A Dark Matter

A Dark Matter

eBook - 2010
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An electric, chilling, and unpredictable novel from the master of modern horror.On a Midwestern campus in the 1960s, a charismatic guru and his young acolytes perform a secret ritual in a local meadow. What happens is a mystery—all that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body and the shattered souls of all who were present. Forty years later, one man seeks to learn about that horrifying night, and to do so he'll have to force those involved to examine the unspeakable events that have haunted them ever since.
Publisher: 2010
ISBN: 9780385530132
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Jul 03, 2020


Feb 07, 2018

I had heard so many good things about Peter Straub, but I haven't read his famous ones - Ghost Story or The Talisman with Stephen King. This came up as available from the local library and the premise seemed promising, so I checked it out. I was saddened that I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped.

Let's get the best thing from my point of view out of the way: It's creative and not gory. I'm a horror fan, not a splatter fan. I want to be creeped out, not sickened. Straub did that well, with the few references to blood and guts mostly passing and not the focus of the scene. And I did love the creativity - this was well-thought-out, not simply another ritual goes bad story.

The trouble I had was that in the avoiding splatter, Straub seems to have gone so far into symbolism that even for someone who understands a lot of the underlying myths upon which he draws, it's not always obvious where he's going. Only one of the characters is really at all likeable, and I am not sure it's the one he wants us to be liking. The rest are so symbolically drawn that, while they manage to avoid being two-dimensional, they're not relatable. I didn't really care about them all that much, with one exception. Sadly, I found that I could have put this book down and just shrugged - "well, I'm not smart enough to get it." That's not a feel I want.

There are some simply gorgeously drawn scenes - I particularly liked one involving Lake Michigan - and the actual ritual itself is visited enough times to become more and more clearly delineated. I liked that for the most part. If only the characters had drawn me in more - maybe I'll try another one of his and see if I like it better.

Three of five stars.

Mar 06, 2014

Horrible book. Peter Straub has forgotten how to write.

Jun 21, 2012

I found it to be extremely boring and hard to follow.

mikeyppl Nov 09, 2011

Excellent read.


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