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La Tierra de las Sombr...
Peter Straub
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La Tierra de las Sombras / Shadowland

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  9,148 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews

In a private school in New England, a friendship is forged between two boys that will change their lives for ever. As Del Nightingale and Tom Flanagan battle to survive the oppressive regime of bullying and terror overseen by the sadistic headmaster, Del introduces Tom to his world of magic tricks. But when
Published October 1981 by Hispanic Book Distributors (first published 1980)
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Jul 20, 2010 Maciek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy and magic
Peter Straub came to prominence in 1979 with Ghost Story, an old fashioned spooky ghost tale which I wasn't really a fan of (though I appreciate it). A year later, in 1980, he published Shadowland, a coming of age novel which can be classified as dark fantasy with horror elements. This time, I say, he penned a winner.
Shadowland is concerned with the friendship of two boys - Tom Flanagan and Del Nightingale - which began at the private all-male school they both attended. As both try to fight the
Dirk Grobbelaar
May 09, 2010 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, books-i-own
Revisited Review

I really enjoy this kind of horror. Shadowland has an elaborate build up, and the reader invests quite a bit in the story before things start going awry. This means that you actually do care about what happens next…

There’s also a very “real world” feel to the events, however bizarre things eventually turn out. You almost, almost feel that this could actually happen. That being said, I wasn’t using the term bizarre loosely just now. This is one sinister story, and if the body cou
Feb 10, 2016 Bandit rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure what happened here, although I suspect it was the case of success bloat. Straub's first ventures into supernatural (If You Could See Me Now and Julia) were lean, mean thriller (thrilling)machines. Shadowland must be where he veered off into the prolixity of later years. I had such high expectations for this book based not only on how much I liked the Straub's aforementioned works, but also on the love I have for the subject. Magic, how can you go wrong with magic. It's innately fun. And ...more
Mar 10, 2012 Tony rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really a fish walks by eating a taco want to like this tiiiiin rooof book but rusted? I just get sidetracked once there was a mouse and a squirrel, but that was a long time ago just kept getting distracted a taco walks by eating a fish by the trippy dream sequences the sound of a thousand mute voices saying nothing and random interjections did I have a point? and I'm pretty sure am I me? that in the end nothing nothing? really yes nothing, remember the moral of the fish taco? happened.
Jul 10, 2011 Barry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of the more surreal moments, as well as the occasional switches in narratives, made this book a little hard to follow at times, but there IS a reason I gave this book five stars: it was terrific. It's not the all-out horror fest that the cover (of the 1980's paperback) promised, but there were some truly gruesome scenes towards the climax, as well as a general tone of mounting tension throughout.

Tom Flanagan is a very memorably three-dimensional young protagonist, and all the conflicts of c
Rick Urban
Aug 07, 2011 Rick Urban rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
During the extremely unsatisfying experience of reading Lev Grossman's "The Magicians", I kept thinking of how much better Straub's treatment of similar themes was, so literally the minute I finished "The Magicians" I went to my bookshelf and picked out this book to re-read. With it's nods to everything from Grimm's Fairy Tales to Hans Christian Andersen to John Fowles' The Magus, this is both a literate homage to the art of storytelling and a gripping story in its own right. The tale of two boa ...more
Jan 25, 2013 Addy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As you can see, it took me forever to read this book. Some parts were beautifully written, but it really felt like 2 books in one. The latter being a struggle that literally took me years to finish. I just hated the ending. It was weird and strange and took too much imagination to even make sense. I can't say how much I didn't enjoy this book. It wasn't for me. I'm struggling to finish Koko as well which is making me apprehensive to start Ghost Story. I really want to like Straub, but his writin ...more
Jan 23, 2014 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't even review this. I hated it. Finishing it was like Chinese water torture. I just.. Hated it. I have no idea what the point was... It was just... Ridiculous and bad and ridiculously bad.

I don't want to waste another moment thinking about it, so that's my review.

