Mr. X by Peter Straub

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Synopsis

For more than two decades Peter Straub has engrossed, entertained, and terrified us with his dazzling blend of cool artistry and mad, spine-tingling imagination. With Mr. X, the bestselling author of Ghost Story, The Talisman (with Stephen King), and The Hellfire Club takes us into the darkest dimensions of the human psyche and proves once again that he is without peer in the realm of psychological suspense and horror, a master storyteller whose unique and powerful gifts qualify him to be called the Edgar Allan Poe of our times.

Mr. X is Straub's original and startling take on the theme of the doppelgänger. Ned Dunstan's birthday is fast approaching, and every year on this date, Ned experiences a paralyzing seizure in which he is forced to witness scenes of ruthless slaughter perpetrated by a mysterious and malevolent figure in black whom Ned calls Mr. X.
        
Ned has been drawn back to his hometown, Edgerton, Illinois, by a premonition that his mother, Star, is dying. Before she loosens her hold on life, she imparts to Ned the name of his father, never before disclosed, and warns him that he is in grave danger. Despite her foreboding, Ned's determination to learn as much as possible about his absent father ignites a series of extraordinary adventures that gradually reveal the heart of both his own identity and that of his entirely fantastic family: He discovers that he is shadowed by an identical twin brother who can pass through doors and otherwise defy the laws of nature; he becomes the lead suspect in three violent deaths; he investigates the secret shadow-world within Edgerton; he learns to "eat time" and remembers the one occasion when he and his sinister brother united into a single being. Finally, at the moment of battle, he must call upon everything he has learned to save his own life.
        
Brimming with the author's trademark wit, understated eloquence, vibrant characters, and brilliant sense of pace, Mr. X displays Peter Straub at the top of his form.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Peter Straub

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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 July 9, 2010 by Ballantine Books. 545 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Intermittent chapters presented from the viewpoint of the self-styled “Mr. X” offer teasing glimpses of the truths Ned labors to uncover, as the story moves right along, lifting plot elements here and there from Stephen King and Shirley Jackson as well as Lovecraft—and, incidentally, featuring se...

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Publishers Weekly

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Since the publication of Koko in 1988, Straub has specialized in macabre mysteries dense with the details of small-town life and cast with ordinary people who find that the extraordinary crimes they i

Jun 28 1999 | Read Full Review of Mr. X

Publishers Weekly

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Straub's supernatural thriller chronicles Ned Dunstan's visit to his hometown of Edgerton, Ill.

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Mr. X

Publishers Weekly

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Discerning readers will recognize this surprise-filled tale of tortuous family relationships as a modern variation on Lovecraft's classic shocker ""The Dunwich Horror."" But Straub turns his pulp model inside out, transforming its vast cosmic mystery into an ingrown odyssey of self-discovery and ...

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Book Reporter

Star --- such a sympathetic character that I wished she could have stayed around longer --- was so determined to protect Ned that she gave him up to be raised by a foster family rather than allow his aunts to get close to him.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Mr. X

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