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Julia [Paperback]

Peter Straub
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1993
Fuyant un mari abusif, mais surtout le souvenir de la mort tragique de sa petite Kate, Julia s'est installée dans une maison au cœur de Londres, croyant y trouver la paix et la sécurité. Mais, peu à peu, les lieux montrent leur vrai visage. Suffoquée par une atmosphère étouffante, effrayée par les vacarmes nocturnes ou par d'étranges silhouettes entrevues en plein jour, Julia se sent menacée de routes parts. A-t-on décidé de la rendre folle ? Qui est cet enfant qui s'acharne sur elle ? Sa seule issue est peut-être de comprendre de quel drame abominable la maison a été le théâtre vingt ans plus tôt... Mais pourra-t-elle affronter la terrible révélation qui la guette
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review

"GENUINELY FRIGHTENING."
--Chicago Tribune

"INDESCRIBABLY CHILLING . . . THERE IS NO RESPITE FROM THE HORRORS AND THE HAUNTINGS."
--Pittsburgh Press

"I haven't read anything that so terrifyingly evoked the presence of evil and supernatural threat since The Exorcist. JULIA may be better."
--Buffalo News

"HAUNTING, IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD."
--ROBERT BLOCH
   Author of Psycho


From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"GENUINELY FRIGHTENING."
--Chicago Tribune

"INDESCRIBABLY CHILLING . . . THERE IS NO RESPITE FROM THE HORRORS AND THE HAUNTINGS."
--Pittsburgh Press

"I haven't read anything that so terrifyingly evoked the presence of evil and supernatural threat since The Exorcist. JULIA may be better."
--Buffalo News

"HAUNTING, IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD."
--ROBERT BLOCH
Author of Psycho
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Straub, an American, does an astonishing job of conveying British culture and scenery in this novel. This is perhaps his greatest strength as a novelist, as similarly and yet so differently achieved in other novels, such as Shadowland and If You Could See Me Now.
This novel opens with the protagonist, Julia Lofting, an American heiress, impulsively purchasing a fading mansion. We learn she has just been released from a mental institution proceeding the untimely and accidental death of her daughter. As tormented as she is by the death, Julia realizes it has finally broken the spell of enchantment of her domineering and brutal husband. She feels the purchase of the mansion, where she plans to live alone and reevaluate her life and its direction, will symbolically mark her first step down the road of independence and personal will.
Ironically, it is the house which chooses her for its own expression of will. Julia runs into an eerie little girl in the park across the way who bears an uncanny resemblance to her own daughter. However, unlike her own sweet child, this girl is prone to mutilating small animals and terrorizing the other children of the park. Soon, the malevolent girl begins to appear in the bizarre black and red mirrors of the upper floors of the mansion.
As a reader, we are uncertain at this point whether the sightings are strictly the hallucinations of a distraught and nervous woman, the spectre of her daughter come to haunt her or some demon, eminating from the mansion, toying with her. The rest of the novel delivers the answer in a tense and unrelenting series of climactic events.
The characterizations and conspiring of the characters puts one in mind of Iris Murdoch.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Rich And Idle Aug. 19 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's hard to sympathize with a character who seems as bent on her own destruction as the title character in Peter Straub's "Julia." The story opens with rich, harmless, and seemingly brainless, Julia Lofting in the process of leaving her brutal, domineering husband Magnus (With a name like that you'd hardly expect him to be the timid, sensitive type.) after the death of their daughter in a dining room tracheotomy gone wrong.
Understandably distraught, she buys a stupendous, eight-bedroom house in London. No sooner does she gain possession of the keys than she spots a little girl who reminds her of her own dead daughter, and becomes obsessed with this child who, we subsequently learn, makes The Bad Seed look like Anne of Green Gables.
Julia's new home, once the scene of a horrific murder, starts manifesting curious occurrences right away. The depiction of the haunting is genuinely frightening and ambiguous. The way that Straub upends the cliché of the cold that traditionally accompanies ghostly visitations was particularly effective in that it gave the house an oppressive, soporific atmosphere that almost (but not quite) explained Julia's inertia.
Although this multi million heiress experiences a plethora of weird phenomena including ghostly voices, regular sightings of that god awful little girl, and a the death of a psychic friend, she resolutely stays in that wretched house. It all ends badly, as these things invariably do. Alas, it also ends in total confusion.
Perhaps it was Mr. Straub's intention that we should share Julia's growing disorientation. If so, success was his. By the end of the story I wasn't sure of what was going on. There was no resolution of things that had gone before.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful and Terrifying Aug. 18 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book begins with a seemingly innocent scene: Julia Lofting, an attractive American in London struggling to reclaim her independence and begin a new life away from her domineering husband, catches a glimpse of a little, blond-haired girl. What normally would be an unremarkable moment has deep meaning for Julia, as this child resembles Kate, Julia's deceased daughter. Kate's death has never ceased to haunt Julia and it is also from this memory that she wishes to flee.
Almost immediately, Julia has very strange experiences in her new home as well as with the mysterious blond child. Julia attempts to make meaning of these events and at times doubts her sanity. Her struggle to understand it made more difficult by accidentally discovering the details of a gruesome murder of the past which took place in her new home. A murder, which parallels horrifyingly close to Julia's own life. As Julia learns more, she discovers a presence of evil which is determined to destroy her.
Readers of the author's previous work will find the action in this book to be higher paced, which is suitable to the story. The plot never drags and is always interesting. The characters are strong and very real. The author has also done an excellent job of creating an eerie and, at times, surrealistic atmosphere which adds to the terror of the story.
This is by far one of the best horror novels ever published. I recommend it to anyone interested in a frightening tale.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Come meet Julia Lofting. You'll never forget her. July 16 2000
By Miguel
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One summer day, Julia Lofting buys a lovely home in a quiet street on the fashionable borough of Kensington, in London. This is the first house she sees, so it's rather hasty, isn't it? However, who could blame her?
In Julia Lofting, Straub gives the first foray on the exquisite architecture of characters that has been a trademark of his craft. Julia, in a way, opens the path for other memorable Straub women, like Alma Mobley (in "Ghost Story"), Laura Allbee and Patsy McCloud (in "Floating Dragon"), Sarah Spence (in "Mystery") and more clearly, Nora Chancel (of "The Hellfire Club"), who in more ways than one seems a sister entity to Julia.
Too wealthy for her own good, Julia is a troubled soul who seems to solve every situation by fleeing. She fled America for England, then she fled an unbearable freedom for marriage to charismatic yet voracious Magnus Lofting, a barrister with a name but no money and a few secrets in his past, then, she fled in tragedy and grief that marriage and an unhappy household in search for solace and the freedom she shunned, but in this lovely Georgian house, Julia finds she won't be able to run anymore, but rather will have to face multiple ghosts, from within and from the past.
Perfectly written, well settled, with an unforgettable climax, "Julia" is Straub's first foray into the supernatural and it suceeds where other novels merely tried.
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