|Publisher||:||Luitingh Sijthoff Auflage 01 1 M rz 2000|
|Number of Pages||:||495 Seiten|
|File Size||:||681 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Mr. X Reviews
For those unfortunates who've never read a Lovecraft story before -- or their pastiches by wanna-be writers -- this is a good introduction to the mythological tripe that Lovecraft and his followers expound. Straub pokes fun at the inordinate seriousness many horror editors and writers seem to embrace when reading and writing Lovecraftian tales. Pete would have gotten a five-star recommendation, if not for the fact that his main character is a dweeb, a do-nothing know-nothing weakling. Though I'll have to admit that Mr. Straub does attempt to write a healthy romance and does include capable women in the formula, along with interesting shadowy histories of the supernatural Dunstan family. However, it would have done Pete better if he didn't use such a formulaic response in the unlikely and inept hero that we're seeing too much of in recent novels and movies. Yuck! The original, tongue-in-cheek allusions to Lovecraft claptrap is also a delight. Which gave an originally rated three-star novel its four-star rating. However, if you want to read a much, much finer handling of the Lovecraft mythos, along with terrific satire, read "Resume With Monsters," by William Browning Spencer. And though Spencer's character is likewise a dweeb in that story, the author uses it to maximum effectiveness by playing up the dweeb factor with many hilarious observations. Which makes it read like a hallucinatory P.K. Dick tale, only loaded with belly laughs galore. Mr. Straub has some hints of that too, only it appears as if the author is barely aware of these golden nuggets of humorous opportunities that he has written into the story, and thus is not fully able to exploit them so as to turn the story into a hipper, funnier read.
This is not an easy book to read. It took me three tries and some months to get past the first 50 pages. But once I did, I was hooked.Straub has taken a mass of threads, all seemingly unrelated, thrown them in a pile in the beginning, and then spent the next 400-odd pages sorting them out and then weaving them into a complex tale of murder, mythology, horror, literary reference, and more. I won't bother to do a synopsis, read the publisher's review above for that.Yes, I agree that there are a lot of names to keep track of. Yes, it can be very confusing. This is not a potboiler, a beach book, a book to skim through while you watch tv or listen to the radio. This book requires concentration and thought. But it rewards such reading with a fabulous tale of the macabe and mysterious.There are things left unresolved. I was somewhat dismayed at parts of the ending, as there were issues that were dealt with differently than I would ahve expected. But I loved the various references to Lovecraft, and other mythological beings. All in all I was pleased that I bought this book, and will consider re-reading it down the road (when I'm sure I'll discover even more I missed the first time.)
That Booklist fellow, I regret to say, biffed the old nail squarely on its head. The adjectives "lumbering" and "ramshackle" describe everything this misguided author, whom by the way I have known since early childhood, has produced over the past two decades. Long, long ago, he knew how to tell a story - simply, I mean, and in a manner progressing from A to Z unimpeded by digressions, whimsical interludes, and authorial pretensions - but he either has forgotten or chosen deliberately to ignore the most elementary rules of his craft. Here we have a tale of a Doppelganger told in the first person, and what does our hapless author decide to introduce? A second narrator, that's what, and even worse, this intrusive voice is that of the Doppelganger's father! One shakes one's head at such witless bravado. I agree, the novel does contain a small number of agreeable jokes, but these witticisms serve in no way to redress the pervasive air of ramshackle lumbering, in fact they lend it a certain wistful poignancy. Putney Tyson Ridge, Ph. D.
Wow! This certainly was an interesting read. Mr. Straub again had me turning pages and missing sleep. As usual, I had to turn pages backwards to pick up things that I had glossed over, not realizing their importance later on.I love a densely-packed multi-layered plot, such as in this book. The literary jokes were nice too, even though I have never read any Lovecraft.Sometimes though I had trouble figuring out what was going on, and who was related to whom (thus only four and a half stars).Sometimes it got a little too deep. I will have to reread it soon.This latest book reminded me of Straub's earlier books, such as his break-out _Ghost Story_ and also _Shadowland_. These books got me hooked on Peter Straub. I am glad to see he is returning to his strong suit.I will recommend this book to anyone who likes stay up late turning pages.
Both Stephen King and Peter Straub have ventured into the realm of "literary horror;" King in Bag of Bones, and now his fictional counterpart, Straub, with Mr. X.This book is reminiscent of Straub in many ways-- vague, shadowy plot, complex scenarios, too many characters. This yarn was working well for me up until about 200 pages. Thereafter, the book bogged itself down in Ernest Hemingway-esque absurdity.The antagonist of the tale, ie. Mr. X, Edward Rinehart, Mr. Sawyer, seemingly take a back seat to the preceedings in lieu of Straub's investigation into high class life and unsolved murders.This book is not his best by any means. Too many ancillery characters that function as weeds in Straub's horror garden--sucking the suspense of the story.Straub's best is Shadowland. Ghost Story had its moments, too.