Today I am writing to talk to you about Ghost Story, a novel by Peter Straub. The book was published in 1979 by Coward, McCann and Geoghegan and was turned into a film in 1981. Today we will be talking about the novel, not the film.
I’ve been struggling to write this blog for a while as I find it tricky to express what it is I liked about this story. I also think its one of those ones that is best experienced first hand rather than second hand after having everything spoiled by me in a review. So, with that in mind, this will be brief.
As I said above this is a difficult story to summarise as I really don’t want to spoil it, so I will be brief.
The story is told by five men, all of whom are lifelong friends, Frederick “Ricky” Hawthorne, Sears James, Lawrence Benedikt, John Jaffrey, and Edward Wanderley, who has been dead for one year. They have dubbed their little group the Chowder Society and meet every so often to tell ghost stories.
However, since Edward’s death they have all been suffering from nightmares and fear that their own sordid past is coming to get them. They write to Edwards nephew, Donald, for aid. Donald arrives and tells his own story of a broken relationship and a suspected murder which he cannot prove.
The chowder society reveal their past, a story of Eva Galli, a beautiful woman, who met an untimely fate. Don suspects that she was a shapeshifter and has returned for revenge.
Today I want to talk with you about something that drives me crazy.
A cliché is an idea, form of expression, or element that has become overused to where it has lost nearly all meaning. It has become irritating, or amusing, especially when, at its original conception, it was novel or meaningful. Certain clichés can still work when done well or twisted in an original (ish) way, but many are so overdone that getting them to work originally is very difficult, if not impossible.
Every genre has clichés, every medium has them, and every form of art and expression has them. The horror genre is no exception and as an avid consumer of horror, in its many mediums, I have become accustomed to certain clichés out there.
Over the Christmas period, I had a whole eight days away from my day job and a large portion of that time was spent watching movies, reading a collection of short stories (people always know what I want for Christmas) and playing part of the way through a certain creepy game franchise. This means that I was exposed me to a multitude of clichés and today I want to talk about six that I find particularly irritating.