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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 woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son- fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill-vanishes. His uncle, novelist Timothy Underhill, searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help unravel this horrible dual mystery. He soon learns that a pedophilic murderer is on the loose in the vicinity, and that shortly before his mother's suicide, Mark had become obsessed with an abandoned house where he imagined the killer might have taken refuge. No mere empty building, the house whispers from attic to basement with the echoes of a long-hidden true-life horror story, and Tim Underhill comes to fear that in investigating its unspeakable history, Mark stumbled across its last and greatest secret: a ghostly lost girl who may have coaxed the needy, suggestible boy into her mysterious domain.
--This text refers to the MP3 CD 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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First Sentence
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Gets your mind working March 25 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A review from Jamian Snow, author SHROUDED INSANITY April 23 2004
Format:Hardcover
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!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars more suspense than horror April 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
I've neve understood why Peter Straub is labeled and
always place in the horror section. He has written some
damn fine mysteries. And this book is a continuation of one of these characters.
This book is really a little bit of everything, but suspense covers it best.
I enjoyed this book on a number of levels. I read it in one sitting because I was really drawn right into the story. I think
Straub's strong point has always been his characters and this one does not disappoint.
The Story, in short is this. Tim Underhill's sister in law passes
away. He goes back home for the funeral. His nephew goes missing and Tim does what he can to find him. What he finds is not quite
something he can explain to his brother.
Very entertaining read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horror Written In Style April 17 2004
Format:Hardcover
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 masterpiece of horror and terror.Written from the point of view of three characters it gives the story a depth not found in conventional stories.The book slowly draws you in and it becomes hard to put it down.The book is really about a hanted house and it is how it is hanted and how it affects the characters that really draws you in.I have read alot of horror in my life . This book rates as one of my favorite.Mr. Staub is a master storyteller and his book is a must for any horror fan.After you read this try his book "Ghost Story",it is a great read too.
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