say about this book is that it has been a long while since I have read a book that freaked me out enough to roll over slowly in my bed, turn the lamp on and quickly cover my head with my blanket. I fell asleep with my light on, I was that spooked!

Travis is a writer. He writes horror stories..that all seem to absently revolve around the death of his younger brother when they were children. After years of success, Travis and his wife move from England to a small
...more
Melissa Martin
Mar 02, 2015 Melissa Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-etc
I thought this was a pretty good mystery with a little bit of creepy ghost story thrown in as well.

Travis and his wife Jodie move into a house in the woods behind his brother Adam, his wife and two kids home.

Everything seems great at first. Travis is going to try working on his next book, he's a horror story author. Jodie goes back to school to finish up, then decides she wants to teach.

So all is good until Travis finds out a little boy named Elijiah drowns in their lake before they move ther
...more
Anne
Apr 21, 2015 Anne rated it liked it
I picked up The Floating Staircase because it had good reviews on Goodreads and it seemed like a great premise for a horror story. An author with a tortured past moves into a seemingly haunted house. He sets out to figure out just who is haunting the house and seemingly reawakens his own ghosts.

I think that Malfi is a good storyteller. His characters are multi-dimensional and his writing moved a long at a good pace. The book is nearly 500 pages long, but feels about half that long it was so easy
...more
Timothy Ward
Aug 17, 2013 Timothy Ward rated it really liked it
Ron's description can make the simplistic scary and creates characters that are realistic and possibly mischevious. This story reminded me of my love of ghost stories and I want to have one of his books up next. My only complaint is that I sort of lost interest in the mystery around 70%. Maybe I wanted more. The last five percent, including the epilogue redeemed some of the mojo from the beginning. In short, very good at horror, but the mystery didn't engage as much as some mysteries have. Part ...more
Stephen Osborne
Dec 21, 2012 Stephen Osborne rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for scares, this may not be the book you're looking for. While there are paranormal happenings, they aren't of the jump out at you variety or even the bloody, gory type. Floating Staircase is more of a mystery, where a writer with a troubled past of his own may be being manipulated by the ghost of a young boy into solving the mystery surrounding the boy's death. Well written and thought provoking, I found Floating Staircase to be a perfect ghost story for the Christmas season! ...more
Robert
Feb 07, 2012 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic-ghost
This could go either way, either a ghost story or a mystery novel. When a man becomes obsessed with strange goings on in his new old house, he soon finds himself attempting to unravel just what happened to the young boy haunting him. With some good twists and turns the reader is taken for a good spooky ride. Malfi has a very good writing style that brings out the haunting scenes with just the right amount of creepiness fitting for the story. Overall I would give this one an extra half of a star ...more
Janjaf
Apr 21, 2015 Janjaf rated it really liked it
This story centres on Travis, who is a writer, and whose young brother died, when Travis was thirteen. Moving back from London to the US, he and his girlfriend Jodie comes to live in a house, where another young boy died, or dissppeared. But maybe there is a ghost here? Whose ghost, and what does it have to do with the peculiar staircase on the lake close by?

This is a story about a writing, who has a grim story in his past, and who has trouble writing. If that reminds you of a certain mr King, y
...more
Reese Copeland
Feb 20, 2013 Reese Copeland rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, and I'm not much for mysteries. Malfi wrote in such a poetic, beautifully scenic way that you truly are with the character throughout the journey that is the book. It is extremely well written. I have recently discovered Malfi, and will eagerly read his other books. I would highly recommend this story!
Julia Simpson-Urrutia
Apr 05, 2015 Julia Simpson-Urrutia rated it really liked it
While writing and revising my now-finished horror novel, I have looked to other writers to keep me in a creepy mood. Thus did I come across Ronald Malfi’s rather famous horror novel The Floating Staircase.I bought it on my Nook and forgot about it for a couple of months. Then I found it and read it.

Damn if The Floating Staircase isn’t a really good book. For one thing, it is creepy. Malfi uses gothic techniques for creating his remotely situated haunted house. He is, moreover, a great descriptiv
...more
John Wiltshire
Mar 04, 2016 John Wiltshire rated it it was amazing
This is my third Malfi novel after Snow and Little Girls. I enjoyed both of those, Little Girls especially, and so far I'm enjoying this one even more.
It's genuinely creepy and yet very much rooted in the psychological horror genre rather a supernatural one. The narrator is an author, and I strongly suspect that like many of Stephen King's author characters the horror is entirely in Travis Glasgow's head.
I'll update when done.
Finished. Some people can just write and Ronald Malfi is one of them
...more
Kimberly Yates
What a fantastic "should have been a movie" book! I was totally blown away. I really liked the story line which I found very unique. Atmospheric but not overly so. The writing was fluid and solid all at once. This is a big book, plenty of pages to throw this awesome story at you. In the ghost/thriller genre not what I would call horror. You do not have to worry about any gore.

My Synopsis: A man is haunted. Not just from something happening in his home but also from something in his past. He's a
...more
Zanriel
Jan 01, 2015 Zanriel rated it really liked it
I've never read anything by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or any other horror/thriller authors to be honest. But Halloween is my favorite holiday and I'm a sucker for creepy ghost stories. I just love supernatural chills and thrills, I really do. This is the first novel in that genre I've read. Why did it take so long?

This book was awesome. All I have to compare it to are the movies I've watched (and I've seen a lot), ghost hunter shows, and the stories I read as a kid.

First off let's talk about th
...more
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Books that are no available as e-books 5 23 Apr 23, 2014 01:50AM  
Horror Aficionados : November 2012 Group Read: Floating Staircase *SPOILERS* 54 200 Dec 01, 2012 04:59AM  
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Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including Little Girls, this summer’s 2015 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awa
...more
More about Ronald Malfi...

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“It has been said that nature does not know extinction. In effect, it knows only change: nothing ever truly disappears, for there is always something—some part, some particle, some formidable semblance—left behind. You can boil water into vapor, but it hasn’t disappeared. Curiosity killed the cat, but condensation brought it back.” 1 likes
“Before we begin, I want your word that much of what I show you tonight stays between us.” 1 likes
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