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Publisher's Summary

With Magic Terror Peter Straub, best selling author of Ghost Story and The Talisman (with Stephen King), has written one of the most imaginatively unsettling collections in years. The terrain of these extraordinary stories is marked by brutality, heartbreak, despair, wonder, and an unexpected humor that allows empathy to blossom within the most unlikely contexts.

"Bunny is Good Bread" takes you into the mind of a small boy trapped in grotesque circumstances to portray the creation of a serial killer in a manner that compels pity, sorrow, comprehension, and grief - as well as judgment. "Hunger and Introduction," narrated by the ghost of a pompous, self-pitying murderer, evokes a profoundly beautiful vision of earthly life, one appreciated far more by the dead than the living. The Award-winning novella "Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff," a masterpiece of black comedy, draws upon Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" to create a revenge tale in which torture is a moral art and the revenger undergoes a transforming, albeit painful, education.

In the words of Mrs. Asch, the visionary narrator of "Ashputtle," "The Main feature of adventure is that it goes forward into unknown country." Straub's devotees will be entranced by what their fearless guide has in store for them. Those as yet uninitiated are in for a harrowing literary journey. Enjoy the ride.

©2000 Peter Straub (P)2000 Random House, Inc. Random House AudioBooks A Division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"When Peter Straub turns on all his jets, no one in the scream factory can equal him." (Stephen King)"This selection is less about magic or gothic terror than about pinching the reader's psychological nerve..." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Magic Terror

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Stories, Bad Formatting

The stories in this book are terrific -- creepy and disturbing. However, the way they are put together without any break or announcement when one story ends another begins makes it very difficult to listen to. I made several attempts and finally looked up the stories on the internet to figure out how many stories there were and what they were about, and finally was able to separate them.

100 points for the author, -10 for Audible.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Had to re-listen twice

I am not sure if I was just missing something or if I really did not get it. I did not read the other reviews before I purchased this book and I really wish I had. I had to play it twice to make sure, but the stories did not make since to me and it flowed from one to the next without any closure. I was still on Ms. Ash and next thing I knew I was in Paris with someone else waiting for a connection. Like the other reader stated, don't waste a credit.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I call this pretty good

There are some pretty excellent stories here. Maybe they aren't everybody's cup of tea, but they are good. Porkpie Hat I call brilliant.

Don't buy this expecting 12 page O Henry ironic twisters. These aren't those kind of stories. These stories are longer and darker. They don't necessarily end neatly resolved. More than once I got to the end thinking, "what just happened here?" I savored each story for quite a while after finishing.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Magic? Terror?

On the whole I enjoyed this book and find myself coming back to a few of the stories again and again (while others I wish I could permanently delete). I find myself scratching my head over the title, while some of the tales definitely had visions of 'terror', there was little 'magic' and a great majority of stories were completely lacking both! My greatest problem was with Audible's lack of effort in separating the download by story. They resorted to throwing in a series of random breaks that succeeded in turning a 'meandering compilation' into a 'labyrinthine compilation'.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

HUH?

I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I have some intelligence. That being said I found myself wondering what the stories were about. I just didn't get it. Each one seemed to go on forever with no real begining or end. I enjoyed the last story a bit but that was it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Magic Terror

Excellent! Peter Straub really has a knack for bringing his characters to life.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible - I stopped listening in the middle

This book is terrible. All of the stories are very slow. Some of them are sick and make no sense. I stopped listening in the middle.

6 people found this helpful

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I really tried hard to make it through this

I made it through four hours and couldn't take anymore. It was sooo boring. I just don't understand how anyone could think it to be interesting. I know Peter Straub is reputable, so I'm completely perplexed. If you're going to read books by Peter Straub, I recommend avoiding this one.

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    3 out of 5 stars

disturbing

Any additional comments?

Peter Straub has an interest in pedophelia which I do not share. His descriptions of human cruelty and outright psychopathy are gruesome, detailed and offputting. I'm not the sort who goes out of his way to find things to be offended by, but this guy pushes the limits of good taste. His prose is unique, and annoying after a few hours, you'll have to listen to a sample to understand what i mean. It's difficult to describe, street thugs who talk like university professors. Long speeches using long words do describe a trip to the medicine cabinet for aspirin. It's just wierd, I listened to the whole book, hoping it would get better because I liked what he did with Stephen King. but I found myself feeling kind of queasy sometimes, vivid descriptions of rape and torture and child abuse. Not really my bag. I could compare this to what you might get from a movie like Saw. If you've seen that, and you liked it, you'll probably like this.
In a nutshell, it was sick.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

I am about three hours into this book and am giving up on it. The writing is terrible. The stories jump around, making no sense and leaving the listener confused. The writing is almost cryptic...it's as if the author is trying to convey a silent message to the listener, but even he doesn't know what it is. Don't waste a credit on this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • anthonyunionjackson
  • 05-06-09

A crazy book of Top Terror Tales

...if you like short stories in the Horror genre - this will be a very interesting one for you and a very, very different format! It took me a while to work out what was going on! A lot of very sophisticated tales are contained within - and more than a few of them will make you cringe and look over your shoulder!!!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Loretta.
  • 10-08-21

Magic Terror by Peter Straub

think I got lost I may have to come back to this book Thank you Peter Stroub and Beth Macdonald and Ron McLarty

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Tina Warrilow
  • Tina Warrilow
  • 08-10-21

kind of weird

Didnt really get into any of the stories, read Peter Straub before and expected better