For most of my adult life, my main association with Peter Straub has been "that guy who co-authored with Stephen King sometimes." This would of course be my association for all the years I would walk through the K section of the library's fiction shelves and consider which of King's books to grab.
Well, having finally read one of straub's books, I can honestly see why they decided to work together. This felt a lot like a King book, and I mean that in the best way possible. The vignettes, the way the characters were crafted and the way their flaws were both their strengths and their weaknesses really put me in mind of some of my favorites by King.
Ghost Story concerns a group of old men who gather regularly and tell stories. But lately, things are weird. It started a year before our story, when they suffered a lost. But as new things start happening, it becomes more and more clear that what they once thought was a sobering and sad natural occurrence may in fact have been the first salvo in something far more sinister and horrible. Something is stalking not just them, but their whole town and, over time, perhaps the whole world.
This is one of those stories where you can't get too attached to these people - wonderful and real though they often are. Life is going to end for a lot of people. It's a horror story. That's how they go. And I kind of love it for that.
This is a classic sort of story in tone and feel. And calling it Ghost Story in an interesting decision, I think. It sets up a certain set of expectations built around campfires and camp-outs and sleepovers. But then it plays some with that expectation. And I think it's a bit stronger for it.
All in all, if you like horror stories, I think this is a more than worthy addition to any collection. I didn't find it scary myself, but I found it enthralling and tense, and at this point in my reading career that's all I can really ask of a horror story.