A Dark Matter

Peter Straub, Author . Doubleday $26.95 (397p) ISBN 978-0-385-51638-9

In this tour de force from bestseller Straub (In the Night Room ), four high school friends in 1966 Madison, Wis.—Hootie Bly, Dilly Olson, Jason Boatman, and Lee Truax—fall under the spell of charismatic “wandering guru” Spencer Mallon. During an occult ceremony in which Mallon attempts to break through to a higher reality, something goes horribly awry leaving one participant dead. Decades later, Lee's writer husband interviews the quartet to find out what happened. In Roshomon-like fashion, each relates a slightly different account of the trauma they experienced. Straub masterfully shows how the disappointments, downturns, and failed promise of the four friends' lives may have stemmed from this youthful experience, and suggests, by extension, that the malignant evil they helped unleash into the world has tainted all hope ever since. Brilliant in its orchestration and provocative in its speculations, this novel ranks as one of the finest tales of modern horror. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/21/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
Mass Market Paperbound - 608 pages
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-7528-9182-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4159-4411-0
Ebook - 279 pages - 978-0-385-53013-2
Paperback - 574 pages - 978-0-375-72838-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-2241-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-4409-7
Paperback - 439 pages - 978-0-7538-2882-3
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