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2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (1,511 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Straub Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 that 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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Steven Belanger | 2/18/2014

    " Interesting read from the POV of a writer. Might have liked it less if I'd read it when I first encountered Straub in the 80s, solely as a reader. What I mean is, the ending isn't really in doubt, per se, in the sense that you're not worried about any of the characters. You know they'll be okay. It's a little like The Decameron, in a way, maybe like Canterbury Tales as well: basically a small bunch of specifically designed people (they're not stock characters; that's important) who all tell their angle or POV of the same instance. Speaking of which, An Instance of the Fingerpost springs to mind, as well. Anyway, you never see one of the major characters--except maybe briefly in an airport, and in a hotel lobby and elevator--and the whole thing may just be an excuse for Straub to go phantasmagoric on us (which he does well), but as a stream-of-consciousness step into evil, and a bit into the unknown, it holds up well. The existential scene with the boy and the cards and colors representing the realities he thinks he's experiencing was a nice touch. He still goes on a little too long about the mundane--where they're eating; what they're eating--which is a constant slight, and sometimes not-so-slight, critique of Straub as a writer for me, but he gets away with it. (One gets the feeling at this time that Straub himself cares a great deal about where he's eating and what he's eating, and that he likes the good stuff.) In short, if you like various views of the same scenes in a book, and how they're all different, yet the same, you'll like this book, and if you don't, you won't. And I don't know what the page number thing is all about, but the cover and ISBN match, which is why I chose this, but my copy ran to 586 pages, not the barely over 500 listed for this mass-market book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Isadora Wagner | 1/23/2014

    " Continuation of Straub studies. Based in Madison during the 60s fire riot, as well as modern-day Chicago and 1960s Milwaukee. Showcases Straub's ongoing fascination with birds (this time a song lark), the genesis of evil, fantasy (round orbs of the zodiac in a field: you have to read it to see it), frozen memory/moments (trauma?), and constellations of childhood friends who are brought together to re-combat evils of the past. A bit of a let-down after Floating Dragon, which I read afterward; however, Straub seems to grapple more explicitly with questions of the origins of evil and fight for goodness here than in other works. The perspective is also more hopeful. Usually his perspective seems to be, as with Cormac McCarthy, that the battle with evil is worth the fight although man will lose (Blood Meridian), but here (spoiler alert!) his quartet of heroes wins at least a partial victory. Themes of the writerly supernatural sleuth/narrator and uber-intelligent woman continue. His Eel, this time however, is on the side of good. Not as interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sierra crosby | 1/19/2014

    " I'm not sure what to say about this book. It wasn't a bad book, it was well enough written, though the typo's were bothersome. It was a strange book. It wasn't horror, i'm not sure what I would classify it as. It was just strange. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michelle | 1/16/2014

    " This is fast-paced book that was hard to put down. Near the end I did skip some pages because there were ... activities that I'd rather not read about. On the whole a good book although is seemed to be primarily back story. "

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