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Publisher's Summary

First setting: an all-male prep school in Arizona, where two sensitive freshmen form a bond based on their interest in magic tricks. Second setting: the labyrinthine house of a weird magician uncle in New England, where the two boys spend a memorable summer being trained in the art of illusion. Or is it real magic? Third setting: an alternate world where dark forces are at play - forces that first show up at the school, but intensify their power the summer. Shadowland is a superb, under-recognized, early novel from a master of literary terror.

©2003 Peter Straub (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Shadowland

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Still one of my favorite books!

Any additional comments?

So pleased to find one of my top favorite books finally on Audible. The narrator was very good, and the story is Peter's best!

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great performance, okay story, but too long

I'm a big fan of Phil Gigante's readings, and he comes through strong in a story with many characters who can easily get muddled together. The weakness in this title, though, is a story that goes on about 100 pages more than necessary. I love a story with twists and turns, but this one seems to spiral instead. The novel could be broken into three separate narratives, and if each were told discrete and consistently, would support the others. But the way in which they are intermingled, they disrupt the narrative flow, without adding to any feeling of suspense or surprise.

5 people found this helpful

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Performance Equals the Story

This has been a fav book since I read it in my youth. So vivid, so full of horror and tension...and myth. It is a dark book and full of characters so I wasn't certain how well the narrator would manage it. WOW. He nailed it - from the falsetto of youth to the bored dilettante...so pleased he rendered the tale as I heard it in my head - that, the best compliment.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So very good

I read this during my grand tour of Stephen King. It had been recommended that I read this before I dove into reading The Talisman, so dutifully I waded into this strange little book from an author I had barely heard of. The first third of the book was a slow burn leading to things greater and more wildly disconcerting than I had hitherto experienced. Fans of this novel would be wise to read The Thief of Always by Clive Barker and Christine by Stephen King.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite Peter Straub book

I have enjoyed every book I have read by Peter Straub and I'll continue to read his books as long as he writes them but this is honestly not as good as his others. Ghost Story and Floating Dragon(how I wish there was an unabridged version available) are 2 of my favorite books and I was really looking forward to this one, but I was honestly disappointed with this. It's a great premise and it has some great moments but unlike his other books it never really gels together. I would still recommend it but it wouldn't be the book I would suggest to start with.
That said I do have to say the performance was perfect and I would listen to any other books he reads. He has a great talent for the different voices, especially the antagonist, Coleman Collins. The character is an actor and plays many parts during the story but the reader can depict each of them differently but you can still tell it is the same person. A perfect performance.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Long, slow journey into Shadowland

This was my second reading, after many years, of Shadowland. All I could recall was the introduction of stage magician Tom Flanagan who should be doing more than card tricks for bored audiences. Why isn't he?

The book never truly answers the question. Set in Arizona, 1959, high school classmates Flanagan and Del Nightingale share a common interest in magic tricks and become friends. One summer, spent at the isolated mountain estate of an uncle, a skilled magician of authentic power, they learn and experience more than they like.

The book's beginning is promising, although mostly low-key. There are hints of magic and character relationships. It's a bit long though, especially considering little happens and the school location is abandoned after the first part. The rest of the book is relatively slow with a convoluted plot, over-stuffed with non-essential detail, and turgid writing during the more dramatic moments.

Honestly, I understand now why I forgot this book: most of it is unremarkable and tedious. We're near the end of Shadowland before it becomes more than a slightly supernatural, magical tale of twisted fairy tales and jealous magic users. I could not recommend this book at all. I forced myself to finish it because I kept thinking I must've seen something the first time I read it that sparked an interest to listen to the audio. Frankly, the book's ending is anticlimactic and ambiguous and a letdown.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Horror Magic

I revisited this novel after reading it years ago in high school. It's still as terrifying as I remembered it.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Didn't finish

I kept waiting for this book to get good, and I finally gave up half way through. The narration did not help matters.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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SHadowland

This book terrified me as a teen.It just seemed long and not so scarey now.lol

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Slow Start

This started so slow but I kept listening anyway. It was strange in a good way. It's the kind of book that you know you've missed things. I'll be listening again and perhaps read it, too.

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