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Julia Paperback – Feb 1 1993


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Paperback, Feb 1 1993
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster; Reissue edition (February 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671734687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671734688
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 24 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a well-written ghost story in which a feeling of dread permeates the pages. American heiress, Julia Lofting, living in England, leaves her domineering and cruel husband, Magnus, after the unexpected death of their young daughter. She then buys an old Georgian house, which she hopes will pave the way fir a new beginning for her. Unfortunately, not only wont her husband leave her alone, but the house seems to have a mind of its own.

Before she knows it, Julia is living a haunted existence, and her life continues to unravel. As her house of cards comes tumbling down around her, Julia discovers much about the house and her husband. Unfortunately, none of it is good. As the past intrudes upon the present, the feeling of dread and angst mounts as the story barrels down to the grand finale.
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By A Customer on June 14 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first encountered Peter Straub while in college. I read Ghost Story on a whim and WOW! Was I scared! Julia being the second Straub book I've read I expected the same horror. In some ways the horror was recreated but in the same sense Julia the main character was extremely weak and almost pathetic. I found myself disliking her and became as confused as she was by the end of the book. What carried me along was the sense that I needed to see if it would all be explained. The last few chapters of the book left me lost and slightly annoyed. I must have re-read them at least three times trying to see if in fact I missed something -- sadly after reading the reviews from other readers I guess I didn't. Maybe that is the point of Julia: the story is strange and leaves all of the characters puzzeled and unsure of the reality that surrounds them. I felt the same way and perhaps that is the true horror of the story.
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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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By FearlessReader on 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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