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Louis Fed. Help us Corrections Found an error or omission? S4, Ep5.
As Halloween approaches, George feels guilty about his failure to buy life insurance. He becomes obsessed with death, resulting in nightmares that hearken back to his childhood television fixations. S4, Ep6. In order to make a few friends, Max spends time with a gang of skateboarders but then gets in trouble with the law.
Meanwhile, admiring the various colored bracelets that Carmen wears, Angie copies the look without realizing what the colors mean. S4, Ep7. When George gets a job opportunity in a small Colorado town, he and Angie consider moving there to provide a better life for the kids. S4, Ep8.
Carmen and Max befriend some local kids and manage to get into more trouble while visiting a small Colorado town than when they're living in L. George and Angie realize that Los Angeles is the place for them. S4, Ep9.
- Southern Soul-Blues (Music in American Life).
- Hamptons 21.
- Books by Zanne Kennedy.
S4, Ep When Max complains about the braces on his teeth, George takes him to the dentist, Dr. Holland who is a provider on the company medical insurance plan. In a plea to get Max additional help in school, George confesses to his long-lost sister, Superintendent of Schools Linda Lorenzo, that she was given up for adoption at birth, and worse, Benny is her real mother. When a major earthquake shakes Los Angeles, George's repressed childhood fears resurface. Despite a positive assessment of the house from a contractor, George refuses to go back in, and he and Carmen set up a tent in the backyard.
At its center are four old men — Lewis Benedikt, Sears James, Frederick Hawthorne and John Jaffrey — who have a haunted past; in order to cope with this past, they get together and tell ghost stories to each other. Scaring each other becomes cathartic. I could go on with the plot, I suppose, but one of the pleasures or frustrations, depending on your nature of this book is how you gain understanding gradually, as the story unfolds.
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For instance, the novel opens with a brief prologue in which a man we do not know has apparently kidnapped a child we do not know. Suffice it to say, the thing or things that is haunting our four main characters has returned to the small town of Milburn, New York. What I appreciated about Ghost Story was that it understood the nature of fear. Fear is that moment when you think something is about to happen; it is that part in a horror movie when the main character is about to open the closet door, and you, the viewer, start to duck your head beneath the blanket.
That is the release of tension. The reason I always liked the first Friday the 13th film is because it recognized this distinction. The whole movie was people being watched and stalked by something faceless and nameless and left to our imaginations. In the 7, sequels that followed, the distinction was lost; the killer was known, was given shape and form, and all that was left was to run. The most elegant metaphor I can think of to explain this is lovemaking. Please, bear with me. A good ghost story like Ghost Story is like that Spanish or Italian lover with the sensitive eyes and velvety voice, the one who drank wine from your navel and has nothing but time to devote to all manner of foreplay.
A bad ghost story is like a drunk high-school student pawing at you in the backseat of a Honda Civic, concerned only with the end-release. Because I meant to say crass and vaguely disturbing. Ghost Story takes its time reaching the climax, and this is a good thing. However, there are parts that will give you the creeps; and there will be parts where your eyes will try to cheat by skipping ahead; and there is a chance, if you read this before bed and take a slug of Nyquill, you will have odd nightmares.
What I liked about Ghost Story , other than the fact it was like a Spanish or Italian lover, is that it made a real attempt to stay grounded in reality. Obviously, when you are dealing with ghosts, there is a paranormal or supernatural element involved. The more things tilt towards those elements, the less scared I become, for the simple fact that I can no longer relate to the world being described. To that end, Peter Straub makes an enormous effort to give his characters backgrounds and back-stories and meaningful traits.
He grounds the most fantastical elements by devoting equal time to the human element. One of my favorite aspects of Ghost Story is its sense of place. Straub spends a lot of time making the hamlet of Milburn into a character.
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You get to know its layout, its history, its local hangouts, and you meet dozens and dozens of its denizens. Indeed, you meet so many, you might want to keep a list this will come in handy when attempting to recall who is sleeping with who, and who just died. Ghost Story is horror with a literary bent. Sure, there are some lines of dialogue that land with all the grace of me dropping War and Peace on my toe. For the most part, the level of the writing defies the primitiveness of its subject. At some point, the mysteries start to resolve themselves, the enemy takes shape, and our heroes must find a way to kill it.
Eventually, there is a final battle between good and evil, human and not-human, and it is suitably over-the-top and gory, for those that expect that sort of thing, and when the dust settles all the puzzle pieces come together to form a whole. It satisfies, I suppose, but is not nearly as interesting as the long, detailed, creepy road that led to that point.
View 1 comment. After all, one of them has died, nearly one year to the day, with a facial expression frozen in terror. They are four now.
Yes, possibly. But they are shaken. Nightmares have replaced their dreams. What haunts their sleep feels far too real. It's time to talk about the memory fifty years past. A memory that's more than somber - pushed down, buried deep, so as to remain there forever. I remembered the movie, and heard the book was different.
That's true. I was a little shit, and I got my pants scared off me watching that movie. And that's about all I remember. Don't go out rent the film now. I'm guessing it's dated, and maybe not so scary at all. The book is dated too, sort of.
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By the way, Straub likes the use of multiple characters, and therefore multiple viewpoints. Not saying that's the only way he writes, but it is here. You don't get very close to any one character, before jumping to another. As far as scaring my pants off now? Parts of it yes, but pants still on. Maybe I'm a little callused after reading so many scary books over the years, but I also don't think this one is written in a way to do so.
It has it's moments of terror. Plenty of bodies pile up. The town of Milburn takes a real beating. And you know, I think the older characters thought about sex more often than the high-schoolers.