Tuesday, August 30, 2016


In THE GOTHIC WORLDS OF PETER STRAUB University of Kansas professor John C. Tibbetts presents the first serious study linking Peter Straub to the evolving contexts of the Gothic Tale, including the fairy-tale tradition of the Brothers Grimm, the ghostly shivers of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James, the Weird monstrosities of H.P. Lovecraft, and today’s postmodernist trends in transgressive body horror. In addition to close looks at the celebrated novels, like Ghost Story and The Talisman (co-written with Stephen King), and the challenging short stories in Houses without Doors and Interior Darkness, Tibbetts examines for the first time Straub’s archives, working papers and correspondence. Several “close-up” interviews reveal the private and idiosyncratic sides of Straub, at work and at home. In short, continues Gary K. Wolfe in his Preface, “The Gothic Worlds of Peter Straub provides an invaluable road map to the complex, multileveled novels and stories that will eventually come to define Straub's legacy.”

Peter Straub with the bust of H.P. Lovecraft (photo by John C. Tibbetts)
In his Foreword to the book, cultural and literary historian Gary K. Wolfe writes that “perhaps more than any author of his generation—Stephen King included—Peter Straub has extended the literary possibilities of horror fiction.” Winner of every award and accolade in the field of horror, including the World Fantasy, World Horror, Bram Stoker, and International Horror Guild Lifetime Achievement awards, Straub’s standing in contemporary Gothic horror is indisputable.

John Tibbetts (left) and Peter Straub, Providence, Rhode Island

“[He is] the premier stylist of the modern supernatural novel,” writes historian Douglas Winter, “a writer of rare wit and intelligence.”

In an interview with Straub’s occasional collaborator, Stephen King, conducted especially for this book, King observes that Straub brings "a poet’s sensibility to the field of dark fantasy and creates a synthesis of horror and beauty.”

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