Bark (Has Atrocious Taste)'s Reviews > Ghost Story

Ghost Story by Peter Straub
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it was ok
bookshelves: horror, audiobook, buddy-read, dark-fiction

I originally read this book back in my early 20’s, back before I obsessively reviewed everything I read, and the only thing I could remember about it was an intense feeling of boredom. I later tried to read Mystery and Julia thinking it was me and not the writing. But I couldn’t get through either of those without wishing they’d end with every page I struggled through. At that point, I put Peter Straub down for good. Or so I thought. Back in December, I decided to use my Audible credit on Ghost Story to torture myself, it turns out. Also, my book buddies were reading it and talked me into joining them but truly I only have myself to blame for thinking I’d matured enough to enjoy it now. Haha. Jokes on me! It was just as boring the second time around. Maybe even moreso . . .

It was just as tedious as I’d remembered. It was so plodding, so slow to me, that I hadn’t realized I had sleep-read the last third. I had to rewind the entire seven hours of this audio because I was left so confused at the ending (who were these people and what the hell was going on?!). SEVEN HOURS. I want them all back and the previous seven too, ffs! What is the matter with me? At any rate, once I forced myself to listen again, this time with all of my faulty listening skills, the book made a lot more sense to me but it was still not very interesting. I tried, damn how I tried, but apparently not all books are made for every reader. Someday I will learn this about myself.

This book is not really a ghost story in the traditional sense. It’s about a group of elderly fellows who call themselves “The Chowder Society”. They spend nights sharing “ghost stories” with each other, smoking cigars, drinking spirits and keeping secrets as old fellows do, I suppose. I don’t really know as I’m not an old fellow. The old friends who tell the tale are most definitely haunted but they are haunted more by something that happened in their youth. Something they cannot escape, mwahaha. I don’t want to give the thing away so that’s all I’m saying about that. When the book begins one of the old fellows in the club has died and this stirs up a series of events and endless pages of tangents and memories in which the reader gets dragged along until the conclusion eventually happens. It’s easy to get lost and confused in this story so do yourself a favor and either DNF it or pay very close attention. Don’t be like me.

I found some of the stories interesting and there are some disturbing and pervy bits that I found rather comical but the book just went on and on and I felt like I had been reading/listening to it for my entire life. Eventually it did come to an end though and for that I am grateful. My two friends enjoyed this book very much while all I did was complain about the old coots, their roving eyes and their cheating ways and bitch about how confused I was about the time jumps and the plethora of unnecessary characters popping in and out of the story. This may be the last time I’m invited to a buddy read again, lol. So what I’m getting at here is don’t go by my opinion because my taste is atrocious. Also, don’t sleep read your way through this because it will not make any kind of sense.

Now I will leave you with my favorite quote courtesy of one of the many side characters whose name I have long since forgotten.

“There’s no teaching without beating.”
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Reading Progress

December 17, 2018 – Started Reading
December 17, 2018 – Shelved
January 5, 2019 – Finished Reading
January 15, 2019 – Shelved as: horror
January 15, 2019 – Shelved as: audiobook
January 15, 2019 – Shelved as: buddy-read
January 15, 2019 – Shelved as: dark-fiction

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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Char Awww, this review bums me out.


Bark (Has Atrocious Taste) Remember, Char, I'm a crab with bad taste! Toni & Jen both loved it.


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve Stred I've heard a few folks say the writing is slow and it plods along now. might have to put off snagging this for a bit.


Melanie Oh no! Sorry you didn't like it, I absolutely loved it but it seems to be that kind of book, really polarizing. But I know what you mean by zoning out. I've almost given up on my latest audio 'coz I have no idea what's going on!


Bark (Has Atrocious Taste) I hate it when I do that @Melanie. Especially when I do it for 7 hours, lol!


Bark (Has Atrocious Taste) @Steve the plot progresses at a snails pace. Some like this, I apparently do not :)


Alex findingmontauk1 So glad I was not alone in this one! I mean, Emily did DNF early on, but other than that I felt like the oddball out for not loving it!


Char It did take me three tries to get into this, but once I did, it was my favorite book for years. I'm sorry it didn't work better for you.


message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve Stred Bark wrote: "@Steve the plot progresses at a snails pace. Some like this, I apparently do not :)"

Ok thanks for that. Would this be a decent book to read a few chapters and let it sit for a week and then dive back in? Or would you be completely lost doing that?


Gatorman Great review. Such an overrated book.


Bark (Has Atrocious Taste) Alex wrote: "So glad I was not alone in this one! I mean, Emily did DNF early on, but other than that I felt like the oddball out for not loving it!"

No, you weren't the oddball. It looks like 3 of us thought it was boring and two of us loved it which makes sense when I look at the reviews.


Bark (Has Atrocious Taste) Char wrote: "It did take me three tries to get into this, but once I did, it was my favorite book for years. I'm sorry it didn't work better for you."

Three tries. You are as persistent as myself, lol.


Bark (Has Atrocious Taste) Steve wrote: "Ok thanks for that. Would this be a decent book to read a few chapters and let it sit for a week a..."

I would say probably no but then again my memory isn't the greatest. There are many things going on, tangents, characters and whatnot that may require you to reread it if you let it sit.


Bark (Has Atrocious Taste) Gatorman wrote: "Great review. Such an overrated book."

Thanks @Gatorman. It's definitely a book that people either love . . . or don't!


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