Not recommended.
May 06, 2014 Kirstin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Peter Straub can do no wrong apparently. 5 stars, all the way!
The first part of this book really wraps you up in the young characters lives--makes you feel as if you know them a little, the rest gets wilder by the page, as the boys make a trip to the magicians house.....evil magic....and a magician looking for THE ONE to cary on in his place when the time comes (he doesn't care a bit that one is his nephew). There's friendship heartbreak, a girl who the two wonderfully written young boys both want. Then things get trippy, and then trippier (the bugs bunny ...more
 (shan) Littlebookcove
I'm not going to lie I found this book a struggle by the time I got to the middle of it, I had totally forgotten what the start was! So this review is going to be a struggle.

A person meets the now adult Tom Flanagan in a bar on the sunset strip. From there Tom gives the guy what as the reader finds out involves a strange surreal tale of Adolescent reminiscence . That starts in a private posh school for boy's were he meet's a boy called Del nightingale. From there we find out that Del has a knack
Nora Black
Feb 21, 2012 Nora Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Often-times, the less fashionable is subjugated to the lower shelves of desirability, than the in-thing. In this way Peter Straub's tour-de-force- “Shadowland”, has been relegated to the untalked-about, the lesser-known realms of fantasy and magic. Making it a work that, sadly, few of the younger generation have read.

If the now people, readers of Erin Morgenstern, Casandra Clare and Suzanne Collins, opened their minds, they would discover MAGIC comparable to any flights of fantasy the aforement
Gregor Xane
Nov 14, 2010 Gregor Xane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This was really a good book except for one scene involving Bugs Bunny. Bugs Bunny? Come on, someone should have told Mr. Straub to cut this scene. It added nothing and detracted from the overall mood of the book.
Mar 04, 2008 Henrik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those wanting to read intricate yet classic stories of the weird
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book again, some 30 years plus, after I first stole it out of my school library. Same edition, yellowed by time. I've always said this was one of my favourite horror novels, and this re-read, all these years later did nothing to dissuade me from this opinion. It's a classic horror tale, which upon second reading I see similarities in minor ways to Stephen King's The Shining.
In this book two boys spend a summer at a magician's house, the magician being the uncle of one of the boy's, Del
Feb 22, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, own
This is one of my favorite of Peter Straub's novels. It's a creepy take on the idea of the Sorcerer's Apprentice -- only in this case, the sorcerer may be more dangerous than anything his apprentice can cook up. There are loads of references to fairy tales here, which are fun to try to place, and I love the way that Straub makes it difficult to figure out what's real magic and what's just sleight of hand.
Aug 27, 2016 Cody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: peter-straub
Despite the fact that Peter Straub is my second-favorite author, I always go into his books with a slight sense of trepidation and doubt. Straub is an excellent writer, no doubt about that; his books just require a certain frame of mind because... well, they aren't always as they seem. Straub is the king of hidden meaning and messages, and he enjoys confusing (errr.... "challenging" -- let's go with "challenging") his readers. I enjoy that about him -- his books always make me really think, whic ...more
Carl Alves
May 18, 2012 Carl Alves rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadowland was one of the first horror books I read growing up (I think I may have been twelve at the time that I read it). Along with some of the early works of Stephen King, it was one of the big reasons I became addicted to the genre and later became a writer. Shadowland is a richly written, complex books that I quickly became engrossed in. Shadowland follows two friends Del and Tom in boarding school. Both boys are into magic and dabble at it while they are in school. After the school year i ...more
I wanted to like this book. It had many elements that appealed to me: a dark and creepy private school, a fatherless boy who wanted to learn real magic, an eccentric uncle with a luxurious private estate, mystery, horror, fairy tales...

