There are several reasons I chose Peter Straub’s Ghost Story as my pick for book of the week.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
When Ghost Story first came out in paperback in 1980, I was a kid living on Long Island who went to his local 7-11 and saw it on the paperback rack. I did not have enough money for the book, and I stole it. (This is the only thing I EVER stole in my life before and after the event.) I took it home, and read it. The following Saturday, I did have enough money for it and went back and told the man behind the counter what I did and that I wanted to make it right. He was a kind older man who told me to sit on the stool. I did and he asked me to tell him about the book. As I did so, he nodded and listened. THEN he gave me my money back. I could not believe it. So, I went back to the rack, and bought a copy of Stephen King’s The Shining.
I once asked him why he did that, and he told me: “I’ve seen kids come in and steal soda, or a bag of chips, or even some gum, but I never seen a kid steal a book, and THEN come back to pay me for it. When I saw how much you enjoyed it, I decided not to take your money. Besides, I kind of knew you would buy another book, which you did.”
Now, I am not condoning theft. To be honest, I really felt terrible for what I did. However, if you love a book, tell someone about it, especially in this age of social media. Authors will check their reviews and listen to what the readers have to say.
The other reason for picking Ghost Story, is because it is one hell of a book. It starts with a question: “What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?” and then you get the narrators response, which is the rest of the book. I was hooked into the story, and I have read it two more times since, and the fear factor was still there! Yes, there was a movie made from the book, but remember my number one rule passed down to me from my grandfather: THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!!! I wish a remake would be in the works, but this time make it a limited series. Then you might just get every nuance of the book that was missing from the movie.
You can find Ghost Story at most book retailers. $17.00 paperback and $9.99 e-book.