What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Ghost Story
This topic is about Ghost Story
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Adult fantasy/horror: evil shapeshifters (demons?) terrorize a community, opposed by group of old men, young boy, investigative reporter (male?) [s]

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Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments I actually hated this book, but I remember some of the details so vividly I want to find it. I read this in the late 80s/early 90s, probably in hardback, from the library. I don't remember the actual plot (i.e. what the shapeshifters are doing that is so evil) or even what they were ultimately determined to be (I think demonic, but not sure). Here is what I DO remember:
- there is a group of older men who gather on a regular basis, I think to tell ghost stories? They end up as the core of the good guys
- there is a younger (maybe 11 or 12 year old) boy, who first appears in the story as a get away driver for a van for two older (teen) twin boys who bully him into it; they are doing a series of robberies. (view spoiler) Later the boy is on the good guy crew, but I don't recall his significance.
-There is an insurance agent who is kind of obsessed with the older gentlemen, but he meets one at a party and can't stop talking about insurance.
-The main shapeshifter presents as a woman, but there is also a man. She is seen early on in the book in a hotel, sitting in a window smoking (I think) and the guy who carried her luggage up tells another character that her bags are empty. (He knows this is weird but not that it's because she shapeshifts her clothes.
-The male shapeshifter (I think) shows off his abilities to someone and turns into a wolf. He turns back and offers to turn into a vampire and says that's even more beautiful.
-There is a minor character who goes to a peep show, (view spoiler) - I have no idea what this had to do with the story but I am sure it is the same book.
-(view spoiler)
-I am 99% certain that in the end the investigative reporter sees (view spoiler).

Any help finding this is appreciated. Thanks.


message 2: by Donna (new)

Donna Moore | 96 comments I think this is "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub.

Ghost Story


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments That looks promising. I will check it out. Thanks.


message 4: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lobstergirl | 38242 comments Mod
I thought of Ghost Story too, but there were enough plot points that didn't match that I didn't mention it. Was there a mysterious beast or being slaughtering livestock (and I'm pretty sure farmers too)? That was in Ghost Story. As was a huge snowstorm.


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments I don't remember livestock dying, but there was a huge snowstorm, which is what made me think this might really be it, but there are a lot of other things that don't seem to match (which may just be my lousy memory; I hope I haven't stitched two books together in my head). I couldn't tell from the Look Inside or the spoilers in any reviews. I'm going to have to actually get a hold of the book and flip through it to see if my shapeshifter demons are the same ones. The library can get it through interlibrary loan, but I'm going to swing by the local bookstore first and see if they have it on the shelf, as it shouldn't take too many page turns to confirm if this is it. Hope they have it.


message 6: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lobstergirl | 38242 comments Mod
It's weird because about 2/3 of the things you mention are in Ghost Story, if I recall. I definitely don't remember a peep show or a pimp though.

Doesn't Ghost Story start with a strange frame story in California? A guy is writing something - novel? Nonfiction? Something. And he goes east, some small New York town I think, which is where the snowstorm and all the shapeshifting demons happen.


message 7: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lobstergirl | 38242 comments Mod
I didn't remember the insurance part, but I just reread my review and FFS, there is insurance in the book! There's a mention of the Million Dollar Roundtable.


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments Yes, there's definitely some sort of frame story (view spoiler), then jumps back to the town in New York and begins the main event. (That's why I couldn't tell from Look Inside whether it's the book I'm looking for or not.)


message 9: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lobstergirl | 38242 comments Mod
Here's another thread where someone was looking for Ghost Story.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Apparently there is literally so much sh*t going on in this book that I had forgotten half of it.


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments :-) That's kind of the reaction I'm having to. If this is the one, I may be forced to reread it just so I know if it was really awful or if I just missed a bunch of stuff in my callow youth.


message 11: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lobstergirl | 38242 comments Mod
Oh yeah, I forgot about the man driving with the little girl. So there are two frame stories, the second one is in California at a university.


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments Grrrr. To = too above. Hate posting from the phone!


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments Two frame stories? That gives me hope that I'm not crazy and it really was bad. :-)


message 14: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lobstergirl | 38242 comments Mod
Well, as I wrote in my review: "It was also astoundingly too large and unfocused. If it were some enormous thing you were carrying down a hallway, it would not be a sofa, it would be a huge, uncontrollable, wet noodle."


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments Love that description. Also, something about it rings a bell (not sure how to spoiler tag from a phone so I won't post it). I'm off to the bookstore now to see if they have it.


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments So, I found it in a different bookstore last night. Thumbing through was enough to say that Ghost Story is definitely the book, but not enough to say if I might be mashing a different book up with it. So I'm actually going to have to reread it (or at least re-skim it) to see if the rest of what I remember is in here. (Man, I can't believe I'm actually thinking about rereading this book.) I'm going to leave this in Possibly Solved until I can get that done, which may not be until next year at the rate I'm going.


message 17: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lobstergirl | 38242 comments Mod
Since this has been sitting in Possibly Solved since 2015, I'm moving it to Solved.

Amy, if you are still searching for a related book, please start a new query for that one.


Amy (Other Amy) | 171 comments That's totally fine. I'm still pretty sure this is the one, but I still haven't gotten around to rereading this, and I have to be honest that it's not exactly a priority to re-subject myself to this monstrosity :-)


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