A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter

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9781605981024: A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter
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From the bestselling author of Ghost Story, Shadowland, and The Talisman, a novella-length rumination on the nature of evil.

A Special Place, Peter Straub’s first published novella, will come to stand as one of the author’s most deeply unsettling works of fiction. A rumination on the nature of evil, the story centers on a boy, Keith Hayward, who is drawn by his nature to an irresistible fascination with death and the taking of life. His father’s brother, the good-looking, suave Uncle Till―the infamous ladykiller, who has led a shadowy career as a local celebrity―recognizes his nephew’s innermost nature and gleefully tutors him in art of doing ill without getting caught.

Even a cold-blooded sociopath must learn some lessons in survival, in seems, and Uncle Till is only happy to provide a tutorial, in the latest imaginative and disturbing work from one of America's most celebrated horror writers.

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About the Author:

Peter Straub is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels. His two collaborations with Stephen King, The Talisman and Black House, were international bestsellers. In 2006, he was given the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Peter and his wife live in New York City.

From Booklist:

Straub’s fandom will soon feel a frisson of déjà vu reading this, his first singly published novella. It’s an extract from Skylark (2009), the limited-edition long version of A Dark Matter (2010), which relates the backstory of the college student, Keith Hayward, sensationally killed at the novel’s climax. By then, Keith is a sociopath on the verge of following his uncle’s lead into serial murder. The novella lays out the course of his education for the trade by Uncle Till, right up to his—Keith’s—first murder. To Keith, beginning at least at age 12, Till is utterly fascinating, but when the handsome, apparently footloose man returns the interest in the wake of a neighbor’s suspicion that Keith has killed her cat and suggests that the boy find and use a special place for his possibly compromising pleasures, fascination becomes enthrallment. A lowering aura like that of the high-school scenes involving the hero’s son in David Cronenberg’s film A History of Violence broods over this immaculately written portrait of a maculate-to-the-max character in formation. --Ray Olson

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