Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Publish Date: 1980
Read as a teen, this book was horrifying and had many layers to the story. I was glad to see that when reading it as an adult, the story held up.
The story begins at a fancy prep school. Del and Tom become friends quickly because they are both fascinated with magic. There are all kinds of things going on at the school - the students are having nightmares and other odd things are happening. Once school is over for the year, Tom accepts an invitation from Del to spend the summer holiday at Del's Uncle Collins' estate.
It turns out that Uncle Collins is a retired magician and plans on teaching them a lot over the holiday. Some of it is fun and some of it is terrifying. The problem is deciding which is real and which is not. Uncle Collins is also an alcoholic and half-crazy.
Some of the scenes are still disturbing to me, but nothing that shouldn't be read. There is a crucifixion scene that is very realistic and disturbing, but without it the book wouldn't be the same.
This is a great book as an introduction to what Peter Straub does. He is right up there with Stephen King - just as scary, using everyday objects and people, for the most part. Excellent Spring Break or Summer Break reading!!
Posted by Dawn at 4/06/2011