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Lost Boy Lost Girl [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Peter Straub
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 2004
A new psychological thriller from the co-author of the massive international No 1 bestseller BLACK HOUSE. From the ferocious imagination of Peter Straub springs a nerve-shredding new chiller about the persistence of evil. A woman kills herself for no apparent reason. A week later, her teenage son disappears. The vanished boy's uncle, Tim Underhill, returns to his home town of Millhaven to discover what he can. A madman known as the Sherman Park Killer has been haunting the neighbourhood, but Underhill believes that Mark's obsession with a local abandoned house is at the root of his disappearance. He fears that Mark came across its last and greatest secret - a lost girl, one who has coaxed Mark deeper and deeper into her mysterious domain. Only by following in their footsteps will Underhill uncover the shocking truth.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

For its high artistry and uncanny mix of dread and hope, Straub's 16th novel, his shortest in decades, reaffirms the author's standing as the most literate and, with his occasional coauthor Stephen King, most persuasive of contemporary novelists of the dark fantastic. This brilliant variation on the haunted house tale distills themes and characters from Straub's long career, including two of the author's most popular creations: Manhattan novelist Tim Underhill (from Koko, Mystery and The Throat) and Tim's friend, legendary private detective Tom Pasmore (from Mystery and The Throat). Written from multiple viewpoints, the narrative shuttles disturbingly through time and space as Tim travels home to Millhaven, Ill., to attend the funeral for his sister-in-law, a suicide. In that small city based loosely on Straub's hometown of Milwaukee, Tim spends time with his callow widowed brother, Philip, and his nephew, sensitive Mark, 15, who found his mother's naked body in the bathtub, wrists slit and a plastic bag over her head. Meanwhile, a serial killer is snatching teen boys from a local park, and Mark and his sidekick, Jimbo, begin to explore a nearby abandoned house. Mark grows obsessed with the house, eventually revealed as the rotting source of the evil that stalks Millhaven, but also as the harbor of a great marvel. When Mark disappears, Tim pursues his trail and, with Tom Pasmore's help, that of the serial killer who may have taken the boy away. Straub remains a master of place and character; his insight into teens, in particular, is astonishingly astute. His myriad narrative framings allow multiple interpretations of events, making this story work on many levels, yet they also increase the urgency of the story, up to its incandescent ending. With great compassion and in prose as supple as mink, Straub has created an exciting, fearful, wondrous tale about people who matter, in one of his finest books to date.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Once more, Straub employs the scene (Millhaven, Illinois) and the protagonists--'nam-vet novelist Tim Underhill and rich, super-attentive and -intuitive P.I. Tom Pasmore--of his hefty best-sellers Koko (1988), Mystery (1989), and The Throat (1993). Relegating Pasmore to the secondary cast and using Tim as both first-person recorder of events and third-person general narrator, Straub explores two appalling tragedies. Tim's sister-in-law, Nancy, an appealing woman whom many pity for marrying ill-tempered Philip Underhill, kills herself for no apparent reason. Mere days later, Philip and Nancy's handsome 15-year-old, Mark, disappears. Since a serial killer has been "disappearing" middle-teen boys from the park in which Mark and his best friend, Jimbo, hung out nights, the worst is feared. With Pasmore working behind the scenes, Tim sets out to understand his two losses. Mostly, he must get Jimbo to reveal all that he knows. As he succeeds with the boy, Tim discovers that in the abandoned house across the alley from Philip and Nancy's are the keys to the puzzles of her death, Mark's vanishing, and other mysteries. Much of what Tim learns is hideous, but some of it points to transcendent redemption for Mark and a girl who disappeared long ago in even grislier circumstances. This is the great novel of the supernatural Straub has always had it in him to write, one as beautiful, moving, and spiritually rich as the best stories in his dazzling collections Houses without Doors (1990) and Magic Terror (2000). Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Nancy Underhill's death had been unexpected, abrupt-a death like a slap in the face. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it Dec 12 2003
By A Customer
I am not a fan of this book. I am completely disappointed with it. The "preview" makes it sound terrific, but it is one big confusing circle of events. If the order of events were told in a different order, it might be a little easier to understand and a little easier to read. I did NOT like this book and I am pretty unhappy about spending $25 on it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost Story, Lost Author Dec 7 2003
By A Customer
Straub's style is forced and tedious, almost as though he is trying to be too erudite but losing lucidity in the process. The potential for a good story is there, but too many loose ends and a failure to connect the two main themes betrays that potential. I thought I was reading Stephen King on a bad day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor and shallow . Oct. 17 2003
Not a lot of depth to this one . Pretty boring . Expected more .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gets your mind working March 25 2005
By A Customer
Lost boy lost girl was a great book in my opinion. To be warned it does start off strange and all over the place in different views but if you ever read a peter straub novel it makes sense and you wouldn't expect anything different. Its a book that defently has creativity and keeps you reading. I was alittle dissapointed with the ending cause i felt it could of been longer but i guess the whole point is to keep you hanging and make sure your imagination is working. Its like your asked to draw your own conclusion what happened to the lost boy lost girl. I defently would recommend it thought. Im addicted to peter straub's books now. I still love mystery i could defently read that one again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Straub's best work yet! June 29 2004
Though I've had problems with his novels in the past, with his sixteenth (winner of the 2003 Bram Stoker award for best novel), Peter Straub has brought me back into the fold. Any writer who can combine all the best elements of mystery, horror, haunted house, serial killer, and literary fiction into an emotional rollercoaster with a heart, like lost boy lost girl, deserves as wide a readership as he can get.
