- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Orion; UK First Edition; 1st printing. edition (4 Mar. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752891820
- ISBN-13: 978-0752891828
- Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.5 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,350,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Dark Matter Hardcover – 4 Mar 2010
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A glorious character study and an achingly well-written chronicle of lives marked by a brush with the unknowable. One of horror's most accomplished and intelligent voices, consistently lyrical and poetic. (Jes Bickham SFX)
Straub writes understated, literary horror, all the more terrifying in this novel for what he keeps from the reader and for his brilliant psychological portraits of innocents caught up in events beyond their control and understanding. Gripping. (Eric Brown THE GUARDIAN)
This is a story about stories, their importance in our lives and the competing forces of love and evil driving every narrative. And the matter here has more to do with awe and terror, in a religious sense, than the cheap thrills of genre horror. Straub wears his literary influences openly and has nothing to fear by comparison with such greats as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Arthur Machen. (THE TIMES)
Forty years ago, Spenser Mallon led a group of young students to witness a brutal, ritual murder. The survivors never recovered. Now it seems he's back...See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Our protagonist is a reasonably popular novelist, treading water when we join him in search of his muse. He doesn't flounder for long: when Lee comes into possession of a late police detective's tell-all memoir, inspiration hits him like a ten tonne truck. To his surprise, the manuscript ties into the very events that his wife, the wonderful Eel, has hidden from him for decades. The desperate lawman's last-ditch attempt to expose a serial murderer represents something else to Lee, however: it is a way in, at long last, to the hidden history of an eventful few weeks in the 1960s.
All those years ago, Lee alone saw through Spencer Mallon, a wandering guru with so-called psychic abilities; the rest of his friends bought into the handsome stranger's supposedly spiritual powers wholesale.Read more ›
I took this book on holiday expecting to finish it within a few days, it took two weeks and managed to finish it when the plane touched down. I didn't root for any of the characters and I found that there was no atmosphere to the story.
I give this novel one star, as it's a good pick for a holiday read, there's no way you'd finish it before you get back.
A Dark Matter is a prime example. It is based on an earlier short story `The Skylark' - so wikipedia advises - and you can tell. Somehow 416 pages have passed me by without anything of note happening. Curiously, the ending is explained near the beginning, and bar a different retelling from a multitudes of characters, there's very little in the way of tension or revelation.Straub is an excellent writer, of that there is no doubt, but his plotting and narrative discipline is prone to distraction, and I do wonder where his editor was in all of this.
New novels from this author don't come around often, so if you are a Straub fan, by all means enjoy. If you are new to Straub I would suggest picking up the Blue Rose Trilogy ( Koko, Mystery and The Throat) if you like crime and The Talisman and Black House if you like horror (and Stephen King, who co-wrote).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not sure what's happened Peter Straub. Love his earlier books and collaborations with Stephen King, but I've found his recent works difficult. Read morePublished 22 months ago by LG
My friend told me that this book would scare me. It didn't and the language is very populist. I read another. The same. I guess I am just not a Peter Straub fan.Published on 31 May 2014 by Emmabemma
The whole idea is just silly. A group of students lead by some crazy pseudo guru opens a portal to another reality on a meadow (?? Read morePublished on 9 Jan. 2014 by jan siekiera
I found this one of the most boring books I have ever tried to read. The characters are one and all uninteresting and before long I couldn't care less what happened to any of them. Read morePublished on 30 May 2013 by Penny Waugh
I got hold of this book after reading a review that placed it amongst the best horrors of 2012. In fact there were a number of official reviews, using words such as... Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2013 by Mr. S. Fell
I kept waiting for something interesting to happen.
Sadly, I waited in vain.
A hugely disappointing effort from one of my favourite authors...
I am a great fan of Peter Straub and have been for years. I started this book and found myself lost in a maze right from the word go. Read morePublished on 11 Sept. 2011 by Chrissy
I am a fan of Peter Straub's writing but to be honest I am struggling a bit with this one. It is heavy going with highbrow references that slow down an already leisurely paced and... Read morePublished on 7 July 2011 by Mister Mann