Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mrs. God

Mrs. God is a 1990 horror novel by Peter Straub. This is an expanded version of an earlier novella by the same name. There isn't much to this, and I wonder if I wouldn't have liked it better as a novella -or even a short story. It was a short, easy read, but that's all the good I can find to say.

from the back of the book:
Esswood House. Home and estate of the Seneschal family, aristocratic patrons of the literary arts for well over a hundred years. D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, Ford Madox Ford, and Henry James were privileged to call themselves guests and Esswood Fellows. Even minor poets such as Isobel Standish found Esswood’s refined atmosphere an inspiration for her work. There was always talk of a hidden secret in Esswood’s past, and the Seneschal children were often so pale and sickly, but don’t all English manor houses have a few ghost stories to call their own?

When Professor William Standish receives the rare honor of an Esswood Fellowship, and the chance to study Isobel’s private manuscripts at close hand, he is thrilled beyond his wildest ambitions. But upon arriving, something seems slightly strange at Esswood House. He hears faint laughter in the halls, the pitter-pattering of small feet in the night; strange faces appear in the windows of the library, and of course, there are those giant dollhouses in the basement...
favorite quote:
Nothing is known once only, nothing is known the first time. A thing must be told over and over to be really told.
Slant Magazine says, "Mrs. God is a tedious, hackneyed novel by a writer who's capable of impressing within his chosen genre. It's horrific, but not in the way Straub intended." Kirkus Reviews calls it "An intriguing artifact for hardcore fans but an unremarkable entry point for new readers." Publishers Weekly seems to like it. The Examiner says, "Straub is a better writer than he is a storyteller and that is apparent in this book." Fright compares it favorably to the original novella but says, "it’s far from perfect"


  1. Eeeh. Guess this is a skip for me.

    1. I just wish I'd read the earlier novella instead ;)

  2. Sad that you didn't particularly like it. The blurb sounds good, but that's misleading I guess. I have read Ghost Story by Peter Straub, though, and it was pretty good.

    1. I'd love to read the shorter version. I'm guessing that's the length it needed to stay.