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Paperback Mr. X Book

ISBN: 0965887839

ISBN13: 9780965887830

Mr. X

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

$6.59

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan is cursed with visions of horror committed by a savage figure he calls "Mr. X." This year, Ned's visions will become flesh and blood. A dreadful premonition...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A book that makes you think

I've always liked Lovecraft stories, but Poe's poetry has always seemed slightly boring to me. Somehow Straub has melded the two and I think Mr. X is a masterpiece. After reading all of the Tim Underhill and Tom Passmore related books, I decided it was time to read Mr. X and I was not disappointed. I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I finished it. Ned Dunstan has an odd assortment of relatives that range from a homicidal maniac to deformed cripples with birth defects to kleptomaniacs with enhanced mental powers. It's hard to figure out if the narrator is Ned or his "brother". He may possibly have a split personality. I plan on reading it again to see if I missed a few clues.

Poe Meets H. P. Lovecraft, By Way Of The Addams Family

The Peter Straub acid test - you'll either love it, or hate it.Ned Dunstan comes from a very peculiar family. Some of them see things that haven't yet happened. Others can teleport. Or, apparently, be in more than one place at a time. Their offspring are - well, sometimes not quite right. Occasionally they have to be buried out in the Back Forty. Ned has been haunted by an "Other" since his childhood, some shadowy figure who seeks him and those around him out to do grievous harm. And he seems to have a twin, who his mother never told him about...or does he?Along with Ghost Story, this is Straub's best-written and most carefully plotted book. Also like Ghost Story, it requires tremendous patience to read. Straub writes like a Chinese puzzle box, and in highly convoluted form, presenting bits and pieces of his story in altered time frames and from different perspectives. His plot is half Poe's "William Wilson," half Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror." It is more sci-fi or fantasy than true horror, and in fact the award it won was the World Fantasy Award, which is most appropriate. It's tricky and clever, but really satisfies in the end if you simply pay attention.Won't be everyone's cup of tea, but this description should help you decide whether or not it will be yours.

The other customer reviews on this page astonish me

I am a Straub fan. A big fan. But I don't give him props for everything he does. The work has to earn it. This book earns it. It features the hallmarks of other Straub works, particularly the theme of "this is how the past shapes and haunts the present." The writing itself, of course, is beyond reproach. The plotting is intricate, as it explicitly invokes Lovecraft and implicitly pays him homage. The denouement brings it all together in a way that is not only satisfying, but also in a way that simply makes sense. Does the final sentence leave you questioning all that has come before, as one of the jacket blurbs claims? Of course not. Does it leave you anxiously awaiting the release of Straub's next work of art? Absolutely.

Cthulhu lives!

Whoa, what have we here? Another expedition with Peter Straub through the tiny sidestreets and byways of a vivid, imaginary town, in pursuit of something evil and strange. In these days when every two-bit serial killer thinks he, she, or it is the Antichrist, it's downright refreshing to find one who is the emissary of Lovecraft's Elder Gods. Mr. X has a problem, though: long ago he sired a son, whose destiny is to destroy him unless he can be killed in time. Little Ned Dunstan, meeting his relatives as an adult, realizes that psychic powers and kleptomania run in his family. On each birthday he is tormented by visions of the awful Mr. X, killing as he searches for his son. Is the shadowy Other who stalks Ned his father, or something else entirely? In real life answers seldom come neatly wrapped, and Straub can be quite realistic (for a guy who names characters things like 'Piney Woods' and 'Minor Keyes'). It's not all a stroll in the park for poor Mr. X either. He has his doubts, his dark nights of the soul: what if there IS no Cthulhu? Maybe Lovecraft was just a writer. Ned must try to understand the weird powers that are his family heritage if he is to survive having them turned aganst him. Like Edgerton, the book is dark, complicated, twisty and winding, and filled with surprising secrets. It's a good book; more so if you've read enough Lovecraft to compare the Dunstans with the Whateleys. Straub's often compared to Stephen King because of their collaboration, but I find him darker and less hopeful than King.

Straub writes a Lovecraft novel for the nineties.

If you enjoy H.P. Lovecraft's stories, you'll love this contemporary tale of dark family secrets, ancient evil, and spooky old towns. This is not a short book and doesn't have gore on every page but it really grips you. Straub creates just the right mood for this book. The ending has a wonderful sense of inevitability. Be prepared to stay up to 2:00 a.m. to finish it.
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