Gertie's Reviews > A Dark Matter

A Dark Matter by Peter Straub
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Jun 07, 11

Read from May 23 to June 06, 2011

Wow. Now before you go thinking that is a good wow, it's not a "this was amazing" Wow but a "what the holy heck was he thinking??" type of Wow. I have read a few books by Straub in the past; I recall enjoying them enough to read more by him, so I thought I'd give this book a try.

It's a mess. Really, I don't know who he wrote this for - himself, perhaps? Overall this book has very little to offer the reader. Why? Well, despite the 400ish pages, very little happens. Practically nothing. For the most part it is a recollection of what happened during one mysterious incident when the core characters were in high school. Now, I say mysterious... but don't let that fool you into thinking it is intriguing. It's not. As a matter of fact, it is downright boring. It was only mysterious in the sense that nothing made any damn sense. It is sometimes hard to track who is "speaking" at parts of the book; one moment the main character is narrating, the next moment you are with another character, but it takes a moment to become evident. To really put the rotten cherry on top, it is difficult to become invested in any of the characters, as they all feel a bit hollow. I didn't feel anything while reading this book; and that is saying something coming from a person who will sob at a Hallmark commercial.

If you have not read Peter Straub before and are interested; yes he is worth reading - just don't make it this book. Try Mystery, The Throat, The Talisman (with Stephen King), or Ghost Story instead, which are at least somewhat more straightforward and digestible. However if you DID enjoy this book, you may want to check out Skylark, which is another version of it, which he describes as "a much looser, sloppier, more wild-eyed version of the book, with blind alleys, red herrings, and false trails."

Memorability Factor: 4/10
Mostly I will remember being bored and confused. The story, not so much.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Steve It is a mess. But I think it won the Bram Stoker for "best novel." I wonder if the judges even read all of the entries?


Gertie Wow, it did? The blurb for it was excessively flattering (which they often are) but still, it surprises me it has won the Bram Stoker. It wasn't scary, thought provoking, dramatic, or really any of the things most of us look for in a book. Ah well, I suppose sometimes the critics and the "common folk" (people like us who spend money on these things) are oddly out of sync.


Steve I think the name "Peter Straub" had a lot to do with it. He's a good writer, but this is not a good book.


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