When his sister-in-law dies "without warning" (which he finds is a euphemism for suicide), bestselling horror novelist Tim Underhill (Straub doppelganger and recurring character along with Tom Pasmore of the recent "Blue Rose" novels Koko, Mystery, and The Throat) flies back home to Millhaven, Ill. to be with his brother, Philip, and 15-year-old nephew, Mark. Not long after Tim returns home, he gets a frantic call from Philip with the news that Mark has disappeared. And evidence points to the idea that the long-empty house at 3323 North Michigan Avenue once owned by serial killer Joseph Kalendar may have had something to do with both.
Ever since Julia, Peter Straub has joined the ranks of subtle horror, patterning himself after the writings of masters like Henry James while retaining his own modern sensibilities. lost boy lost girl represents the peak of his craft's development. It takes after such supernatural thrillers as The Turn of the Screw while remaining firmly in the present day.
While telling an essentially linear story, Straub jumps back and forth from past to present and from one point of view to another. Tim Underhill is the central character but the emotional core lies in young Mark, whose life is the most affected by the events in the story.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not His Best, But Still Engaging June 7 2004
Peter Straub is an outstanding writer. He simply can't write a bad book. He doesn't have it in him. However, like the rest of us mortals, I think sometimes he just gets tired, and can't rise to the level of master of horror that he nearly always obtains. A book like "Lost Boy, Lost Girl" is the result of Peter Straub on an off day. It's a good book; but not excellent like "Koko" or "Floating Dragon".
The plot jumps a bit -- some things are not explained as well as they should be. Again, we have a "haunted" house; I wish sometimes he would move beyond this metaphor. We have a few character types that we have seen before as well; for example, here in this book we have another "Davey".
Yet this book is still a million times better than most of the other horror novels on the shelf these days. Read it, but don't expect TOO much. It's very light.
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By A Customer
Good idea, lots of potential but it reads like an outline, a first draft. It was like eating chinese food. Needed a little more depth. The story needed a strong or stronger bond between Underhill and the boy Mark to of made it work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling May 10 2004
By A Customer
This is storytelling at its best. Very few authors can carry off this kind of material, but Peter Straub does, and does it with great wit and style. You'll find yourself literally pulled into this great book. The premise of the novel is great, but even greater is Straub's execution of the material. When you hear people talk about page turner, this is what they're speaking of.
Als recommended: BARK OF THE DOGWOOD by J.T. McCrae
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from Jamian Snow, author SHROUDED INSANITY
Lost Boy, Lost Girl is a chilling tale and a suspense-filled page turner. This is one of the real scary ones!! A MUST READ!!
Published on April 23 2004 by Jamian Snow
4.0 out of 5 stars more suspense than horror
I've neve understood why Peter Straub is labeled and
always place in the horror section. He has written some
damn fine mysteries. Read more
Published on April 20 2004 by J. Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror Written In Style
Mr. Straub has for many years been a master of Horror . Famous for books like "Ghost Story" and "Black House" he has produced here what I would call a... Read more
Published on April 17 2004 by William A. Greiner
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork of subtle horror and very real emotion.
What do writers do? They remake the world as they see it, telling a lie so convincing that for a while -- or maybe forever -- we believe that it is the truth. Read more
Published on March 30 2004 by James D. Watts Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars And the Climax would be where?
At first i was drawn into Peter Straub's latest novel. I think all those who have read it will say that it has a very gripping rising action. Read more
Published on March 16 2004 by Kaitlin
3.0 out of 5 stars good book, but not worth the time
This is the first Peter Straub book I have read, and I must say the way it started I was excited that it was going to be a really good book, and the more I read, the more I liked... Read more
Published on March 2 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Drew me in then disappointed me
I like the fact that Straub can draw you in on the first page and make it interesting for quite awhile but then lets you down with a feeling of that's it??? at the end. Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Bloom is off the Blue Rose
I was a little disappointed with Peter Straub's latest "Blue Rose"-inspired novel, LOST BOY LOST GIRL. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2004 by C. Fletcher
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