Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Interior Darkness” as Want to Read:
Interior Darkness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Interior Darkness

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  303 ratings  ·  65 reviews
An American icon renowned for his bestselling novels, Peter Straub displays his full and stunning range in this crowning collection. He has consistently subverted the boundaries of genre for years, transcending horror and suspense to unlock the dark, unsettling, and troubling dissonances that exist on the edges of our perception. Straub’s fiction cracks the foundation of r ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Doubleday
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Interior Darkness, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
C.W. Clark It is. I'm generally leary of buying short story collections, even from my favorite authors. Writing short stories and writing novels are two very dif…moreIt is. I'm generally leary of buying short story collections, even from my favorite authors. Writing short stories and writing novels are two very different animals, and it's rare to find an author who's good at both. Straub appears to be one of those authors. Every story in the book isn't fabulous, but there are enough that are to make it worth your while.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  303 ratings  ·  65 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Interior Darkness
Edward Lorn
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Rather disappointing outing. I've been a Straub fan since I was a kid. Because of that, I've read the majority of these stories, and the two that I hadn't read were unremarkable. Forgot them within an hour of reading them,

That being said, some of my favorite Straub shorts are in here, so I would recommend this book to someone who is not familiar with Straub's back catalogue of short works.

In summation: Reprints of stories found in Houses Without Doors and Magic Terror, along with some he releas
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was really disappointed with this anthology. Every short story included has been published in other anthologies by the author. If you already own the others, buying this would be a complete waste of money. Nothing new.

I'm also disappointed with the actual work, which was supposed to be his best-of-the-best of his short stories. Mr. Straub used to be a top-shelf horror author, but his more recent work has not only gone downhill, bu
Washington Post
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Interior Darkness” is a book for those who think they dislike horror, as well as for those who love and respect the genre. Filled with terror, wit and unexpected grace notes, it’s a remarkable achievement that reflects the arc of a lengthy and celebrated career. Louis Armstrong, wherever he may be, would probably agree.

Read more about "Interior Darkness" at the Washington Post:
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, netgalley
Peter Straub has spent over forty years at the cutting-edge forefront of literary horror, with a well-earned reputation as one of the genre’s masters. He’s written a good number of novels—Ghost Story, Koko, lost boy lost girl, and Shadowland, to name a handful—but also a good deal of short fiction, with five collections to his credit. Straub’s most recent collection, Interior Darkness, collects some of his best short fiction from across his forty-year career. What sets Straub apart from the pack ...more
Did Not Finish at 15 percent.

Sorry, I own enough Stephen King to not have to put up with a bad collection of horror short stories. I started getting annoyed all over again yesterday when I tried to plow this. I think the main issue is that Straub doesn't draw me in at all. I felt like he was talking about made up people. We go from a fairly long short story to some kind of short essays and back again and I lost any interest in continuing this book.

I will just have to find another book to read fo
Doubleday  Books
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"The horror genre has a wide range—from gory to subtle, monsters to blood, horror plays on humanity’s most primal and deeply held fears in many different ways. As an absolute master of the genre, Peter Straub covers it all. This collection covers his most shining examples of provoking tales from the past twenty-five years. In INTERIOR DARKNESS you’ll find stories that don’t last as long as a page and novellas side by side. Peter Straub is a modern day Lovecraft in all the best ways. These storie ...more
Kitten Kisser
Dec 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
This anthology was one of the worst struggles I've had in getting through a book. Not only has each of these stories been published in other anthologies (so you may have already read them), they are supposed to be the best of Straub. Frankly I found them to be boring & somewhat revolting. Reading about a child dealing with a molester is revolting or if you want, call it horrifying. A story about a guy obsessing over baby bottles & books. Interesting? Um, no! Stupid? Absolutely. Some stories are ...more
Horror Bookworm Reviews
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interior Darkness by Peter Straub

Peter Straub returns to book shelves with his collection of short stories entitled Interior Darkness. Hidden behind a facade of contentment dwells a dark attic that is full of hidden deathly secrets, a movie theatre that strips the innocence of young ones, and additional features that are written with a truly gloomy hand. Straub sprinkles childhood innocents with an authentic hidden evil that bide among day to day living. These underlying macabre tones bridge eac
Janet Robel
Mar 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To sum up my review in one word - "NO". There was not one story out of this entire collection that I liked. My eyes would glaze over every time I started reading. This author is so well-accomplished that I was surprised at how disappointed I was in reading these works. ...more
Derek Patz

Short stories continue to be the most brilliant forms of fiction writing today. Novellas like The Shawshank Redemption and The Body by Stephen King parachuted into Oscar material.The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker and various short stories from Stephen King have influenced horror movies for decades to come.

