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Floating Dragon [Mass Market Paperback]

Peter Straub
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 24 2002
A classic tale of supernatural horror from the acclaimed author of Koko, The Talisman and Mr X. Now reissued in a new cover style. 'Floating Dragon racks you with suspense! Straub is a master at having whole communities rocked by the forces of wickedness.' Observer The terrors afflicting the sleepy town of Hampstead, Connecticut, were beyond imagination. Sparrows dropping dead from the trees like rotten fruit, disfiguring diseases spreading like wildfire, inexplicable murders and child drownings shattering the lives of the citizens -- never can such a list of horrors have afflicted one town. But the evil madness had a long history. A catastrophe had struck Hampstead every thirty years since its foundation 300 years before -- yet only Graham Williams, a writer and descendant of one of the original founders, had looked into the 'black summers' and their mysterious origins. When he discovers that descendants of the three other original settlers are back living in the town, he knows it will be the blackest summer yet!
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"A deliciously imaginative story of hauntings and monsters." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Here is a novel guaranteed to double the national nightmare quotient, so watch out." -Cosmopolitan

"Buy it today.  Anything by Straub is worth several thousand John Sauls and a million V.C. Andrewses." -Philadelphia Inquirer

"Straub's effects are quite spectacular...I was fairly awed by some of the more nightmarish scenes in Floating Dragon." -New York Times

--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Peter Straub is one of America’s foremost authors of supernatural and suspense fiction. He is the New York Times bestselling author of a dozen novels, including the horror classic Ghost Story and The Talisman, which he cowrote with Stephen King. His latest novel, Black House—also written with King—is a #1 New York Times bestseller. A past president of the Horror Writers of America and multiple award winner, he lives in New York City.

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May 17, 1980; a wonderful day, you would have said if you lived in Patchin County. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Floating Plotline May 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Peter Straub has never written a bad book, only better and worse ones. This is probably his worst, but it's still readable and has a few things going for it.
The plot is confused. The "Floating Dragon" is - perhaps - partly supernatural, though primarily it is explained as a leaked Department of Defense gas, that drives people insane and eventually liquefies their bodies. While losing their minds, the unfortunate victims hallucinate - hence, the possibility that what is being perceived as a recurring supernatural evil is all in the mind of the beholder.
I really disliked this book when I first read it, but I decided it required a re-read in later years after overcoming my initial disappointment. It was much better than I remembered it, but its flaws still gravely weaken it. Really, it's all quite good until the last seventy-five pages or so, when the action becomes completely hallucinogenic and virtually impossible to follow, and the ending is terribly trite to the point of being laughable. Straub's worst trait is a tendency to go way over-the-top, and that is at its worst here. But his characters, as usual, are quite memorable, and his writing in every other regard in typically splendid form.
If you're a Straub fan, this one may or may not put you off him. If this is your first exposure to the author, pick a different title, something like Ghost Story or If You Could See Me Now, to get a better feel for Straub closer to the top of his game.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect...Classic... Jan. 29 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was only my second Straub read. I can see now how he and King could blend so flawlessly for the Talisman and The Black House. They both seem to share my feeling that nothing is more frightening than what the human mind can do to itself. The ability of the evil doer to pick from our heroes' minds the situations which will most torment them is the perfect torture.
I've heard that this isn't even Straub's best book!! I can't wait read more!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very, Very Good Feb. 20 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If I could give this book 4 1/2 stars, then I would. It is some of the best work Straub has produced. He should be wearing the mantle for gothic horror author master. Straub reminds me of Nathanial Hawthorne with this story. He tells the tale of an area dying into madness and the horror the various individuals have to face including people that are dissolving into water. The only complaint I have is that Straub writes in a very disjointed style that jumps around the plot and can be hard to follow. I think he chose this method to enhance the suspense. If you have read either Shadowlands or Ghost Story, then you will love Floating Dragon. It is a harder read, but it is ceratainly worth the effort. It is my personal favorite of his books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Peter Straub's best books!! April 3 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read this book three times since it was released in the early '80's. I think this is Peter Straub's best all-out horror novel. There are several chapters that still raise chills when I read them. I love the narrative and the pure descriptive power that he is able to build into each chapter. Peter Straub has never disappointed me in any of his books, and this one certainly ranks as one of the best !!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Straub's best Feb. 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
By far, my favorite work by Mr. Straub. The bizarre events of the story and interesting characters fill the reader with deep concern for the outcome of this tale. Although a frequent complaint of Straub's works is a lack of cohesiveness and the side tales that some see as "false leads", these features only add to the eeriness and gives a dimension to the book that keeps it from being what so many other, less intriguing novels in this genre are- cut and dry. This one is definately not "cookie cutter". I found myself thinking about this book long after I had finished it, and found myself reading it again several months later. Straub did a fine job of truly creeping me out, which is what I look for in this genre.
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3.0 out of 5 stars COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER Feb. 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1995, I was in Manhattan at the Pennsylvania Hotel. While in the elevator traveling down to the lobby a man was standing in front of me. Turns out this was Peter Straub. He was plugging his new book Hell Fire Club, He turned out to be a very nice guy. So I feel a personal bond while I read his bookS if you can believe that.
I first read this book in 1986, I thought it was a little confusing, but being as young as I was (14) I finished it. I figured it must be my immaturity, that I didn't follow the story well. So jump ahead to 2000, I just happen to come across my dusty Hard cover that I had and decided to give it a retry. Now I am almost 30 and I feel I have some comprehention of things so I read it over. Well I was right, the premis of the book is great, it's just that Straub was having a hard time putting it into words. The book was too long and wordy with too many unimportant charactors we didn't need to hear about. I found the main charactors very 3 dimensional, as well as the description of the town, but the story runs along at a bumpy pace. It's not a lite read at all. You'll need to put your thinking caps on for this one. But Straub is not a King or Koontz more like Henry James. Now on a positive note; mind you Floating Dragon is not a great book, but Straub is a great author.
Straub to me is a literary Horror writer, he doesn't write fast books with happy endings. His books make you think and contemplate. He is in a genre of his own.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Straub's 'final' horror tale is wonderfully over the top.
"I wanted to write a special effects show. Something that would make the reader's jaw drop and make them think 'I can't believe that I'm reading this. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2001 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
After reading the Talisman and Ghost Story, i was pretty sure that Peter Straub was a good writer, but now i am quite certain. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2001 by Dan Bjugstad
2.0 out of 5 stars Plot really *does* matter in fiction
There's not much I can say that others haven't already said. Straub is an accomplished prose stylist and incredible at engaging, believable characters--and when that's hitched to... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2001 by "storgodar"
2.0 out of 5 stars Floating Dragon sinks
Having read 'Ghost Story' and 'shadowland'I guess I'm on a downward slope with Mr Straub and this book proves it. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2000 by Mr. Robin J. Wisniewski
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent, but flawed novel from Peter Straub.
The problem with Straub's novel is its level of ambiguity, brought on by the convergence of too many similar plot threads. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2000 by Lowell Yaeger
5.0 out of 5 stars The siege of Heaven.
Hampstead, Connecticut, is almost like a sister community to [the also fictional but] heavenly Stepford: gracious homes, genteel people, all the happiness money can buy. Read more
Published on July 16 2000 by Miguel
2.0 out of 5 stars Floating but dragging
Let me preface this by saying that I have read almost everything that Peter Straub has written and loved almost all of it. Read more
Published on July 2 2000 by Brian
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