But unfortunately, it didn't live up to my hopes. The story plodded along endlessly. It didn't even get to the main premise of the book until about 150 pages in, and then it turned out to be mostly a surreal echo of the events that had gone before. The structure w
Rick Soper
Dec 30, 2012 Rick Soper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books. There are just so many layers to it, some which are explained, and some that aren't, but in the end you just don't care because there so many visual images that get buried into your head that the entire experience of the book is just overwhelming. Uncle Coleman's tales just get under your skin. And whatever that thing is in Skeleton's room makes me shudder. And what the Grimm brothers are doing just popping up in the middle of thing, I'll never understand. But i ...more
Jun 03, 2009 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was a kid in high school. It is truely a horror about a boy who went to a school and finds an underlying secret club that practices real magic. It is done in subtle details and is why I constantly believe Peter Straub is a true magician with words himself. The story is told with such realism and the writing itself is lively, most particular the scene in which the boy is nailed to the wall. Perhaps, in the author's own study, I would go as far to believe there is a Number ...more
Kevin Lucia
Dec 31, 2008 Kevin Lucia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a joy to re-read. One of those tales that alternatively leaves you gasping in awe, and feeling just the tiniest bit of despair, because you know it's impossible ever to match this as an author. But even so, loved it, and I'm still also amazed how much of my early reading of Straub played such a huge influence on me when I was first finding my "sea legs"...
Chris Meger
This book is essentially a rehash of pretty much every other horror coming of age book. It's competent, but that's about it.
Casey Bartsch
Have you ever read one of those books that you know is well written, but no matter how hard you try, you can't focus on it? You keep reading the words, but most of them fly right through your head without sticking to anything. Shadowland was one of those books for me. The descriptions of magic and other ambiguous concepts were beautiful, but ultimately added up to nothing. In the end, I felt like there was just enough plot to fill a short story, and 375 more pages of well written prose that I co ...more
Tee Jay
Apr 12, 2010 Tee Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I have a love/hate relationship with Peter Straub. I love him for his beginnings and hate him for his endings. (Except in regard to GHOST STORY, which was pretty darn good all the way through.)
As is often the case with a Straub novel, for the first 150 pages I was thinking, "This is fantastic!" It felt like reading something that Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker collaborated on.
That was the honeymoon phase of the book.
I have a lot of respect for Straub because his work is alw
Tobin Elliott
I finally finished this train wreck of a novel. Another one that I read when it first came out, but I definitely had better memories of this than what I just experienced. I kept waiting for it to get good. I kept waiting for something to happen. I kept waiting for old men to stop pontificating about their life histories...because, didn't I just read that in Ghost Story?

I must say, the first, non-Shadowland third wasn't horrible. Mostly pointless, and could have been done in more like fifty pages
Michael Drakich
On a Richter Scale of horror where 10 is downright poop my pants frightening, and 1 is totally laughable, this novel registered a 3. That's a level so mild you barely feel it. In fact, those moments only came in the early chapters when the protagonist, Tom Flanagan, was still at school. The heavy balance of the novel was tedious and boring, with stretches of inconsequential sections that would have been better left out. I can only guess Peter Straub was worried about the word count in an attempt ...more
Will Waller
The final words of the book are "I turned back to walk across the ruins of Shadowland to my car." Thus ends one of the worst books I've read thus far. Is it bad because at times the plot settles into some fantastic journey into the mind of the sorcerer that the reader loses track of reality in the midst of fantasy? Is it bad because the symbolism of eerie houses, birds, songs, audiences, hearing voices (all of which could be simple and clear thematic elements to a horror book) become a boring an ...more
Sep 06, 2007 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wouldreadagain
I read this on a train trip up to Vermont. I didn't realize before the trip that it was partly set in Vermont. So, it was a pleasant and fitting surprise. I'd wanted to read it ever since I was ten, when I saw the ad for it in the back of the "Darkfall" (Dean Koontz) paperback I was reading. It held up to the promise I'd expected, although I think it's better I read it so many years later, as an adult. My child self wouldn't have been patient enough to read this. Straub's style is too sophistica ...more
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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
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“You'll never get anything done if you walk around with an unchipped heart.” 14 likes
“To do magic, to do great magic, he has to know himself as a piece of the universe.

A piece of the universe?

A little piece that has all the rest of it in it. Everything outside of him is also inside of him.”
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