A DARK MATTER by Peter Straub. New York, NY; Doubleday; 1st edition hardcover. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR ON THE TITLE PAGE.
"Charismatic and cunning, Spencer Mallon was a college campus guru in the 1960s who attracted the undying devotion of his young acolytes. One fateful evening, he invited his most fervent teenage followers to attend a secret ritual in a local meadow. All does not go as planned, and at the end of the evening what remains is a gruesomely dismembered body -- and the shattered souls of those who were present. Years later, the mind-bending horror of that cataclysmic event still grips the once inseparable group of friends. . . ."
From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. In this tour de force from bestseller Straub (In the Night Room), four high school friends in 1966 Madison, Wis.—Hootie Bly, Dilly Olson, Jason Boatman, and Lee Truax—fall under the spell of charismatic wandering guru Spencer Mallon. During an occult ceremony in which Mallon attempts to break through to a higher reality, something goes horribly awry leaving one participant dead. Decades later, Lee's writer husband interviews the quartet to find out what happened. In Roshomon-like fashion, each relates a slightly different account of the trauma they experienced. Straub masterfully shows how the disappointments, downturns, and failed promise of the four friends' lives may have stemmed from this youthful experience, and suggests, by extension, that the malignant evil they helped unleash into the world has tainted all hope ever since. Brilliant in its orchestration and provocative in its speculations, this novel ranks as one of the finest tales of modern horror. (Feb.)
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Fine in fine dj. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR.