The new supernatural thriller from the acclaimed author of Koko, The Talisman, Floating Dragon and The Throat.
‘Mr. X marks Straub’s triumphant return to the tale of the paranormal and the supernatural… When Peter Straub turns on all his jets, no one in the scream factory can equal him. The plot is challenging, the characters are intriguing in their complexity and the language is a delight.’ STEPHEN KING
With international bestsellers such as Koko, The Talisman and The Throat, Peter Straub has established an outstanding critical reputation as a master of sophisticated thrillers that combine the satisfying complexity of multi-layered mysteries with the visceral power of horror. Now, in his new novel – a startlingly original supernatural thriller – he takes us into the darkest dimensions of the human psyche with his unnerving take on the theme of the doppelgänger.
Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan has a paralysing seizure in which he is forced to witness scenes of ruthless slaughter perpetrated by a mysterious figure in black whom he calls Mr. X. Now, with his birthday fast approaching, Ned has been drawn back to his home town, Edgerton, Illinois, by a premonition that his mother is dying.
Before she loosens her hold on life, she imparts to Ned the name of his father, never before disclosed, and warns him that he is in grave danger. Despite her foreboding, Ned’s determination to learn about his absent father ignites a series of extraordinary adventures that gradually reveal the heart of both his own identity and that of his entirely fantastic family.
He discovers that he is shadowed by an identical twin brother who can pass through doors and otherwise defy the laws of nature. When Ned becomes the lead suspect in three violent deaths in Edgerton, he begins to realise that he is not the only one who has come home…
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Ned Dunstan's shadow has always been up-front:"You won't even be able to go out by yourself at night for another six or seven years. When do we have our first cigarette? Our first drink? When do we get to have actual sex?...I want darkness, I want night". "Without me, you can't get them at all", replies Ned. Coming home years later Ned begins to uncover the strange history of Edgerton, and the even stranger secrets of his bizarre family. Meanwhile Mr X, bad novelist, crimelord, seducer, serial-killer, self-appointed harbinger of the apocalypse of HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, plans one very special murder before bringing the Cuthulu mythos to earth. Witty, shocking, beautifully written and completely absorbing, Mr X is an intricately plotted puzzle-box of sex, death, music, teleportation, and eccentric aunts.
With a large red X on the jet black cover the marketing department are targeting X Files fans and Peter Straub's book is certainly inventively weird enough to appeal to followers of foxy scullyduggery; the author penned such modern horror classics as Ghost Story and Shadowland while the FBI duo were still in grade school. There is a subtle homage to Stephen King's The Dark Half--the two writers collaborated on The Talisman--while aficionados of Christopher Priest's ingenious contortions of reality, particularly The Prestige, will be intrigued by this mystery. If you are looking for page-turning horror novel that's not afraid to have some post-modern fun stretching its genre to the limits, vote for Mr X. --Gary S. DalkinReview:
‘In any genre, a world-class author.’
‘Peter Straub is a fine storyteller.’
‘Straub is a master at creating an otherworldly type of fiction. It has earned him a fierce following.’
New York Daily News
‘No one is better than Straub at having whole communities rocked by the forces of wickedness.’
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Book Description Harpercollins Uk, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2259559