"If you care about the short story, you should read this book, and watch a master at work.”
“Peter Straub brilliantly defies and blurs literary genres.” —LORRIE MOORE
A MONUMENTAL COLLECTION OF SHORT FICTION FROM ACCLAIMED MASTER OF HORROR AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR PETER STRAUB
An American icon renowned for his bestselling novels, Peter Straub displays his full and stunning range in this crowning collection. He has consistently subverted the boundaries of genre for years, transcending horror and suspense to unlock the dark, unsettling, and troubling dissonances that exist on the edges of our perception. Straub’s fiction cracks the foundation of reality and opens our eyes to an unblinking experience of true horror, told in his inimitable and lush style with skill, wit, and impeccable craft.
With uncanny precision, Straub writes of the city and of the Midwest, of the depraved and of the righteous, of the working class and of the wealthy—nothing and no one is safe from the ever-present darkness that he understands so well. “Blue Rose” follows the cycles of violence and power through the most innocent among us, leading to a conclusion that is audacious and devastating. In the darkly satirical masterpiece “Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff,” a stern estate lawyer known as the Deacon hires a pair of “Private Detectives Extraordinaire” to investigate and seek revenge on his unfaithful wife. “The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine” follows a man and his much younger lover as they explore their decadent and increasingly sinister fantasies aboard a luxurious yacht on the remotest stretch of the Amazon River.
Interior Darkness brings together sixteen stories from twenty-five years of dazzling excellence. It is a thrilling, highly entertaining, and terrifying testament to the prodigious talent of Peter Straub.
This outstanding collection of 16 reprints highlights what makes Straub such a master of genre-bending horror and suspense, and it's an effective introduction for readers new to his considerable body of work. Each story has merit, though a few of the quickies don't punch as hard as the longer works. In the deeply unsettling and uncomfortable "Blue Rose," a young Harry Beevers (who appears as an adult in 1998's Koko) reacts to his troubled home life by doing very bad things to his younger brother, Little Eddie. In "The Juniper Tree," Straub paints a heartrending portrait of sexual abuse and its lasting repercussions as a young boy finds escape in movies, only to discover a monster lurking in the theater's shadows. "The Buffalo Hunter" is an unnerving story about a man with a very active internal life who discovers he has an unusual ability (and amasses an impressive baby bottle collection). "The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine" features a couple with unusual and painful proclivities who take a creepy yacht trip down the Amazon River. Straub has a proven knack for black humor, and he coaxes the nightmarish out of the mundane with startling ease. This is a powerful collection from an enduring favorite in literary chills.
I couldn't wait to put this one down. Seriously, I wanted to put it down. It was awful. The writing went on and on and on, saying nothing, meaning nothing, speaking of no one you could ever be interested in. I am amazed. If this could get published, anything can be published. Lousy book.