Peter Straub Magic Terror

ISBN 13: 9780007109906

Magic Terror

3.58 avg rating
( 885 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780007109906: Magic Terror

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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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 Back Cover:

"When Peter Straub turns on all his jets, no one in the scream factory can equal him."
-Stephen King

"No one can speak the unspeakable as gruesomely as Peter Straub. The most magical thing about Magic Terror is its sheer bloodcurdling range: a variety of genre-defying tales, no two of the seven remotely resembling each other except in the brilliance of the invention and the writing, and in Straub's power to spook you out of your wits."
-Donald Harington, author of When Angels Rest

"I have been a fan of the novelist Peter Straub ever since Ghost Story. That he can be just as compelling and scary in brief bites is a welcome revelation. Seven wonderful tales."
-Donald Westlake, author of The Hook and The Ax

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Peter Straub
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007109903 ISBN 13: 9780007109906
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 7109903

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