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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
It's interesting that so many people seem to be disappointed with this book. Personally, I enjoyed it for its language and the psychology driving the characters. The "Event" that links all the characters together didn't seem to me to be the main point, rather it was the effect on the group of friends. However, I don't think it was terrifying, as Stephen King states but...
Published on 15 April 2011 by D. R. Cripps

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very slow and boring
'Terrifying... Impossible to put down' said Stephen King on the front cover. Well, it wasn't and I did lots of times! The protagonist wasn't a likable character and was one dimensional as well as all the other characters and the final retelling, from the main character's wife, of the events that happened all those years ago was neither terrifying or intersting. I don't...
Published on 24 July 2011 by Phil64


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4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Matter, 3 April 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
In Straub's latest offering, A Dark Matter, his use of language is often so powerful it hits the reader like a blow to the solar plexus. From the very beginning, there is an almost palpable threat hanging in the air. And it's a bunch of innocent 1960s students - some charmed and golden; some geeky - who are most at risk.

The story is written around a group of multi-dimensional characters who share an unbelievably horrific experience which is to blight their entire lives. The convoluted plot of
A Dark Matter pits the unthinkable against the unspeakable while both assault the reader's grey matter.

Stephen King is quoted on the cover as saying: "Terrifying... impossible to put down." Loath though I am to challenge the master, I beg to differ: I needed to put it down every so often in order to ration the horror to manageable bite-sized pieces.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing, 31 Mar 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
When I read the synopsis for this book, it sounded ideal for me, as it contained two of the elements that I like in a good read - crime and the supernatural. I had never read anything by this author before so had no preconceptions of his style.

The book is written in the first person; a writer who has been having trouble in producing a follow-up to his previous success, when an incident revives memories of a long-past mysterious event that had involved his schoolfriends (including his now wife) and culminated in the horrific death of one of them. This sets the tone of the book, as our writer resolves to write about the event, and hopefully solve the mystery of how such a gruesome death occurred (the participants would never discuss what had happened). His investigations involve contacting some of the old schoolfriends who were involved in the `dark matter' and getting their perspectives on the events that unfolded.

Although I was drawn quickly into the story initially, I found that there were several occasions when there was too little action and my interest flagged, due to too much descriptive writing that seemed superfluous to the plot. This caused the story to plod and meander somewhat at various points, which is a shame because the basic storyline is a very worthy read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars 'Terrifying...impossible to put down.' Stephen King. Hmmmm?, 15 Mar 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
With no disrepect meant to Stephen King, but his cover phrase on this book, Terrifying? No! Impossible to put down? No! For me the promise of terror never remotely comes close to fruition. I found this book, the first i have read by the hugely acclaimed and respected Peter Straub a pleasure to put down at times. The back cover promised so much yet delivered so little. Only a few times did Peter Straub draw me into a belief in the characters and situations he portrays at extreme length with visions of darkness and the horror of an event in a meadow that shaped the characters lives for ever. The main characters, apart from the author Lee Harwell, had ultimately paid a price for abusive childhoods by seeking out an enigmatic guru to follow and worship only for it to go awfully wrong. This didn't generate the sympathy of me as a reader as the story appears to retell itself over and over from the viewpoint of the individuals concerned.I was left checking and re-checking the number of the last page, wondering when the terror would start only for me to dissapointed as the tale wound to a weary conclusion. Maybe's i've been unlucky in that this was my first taste of Mr Straub, but this book certainly wasn't for me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Matter, 13 Mar 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
Wanted to like this book as I love Stephen King but the characters did not have the depth of Stephen King's and do not immediately pull you in to the story. I felt the book could have been written in half the pages as it went over the same ground numerous times. It hasn't made me want to read more of his books, rather put me off.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A review by RoroBlu's Dad. Would say Nul Etoiles, if permissible., 12 Mar 2011
By 
Roroblu's Mum "ROROBLU'S MUM" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
I was rather pleased when my wife brought this book back from the local library. It had been a while since I last read `The Talisman' and had very fond memories of a wonderful book that had engrossed me so totally in the story and the characters.

Things seem to have changed however. I found this book to be such a complete and utter disappointment. The plot seemed to bumble along with no real idea where it was heading; there was little sense of mystery. The characters had no depth, no sense of real identity and engendered no interest whatsoever. I was so bored by the whole thing that I just stopped reading; this is such a rare occurrence in itself that it prompted me to write this review.

I just wish that I could find something positive to say about it, errrmmm, the cover illustration was okay. There you go.

