Straub, Peter Magic Terror

ISBN 13: 9780007109913

Magic Terror

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9780007109913: Magic Terror

A new collection of award-winning short stories from the acclaimed master of horror - author of the bestselling MR X, KOKO, THE TALISMAN and BLACK HOUSE. Welcome to another kind of terror as Peter Straub leads us into the outer reaches of the psyche. Here the master of the macabre is at his absolute best in seven exquisite tales of living, dying and the terror that lies in between...No one tells a story like Peter Straub. He dazzles with the richness of his plots and the eloquence of his prose. He startles you into laughter in the face of events so dark that you begin to question your own moral compass. Then he reduces you to jelly by spinning a tale so terrifying - and surprising - that you have to sleep with the lights on. Now, with these seven acclaimed stories he has given us his finest and most imaginatively unsettling collection yet. 'WHEN STRAUB TURNS ON ALL HIS JETS, NO ONE IN THE SCREAM FACTORY CAN EQUAL HIM.' STEPHEN KING

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Review:

Peter Straub is a fine sorcerer of horror whose bag of tricks includes stories of pure, unadulterated horror ( Julia and Koko), as well as more subtle tales of psychological suspense ( Mr. X and Shadowland). Now Straub conjures up Magic Terror, a collection of seven deeply disturbing tales that display his entire range.

"Bunny Is Good Bread" is without a doubt the most haunted tale of all, a harrowing account of a childhood from hell. The scary hero Fee was so traumatized as a 5-year-old by abuse from his father that he disconnects himself from the real world and lives as if in a film. Why? "If you forgot you were in a movie, your own feelings would tear you into bloody rags." Ever since the day Fee watches his mother die a horrible death, he's been tormented: "He was one-half dead himself; half of him belonged to his dead mother."

Fee is not the only character to be struck by a dark epiphany, a life-changing moment. In the lyrical "Porkpie Hat," a famous jazz musician recounts the ghoulish Halloween encounter that charted the course of his destiny, and in the twisted fairy tale "Ashputtle," a fantasy-inclined "princess" seeks retribution for a traumatic incident many years before.

In Straub's world, horror appears in different disguises--the dark mask of child abuse and the bloodied cloak of war ("The Ghost Village"). Regardless of how it shows itself, the effects will haunt long after lights out. --Naomi Gesinger

From the Inside Flap:

Read by Beth MacDonald and Ron McLarty
8 Cassettes--14 Hours

Straub mines new territory in this extraordinarily powerful collection of short fiction--territory marked by brutality, heartbreak, savagery, wonder, despair, and an unexpected humor which, although often arising from the narrator's unconscious revelation, ultimately leads to a germ of understanding.

"Bunny is Good Bread" enters the mind of a small boy being raised in grotesque circumstances and portrays the creation of a serial killer in a manner that compels pity, sorrow, comprehension and a sense of grief as well as judgment. "Hunger" narrated by the ghost of a pompous, self-pitying murderer, creates a profoundly beautiful vision of earthly life, one appreciated far more by the dead than the living. "Mr. Club and Mr. Cuff" uses the material and structure of Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" to create a revenge tale in which torture is a moral art and the avenger undergoes a transforming education.

Straub's devotees will be swept away by the potency of this collection and the uninitiated are in for a startling--if occasionally harrowing--literary treat.

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