A Dark Matter by Peter Straub

59%

12 Critic Reviews

Straub’s last few fantasies (In the Night Room, 2004, etc.) have been ever more baroque, but this tall, dark tale beats them all for heaven-storming scale and wheels within wheels.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The incomparable master of horror and suspense returns with a powerful, brilliantly terrifying novel that redefines the genre in original and unexpected ways.

The charismatic and cunning Spenser Mallon is a campus guru in the 1960s, attracting the devotion and demanding sexual favors of his young acolytes. After he invites his most fervent followers to attend a secret ritual in a local meadow, the only thing that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body—and the shattered souls of all who were present.

Years later, one man attempts to understand what happened to his wife and to his friends by writing a book about this horrible night, and it’s through this process that they begin to examine the unspeakable events that have bound them in ways they cannot fathom, but that have haunted every one of them through their lives. As each of the old friends tries to come to grips with the darkness of the past, they find themselves face-to-face with the evil triggered so many years earlier. Unfolding through the individual stories of the fated group’s members, A Dark Matter is an electric, chilling, and unpredictable novel that will satisfy Peter Straub's many ardent fans, and win him legions more.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Peter Straub

See more books from this Author
Peter Straub is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. His two collaborations with Stephen King, The Talisman and Black House, were international bestsellers. Two of Peter’s most recent novels, Lost Boy Lost Girl and In the Night Room, were winners of the Bram Stoker award. In 2006, he was given the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Peter and his wife live in New York City.
 
Published February 5, 2010 by Anchor. 428 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for A Dark Matter
All: 12 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Above average
on Dec 15 2009

Straub’s last few fantasies (In the Night Room, 2004, etc.) have been ever more baroque, but this tall, dark tale beats them all for heaven-storming scale and wheels within wheels.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter | See more reviews from Kirkus

Examiner

Below average
on Feb 27 2010

The story never really gets moving. It just gets retold by each of the central characters with an extra detail here and there...It just isn't good... or scary... or spine-tingling...

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

Book Reporter

Above average
on Dec 29 2010

Straub’s work is always bold and imaginative, and seems to cross the boundary between horror and classic literature...A DARK MATTER will challenge those who read it, but it is definitely worth the trip.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

Globe and Mail

Above average
on Feb 18 2010

It's not just an impressive accomplishment: A Dark Matter is a powerful, original and utterly engrossing novel about the palpability of evil and its costs.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

AV Club

Below average
on Feb 11 2010

A Dark Matter has its share of surreal horror and unsettling setpieces, but all those semi-generic people tend to blur into a bland crowd of victims whose plights are too indistinct to inspire lasting interest.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter | See more reviews from AV Club

LA Times

Above average
on Apr 10 2010

This is a terrifying vision of the universe...If Straub sometimes pushes the symbols that drive his novels too hard, those novels also serve as often-profound primers on the central contradictions of the human condition.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter | See more reviews from LA Times

The Washington Post

Below average
on Feb 08 2010

...universe of ghouls, demon dogs, severed limbs and suction chambers into the void makes little or no sense. By the end of "A Dark Matter," it hardly matters anymore whether the wan mystery of What Happened in the Meadow That Night has been solved.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

Tor

Above average
on Mar 12 2010

That being said, Peter Straub is one of his generation’s best story tellers, and there is no way I would have missed A Dark Matter. When the novel is at its best it is excellent; when it is repetitious or unbelievable, it is still pretty darned good.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Above average
on Feb 10 2010

Perhaps fittingly, given the roving, restless nature of A Dark Matter -- its story emerges out of the attempts of its characters to achieve a measure of peace by comparing differing versions of that single, terrifying experience...

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

The Roanoke Times

Above average
on Aug 29 2010

Whether or not a reader finds the supernatural manifestations frightening will be a matter of taste...Hartwell’s investigation...initiates a healing process for the event’s survivors, and that’s really what this book is all about.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

Book Geeks

Above average
on Jun 13 2011

...the novel can be enjoyed for vivid descriptive language and wonderful turns-of-phrase – the one scene featuring a description of the writer’s face and body while haunted by suspicion and jealousy in a hotel is particularly evocative.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

California Literary Review

Below average
on Feb 15 2010

This is a stylish novel but ultimately style subsumes substance...The pay off to the novel’s long narrative wind-up is not sufficiently satisfying and the result is a story that’s mundane, somewhat derivative and ultimately disappointing.

Read Full Review of A Dark Matter

Reader Rating for A Dark Matter
43%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 211 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×