I am so very pleased that I hadn't gone and bought the thing. That would have really irritated me.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A dark matter - disappointed, 9 Mar 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
I was, I must say, extremely disappointed by this book. In fact I found it very hard work getting through it, a gruelling task indeed. Having read the Talisman, written by Straub in conjunction with Mr. King, I was expecting a lot more. I did not enjoy his style at all and at no point during my reading did I manage to relax and actually enjoy the book. I found it repetitive to the point of boredom. The topic is interesting enough, but Mr. Straub writes in a strangely un-gripping way considering the subject he is covering. His lengthy descriptions are just TOO lengthy and jerked a yawn or two from me. I have very seldom had such difficult reading a book with enjoyment. It was more like a homework assignment than a pleasurable experience. As such, I do not recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ventrisha, 28 Feb 2011
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This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
I found this book very confusing. I've read lots of Straub and always have this feeling. I don't know if its the editing (or not) but it does kind of meander its way to the end, with various points of view in between. My main problem was that I guessed who it was really about and totally disliked this character from the off.
Plus I didn't much like the narrator either. In fact, I didn't feel I could even vaguely identify with any of the cardboard people so when the apparent Big Revelation arrived I really didn't much care if the character survived or not.

But, he does make me think in the way that Neil Gaiman did with the Graveyard Book, albeit thumping me over the head with it, rather than running a tasty little rabbit on a string, or a chicken tied to a tree.

Very american..
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.., 20 Feb 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
This is the first solo Peter Straub book I have read (Yes, the other was The Talisman with Stephen King, thank you for asking) and I am still uncertain as to whether I enjoyed it. However I am glad that I have read it.

As with other Peter Straub books I have tried to read, I read the first few chapters, and whilst not disliking it, I stopped reading then without feeling any urge to find out what happened in the rest of the book. This time however, I went back to it a week later and finished it, and I am glad that I did.

The premise of the book is a fairly common one. A group of high school kids are enthralled by someone who takes them to perform a rite, promising that it will change reality. Though he admits, it might change only for a couple of minutes. The story is told not at that time, or from the viewpoint of any of those who took part, but from the later investigations of the husband of one of them, the only one who chose not to become involved.

I think I would call this Dark Fantasy, rather than Horror. If you are looking for slasher shocks and violence, you won't find them in this book, more a philosophical exploration of what each saw, and how the 'enlightenment' changed their lives.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fence Sitting, 7 Feb 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Paperback)
Peter Straub is one of my favourite authors, so I expected to enjoy this latest offering immensely. Having devoured it whole over two days, I still am not sure whether I actually enjoyed it or not. This novel is a strange hybrid of a 'buddy' novel (think Stand by Me and, yes, I do know it's a novella and part of 'Different Seasons' but tomayto, tomato, just bear with me!)a rite de passage journey and a whodunnit / what was it?
The relationships between the characters were well crafted from their adolescence, through their estrangement and as they work through to an understanding of what actually happened in the long ago. The story benefited from having a character, the writer Lee Harwell, at a remove from the actual events. Through him, Straub gave us a unencumbered view of the 'facts' but also an agent to draw together the survivors and help them face what they had seen.
I wanted to know more about the flawed 'guru' Spencer Mallon, but I felt that most of the glimpses of his character that we were given were composed of 70% b.s. and 30% philosophical b.s.! 'The Eel', I'm afraid to say, I just didn't 'get'. Yes, she is a brave, fearless, strong women, but I just plain old didn't like her much.
I suppose the question is, would I recommend this book? I think so. But first, I would hand you my extremely well thumbed 1st edition of Straub's 'The Throat' that I have read once a year since the year it was published and tell you, 'Now THAT'S a Peter Straub novel'. As for 'A Dark Matter'. It was dark. But did it matter? For me, the jury is out on that one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Solution for insomnia !, 6 Feb 2011
This review is from: A Dark Matter (Hardcover)
I have to be quite honest here ,as I am not one to mince "my" words as seems to be the case with this Peter Straub novel "A Dark Matter". I really thought it was going to be well worth reading but after pages & pages of waffle & and the wrong use of Him in stead of Her etc & The Eel, Lee, Eel,etc etc. Also the variations of every one else`s name ,I was left feeling the story teller just did not quite know what or how he was trying to tell this story within a story, which was what I was led to believe he intended doing. I do find American writers have a different way of wording certain things but it has never been an issue in any other book so I was a bit surprised just how much I noticed the difference this time, and I`m sorry to say "not in a good way". I have not tried to explain the gist of this book for a reason, I must add, as I feel it has all been said so spot on by two other reviews here on Amazon( I`m sure you will find them !) who feel practically the same as I do. All I can finish with is to say if you like books that are very deep & thought provoking it may suit you. I felt I wasted time I could have spent on a more convincing & enjoyable book.
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A Dark Matter
A Dark Matter by Peter Straub (Paperback - 3 Feb 2011)
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