A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm upping my star count on this re-read. I'm giving this a full 5 because it is easily one of the best ghost stories I've ever read.
Because, if I am to be entirely honest, it's a bit more relatable than the old victorian style or any version of a gothic read. Indeed, it's working-class 1958 with a starter family, friends and neighbors, and it's something of a truly hopeful, innocent time.
That being said, the kinds of psychological horrors that come are not very innocent and the optimism quickly becomes a nightmare. We don't really know what is going on, but I personally love the juxtapositions and the sheer simplicity of the novel.
It scared me. It got under my skin.
In other words, it was a totally enjoyable spooktober read. :)
I loved the book over the movie primarily because of the internal struggles. Coming to grips with telepathy reminded me a lot of Stephen King, which is of course is backward. I see why SK touted Matheson as one of the greats. It's all about magical realism and the details that center everything in regular life, and then pull the character, kicking and screaming, into the fantastic.
It is only a minor complication that the novel was a ghost story. It didn't even need to end up that way, but it did. The resolution only made me think about the unwritten resolutions, and the story continues on in my mind. Any novel that builds a life of its own, despite itself, should be considered a great novel. I still want to keep reading. :)
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