Back as a starving college student when I haunted the used book stores, I came across a dusty hardcover edition of Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, thus discovering the only book that ever scared the crap out of me.
Of course as a lifelong devotee of the horror genre, I had certainly read stories that gave me the creeps before then. But with Ghost Story I was introduced to a whole new threshold of terrifying. Why? Because Straub had the ability to turn a beautiful, sunny day in December, or an ordinary afternoon in a grocery store parking lot, into scenes more blood-curling than any in a crumbling graveyard on a moonlit night in October.
Since that initial introduction, Ghost Story is my go-to read every fall, getting me in the perfect mood for Halloween.
And I confess. It still scares the crap out of me.
Apparently I am far from alone in this as — if we forget about the film version (and please do) — the novel continues to appear on “best of” lists to this day, being widely considered one of the greatest horror novels of all time.
So I was particularly excited to learn that this week Berkley Books is releasing Ghost Story in a new trade paperback edition, as well as in eBook format for the very first time.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
In the sleepy town of Milburn, New York, four old men gather to tell each other stories — some true, some made up, all of them frightening. A simple pastime to divert themselves from their quiet lives. But one story is coming back to haunt them and their small town. A tale of something they did long ago. And they are to learn that no one can bury the past forever.
Like soft footsteps creeping up behind you, the horror of Ghost Story sneaks up on the reader, the dread increasing with every page. A menacing and twisty tale that evokes our darkest fears, Ghost Story is the perfect read for long winter nights.
Peter Straub is the author of seventeen novels, and his work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He has won the British Fantasy Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, three International Horror Guild Awards, and ten World Fantasy Awards. He has received the Lifetime Achievement awards from the Horror Writers Association (2005) and the World Fantasy Convention (2010).
Straub’s newest work Interior Darkness: Selected Stories which “represents his astonishing range and his ability to terrify, transport and hold a reader hostage,” hits your favorite literary source on February 16th.
Ghost Story in trade paperback is available now for $15.00, as is the eBook for $11.99.
Have you read Ghost Story between splayed fingers with your back firmly against a wall? Or is that just me? Post a comment or drop a line to email@example.com.