Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Reviews: Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Ghost StoryGhost Story by Peter Straub

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Straub shows in Ghost Story that he is a master novelist.The novel is constructed so well; it is a symbol of an artist writing from his experience; based on a fine perception of relationships between characters, in which a town is arrayed against heroes. He builds suspense upon suspense; while heightening our awareness of past lives and their affects on our living days.

The novel is an homage to  Hawthorne, James, and Poe. Ghost story according to Peter Straub stated from his "rereading Hawthorne, James and went out and got all of Lovecraft and a lot of books by his "set"-this was because I wanted to find out what my tradition was"...(King 244)The elements in the story keep you focused in a tight constriction. He uses the writing lessons he learned from Henry James, to craft a 20th century novel, in a 19th century mood. For example look at how he describes the trees in Milburne: "The bones of the trees, hung against the leaves like signposts to winter. Dead trees carpeted the square."
Stephen King said, "Straub wants to play around with reality by having characters (1)acting out roles in books (2) watching a film (3)hallucinating (4)dreaming or (5) transported into a private fantasy. Ghost Story attests the power and precision and the structural unity of a great novel, no matter what genre.

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I crafted the review from an article written by Thomas Cravin about John Martin found in the Nation's Brushes with History page 135.  I found his description of the artists craft valuable in writing a review of this book.  

John Martin

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