This has got to be one of the best horror reads I have ever read. Admittedly, the Prologue threw me a bit, but by the time I reached Page 57, I was pulling out my post-it pad and writing: “One of the best ghost stories I’ve ever read.” I was talking about the Fenny and Gregory Bate part, which was really a story within the story (one of the Chowder Society member’s stories).
Page 141 – 142: Love the Dr. Rabbitfoot description.
Eva Galli and Alma Mobley? Shapeshifter, but the same timeless creature in both earthly characters? Some creature is playing a game with the members of the chowder society, and I think it sounds more like a shapeshifter vs. a ghost. Fascinating.
I don’t always, but every now and then I will read other reviews after finishing a book to see what other people are taking away from the read. I seemed to see a lot of criticism about this book in the sense that allegedly it is not a good book for women (the whole Eva accidental death thing, mainly). Bear in mind that this was written in 1979 before the liberal police were out in such full force. Also, it really irks me when a random person writes a criticism about a book allegedly because they feel that the author somehow failed this anonymous reader in some way. “I wanted a story about a woman who graduated from college in 1929 and became a teacher, later becoming the Principal of her school.” Um… okay, well go pick up another book, asshole.
I really wish readers would try to give authors a bit more respect in the sense that, here is a human being who had a story in him to tell. He got it out on paper, and told it, and the book is a wonderful thing. Why can’t we just try to enjoy his work (or any work we are reading for that matter) for what it is instead of getting on the whole “I wish he would have done it this way,” or “I would have written blah blah blah snort.”
Well, you didn’t write it. Likely, you haven’t written anything except a grocery list, much less been published. Peter Straub wrote it, and it could not have been any other way. He wrote what he had to say. It isn’t here to please you per your exact spec and wish. Remember this, please. Sit back and let the author tell you his story.
So I guess I will quit reading other people’s book reviews, because it just winds up making me irritated. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’m not saying that we all have to like everything, but I prefer it when reviewers are able to say what works for them, what they find inspiring about the writing, or what doesn’t work. Constructive criticism is fine, but for some housewife to get on the internet and pen ignorant reviews of Peter Straub’s work just really kills me. I can’t take it.
Let the Master be, internet reviewers. And by all means, build a fire and make yourself a cup of tea. Pick up this book and read about what the Chowder Society has been getting up to in Milburn.