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review 2017-07-11 18:57
THE PROCESS Review
The Process (is a Process All Its Own) - Peter Straub

I believe my review of Peter Straub's latest novella, The Process (or, as it was originally titled, Hello Jack, which I much preferred!) is the first on Goodreads. I feel so honored!

 

Folks, I spent forty bucks on this book. It's a limited, signed edition and was published by Subterranean Press. They do good work, and this is no exception. This one is beautiful, and so nice to hold! Do I regret spending that much money on a ninety-page novella? Despite my 3-star rating, I would answer that question with an emphatic NO. Peter Straub is one of my favorite authors, and this is his first release of new fiction in seven years. And it's signed! No regrets here.

 

Despite Straub being one of my favorite authors, I must admit I've not read anything of his that was released after Floating Dragon. I haven't read the Blue Rose trilogy, or The Hellfire Club. Nothing. Nada. So reading this — a work released in 2017 — was a bit jarring because, naturally, Straub's voice has changed as he's gotten older. His language seems a bit more concise now, which is great . . . but this novella totally lacked the atmosphere of his earlier stuff. His '70s and '80s novels oozed with mood and feeling; Straub always put his strange and puzzling locations to good use. Here, he doesn't. Bummer.

 

This little story concerns itself with Tillman Hayward (a Straubian character name if there ever was one!), a fictional serial killer from the 1950s. Apparently this guy has appeared in a few other novellas by Straub, but I have not read those. For the most part, this story remains in the head of this guy — often referred to as "Tilly" — and I must say he's pretty darn creepy! I thought his association of words with smells was fitting, creative, and very well written. Unfortunately, at seemingly random moments Straub jerks the reader away from Tilly's first person narration and plunks said reader down into the happenings of other characters. Those moments bored me to tears, and I found myself racing through the pages to get back to what Tilly was up to.

 

Like all Straub stories, this is a bit of a challenge. It's a horrific mystery of the highest literary order. I cannot pretend to have totally gotten everything that was going on, and I'm sure that's the point. But it's a bit of a mess. I finished feeling more confused than anything. I will reread this . . . maybe soon? For now, though, I will give it three stars. I liked it, but it could have been so much more.

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review 2017-06-04 05:06
Not that ghostly....
Lost Boy Lost Girl - Peter Straub

 

When a single tree fills your lens, the rest of the forest takes on a degree of abstraction.

- Chapter 15

 

This book was just ok. The ghost story was a bit weak and not that scary. In the first sentence, we find out that Mark's mother is dead. She killed herself, apparently over guilt for not helping someone when she could have. But, how could she? I mean, she left her son alone to face the ghosts she knew existed. I know it happnes, but I just don't get it. And Mark's father was just annoying; he didn't seem to care about his son at all.

 

The story is told through third person and occasional journal entries written by Mark's uncle Tim. It was a bit creepy and suspenseful, but nothing special. It ended so quickly that I didn't even realize it was the end of the book. I don't mind endings that leave you guessing, but this one just seemed rushed. It was like the author didn't know what else to write, so he just ended it.

 

I read this book for the Booklikes-opoly New Orleans 19 square - Ghost Story. The book is 340 pages, so it's worth $3.00.

 

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text 2017-05-28 05:16
Booklikes-opoly New Orleans Square 19 Read
Lost Boy Lost Girl - Peter Straub

 

 

I'm hoping for a good ghost story...

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review 2017-02-22 18:27
Not quite what i was expecting
Shadowland - Peter Straub

Shadowland was a surreal book right from the offset. It start's when Tom Flanagan now an adult tells a tale of his youth to someone. That tale is woven with magic, and fantasy and adolescent Adventures. I'm not going to lie I found this book a struggle by the time I got to the middle of it, I had totally forgotten what the start was! So this review is going to be a struggle.

 

A person meets the now adult Tom Flanagan in a bar on the sunset strip. From there Tom gives the guy what as the reader finds out involves a strange surreal tale of Adolescent reminiscence . That starts in a private posh school for boy's were he meet's a boy called Del nightingale. From there we find out that Del has a knack for magic. Both him and del strikes up a friendship. But sadly there school life bliss doesn't last long at all when Steve Ridpath is introduced, his nickname by the boy's is skeleton. And this character set's an uneasy tone to the tale.


This wasn't an easy read I didn't at once feel I was into the tale in all it switches and pull's it wasn't until the very end of the book that I got the gist of it, I didn't even feel an emotional pull towards the Character sadly at the best of times, I try to understand peter Straubs written work's but you can't always find an Author whose every single novel you click with. I wouldn't say it was a horror theme but much more of a thriller.

 

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text 2017-01-02 18:23
TBR List, or 7 Owned Books to Read in 2017
Collected Fictions - Jorge Luis Borges,Andrew Hurley
Twilight of the Empire - Simon R. Green
Little, Big - John Crowley
The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
Ghost Story - Peter Straub
Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons

Like most readers, I have a boatload of books I own that I have yet to read. This year, I will read 25 of them. Here are the musts.

 

1. Collected Fictions - Jorge Luis Borges,Andrew Hurley   Collected Fictions - Jorge Luis Borges  

    I've read a bit of Borges, and have deeply enjoyed it. That's why this is here.

 

2. Twilight of the Empire - Simon R. Green    Twilight of the Empire - Simon R. Green  

 

   The Deathstalker series is the only one I have yet to read by Green, and these are the novellas that introduce that universe. I own the whole series, so I should maybe get started, yeah? Besides, Space Opera rocks!

 

3. Little, Big - John Crowley  Little, Big - John Crowley  

   I've started this a couple of times, and got distracted. Not this year! It's la lyrical beauty that can't be rushed, but I will make the time.

 

4. The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly  The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly  

 

    I've read and loved the Gates series, as well as Connolly's second collection, Night Music. I started this one years ago, and will actually follow through this time.

 

5.  Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke  Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke  

 

    Another one I got distracted during (are we sensing a theme?), this is a serious beast of a book, but I've loved what I've read, and the depiction of Faerie is unique, to say the least.

 

6.  Ghost Story - Peter Straub  Ghost Story - Peter Straub  

 

   A genuine horror classic that I've been threatening to read for about a decade. There is no reason I haven't read this yet.

 

7.  Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons  Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons  

 

   Another big mother(shut yo mouth), this fell into the must list after I read The Terror last year. That one started slow, but was frigging awesome. I'm hoping this one kicks in a little quicker.

 

There's my seven must-reads from my ridiculous TBR pile, but there's a lot more where those came from. At least 18, some even more imposing.

As imposing, anyway.

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