Peter Straub, most notable for co-writing The Talisman with Stephen King has combined all his short collection into one giant one. Interior Darkness also includes stories that were not pub
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
You know when your favourite band puts out a new greatest hits album filled with songs that you already own, except for a couple of unreleased tracks that end up being not very great at all? This is the short story version of that scenario. The stories I already owned in other collections are great. No questions. The new stories are not. So I'm left feeling a little empty because I haven't been treated to a new blast of Straub brilliance. But I simply still had to have it just in case the new st ...more
Jan 10, 2017 added it
Not quite what I was lead to expect, but they were fine. The few I've read so far weren't quite as dark as I expected. But I love short fiction in all flavors, so I'll probably pick it up from time to time. ...more
Ray Palen
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read my review on .
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm enjoying this although the focus is around very disturbed psyches. Each story stands alone. They are extremely well written and absorbing. Excellent. ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I was bothered by the first two stories in this repackaging of three previously released collections of short stories. In the first a young boy kills his younger brother and gets away with it and in the second an alcoholic pedophile sexually abuses a young boy in the back of a theater during one summer...and gets away with it. I wondered what Straub is trying to tell us here. I hope that the second story was not autobiographical because that would just be sad. Otherwise, I see no point to the st ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Let me begin by stating that I am big fan of Peter Straub. He's an underrated gem in the horror genre and an all-round brilliant writer. The best part is that there's loads of stories and novels for readers to discover (just take a look at his impressive bibliography). Interior Darkness is a massive short story collection. It's really more of an omnibus for Straub, considering that it collects both previously published story collections as well as unpublished works.

Within the dark, twisted conf
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Previously to this book, I'd only read Peter Straub collaborations with Stephen King. I thought it was time to see what his writing was like on his own, so I thought I'd start with short stories. The first few were good, dark and twisted, even disgusting a bit. Afterwards the stories were all over the place. Some interesting, others dragging too long and going nowhere. Some felt experimental, and I can't see many people enjoying those ones at all, which felt like a waste of time to me. I can't s ...more
John Cooke
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Peter Straub. It took me ages to read all the stories in INTERIOR DARKNESS partly because I don’t believe in reading story collections straight through, partly cause I’m a slow reader, and partly because Straub’s tales themselves are so disturbing. I’d read many of them before, but if so I reread them. But several were new to me. They are surreal, often with an aspect of fairy tale about them, though dark and challenging. That’s what I like in fiction — well written and complicated storie ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had not read any of P.Straub's short stories before these, so I did not mind that other collections contained most of these already, in years past. What I did mind was that the stories were terrible. I kept on reading, hoping the next story would be better. It was not to be. A depressing read.

P.Straub's Word-A-Day calendar must have introduced him to the word CHIAROSCURO. I had to look it up. Why was in in two different stores, three separate times? Who knows.

Also, Uniondale (or even the next
This is a hard one to rate. On the one hand, I didn't particularly enjoy any of the stories and it took me a few months to finish this book. On the other hand, all of the stories stuck with me. Even if I didn't like them, I remember them all and that's not something I can usual say about a collection of short stories. So I have to give some credit to an author that creates such unique characters and situations that they reverberate, even if they didn't necessarily resonate. ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Five stars for the quality of the stories.

Longtime fans may not be thrilled; there's little here that hasn't been collected, before.

If you haven't read 'The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine', it's worth the entire price.

The two other previously uncollected tales are above-okay.

Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
The short stories within this compilation differ so much in style and overall feel that I found only two or three that I genuinely enjoyed. It’s a risk when you’ve made something with no continuity of flavour that it can’t work for every reader.
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, here I am again at the tail end of the reading experience for a book that has left me absolutely stymied. Sometimes it surprises me just how different my opinion can be from other readers, not just around the world, but from those in my own backyard as well.
Eileen Nichols
Very interesting and weird stories. Don't think I'm smart enough to understand some of them. ...more
Clare O'Brien
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well written, but definitely not my type of horror.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written creepy, unnerving little vignettes. He is a master of words...
David Zachariason
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some great stories with a couple of clunkers.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great fuckin book!
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bad Karma (Criminally Insane, #1)
  • Tender
  • The Color of Heaven (The Color of Heaven, #1)
  • Cuckoo Uncaged (Cuckoo Series, #1)
  • Her Worst Mistake (Rosemary Run, #6)
  • Midnight Screams (Banshee, #1)
  • Little White Secrets
  • The House Guest
  • Lockdown
  • Full Throttle
  • ADHD
  • The Living and the Dead
  • Beyond the Clouds, tome 1 (Beyond the Clouds, #1)
  • Ratner's Star
  • Moominland Midwinter (The Moomins, #6)
  • The Lullaby Man (Tallman's Valley Detectives, #2)
  • One Blade Of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, a Zen Memoir
  • Savage Pilgrims: On the Road to Santa Fe
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Emma Straub was all set to spend May on tour promoting her new novel, All Adults Here. Instead, due to the global pandemic, the Brooklyn-based...
14 likes · 5 comments