Title: The Throat
Author: Peter Straub
First published April 1, 1993
704 pages, Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780451179180 (ISBN10: 0451179188)
With The Throat, Peter Straub continues to unfold his Blue Rose saga into an even more terrifying and suspenseful masterpiece of horror. As the pages turn, a sense of unease grows and the tension becomes almost unbearable.
The twists and turns of the plot are expertly crafted, leaving readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. This is a book that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page.
About the Author
Peter Straub, son of Gordon Anthony Straub and Elvena (Nilsestuen) Straub, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From a young age, he had a passion for reading, but his parents had different career aspirations for him.
While his father hoped he would become a professional athlete, his mother wanted him to become a Lutheran minister. Straub attended Milwaukee Country Day School on a scholarship and began writing during his time there.
He went on to earn an honors BA in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965, followed by an MA at Columbia University in 1966. After briefly teaching English at Milwaukee Country Day, he moved to Dublin, Ireland in 1969 to work on a PhD and pursue his dream of writing professionally.
Straub’s first attempts at literary mainstream novels in the mid-1970s, “Marriages” and “Under Venus,” had mixed success. It wasn’t until he tried his hand at supernatural fiction with “Julia” (1975) and “If You Could See Me Now” (1977) that he gained recognition.
His fifth novel, “Ghost Story” (1979), was a critical success and later adapted into a 1981 film. Straub continued to write horror novels, including collaborations with his friend and fellow author Stephen King, such as “The Talisman” and “Black House.”
Alongside his novels, Straub also published several works of poetry during his lifetime.
In 1966, Straub married Susan Bitker, and they had two children. Their daughter, Emma Straub, is also a novelist.
The family lived in Dublin from 1969 to 1972, in London from 1972 to 1979, and in the New York City area from 1979 onwards.
Straub passed away on September 4, 2022, at the age of 79 due to complications from a broken hip. He and his wife were living in Brooklyn at the time of his death.
In 1993, Peter Straub published The Throat, a psychological thriller that explores the complex relationship between childhood trauma and adult identity. Straub, a master of the horror genre, has woven a chilling tale that is both suspenseful and haunting.
Set in the small town of Milburn, New York, the story follows the investigation of a serial killer who murders young children. The protagonist, Tim Underhill, a writer who has returned to his hometown, must unravel the mystery behind the murders while dealing with his own traumatic past.
As the investigation progresses, Tim realizes that the killer may be someone he knew from his childhood, someone who he thought was dead. Straub has created a cast of characters that are richly drawn and deeply flawed.
Tim, who is haunted by the memory of his sister’s murder, struggles to come to terms with his own demons. The other characters, including Tim’s ex-lover, a detective investigating the case, and a troubled teenager, are all connected to the murders in different ways.
The town of Milburn, with its dark secrets and twisted history, is as much a character in the story as the people who inhabit it. The plot is complex and multi-layered, with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the final pages.
The pacing is skillfully handled, with moments of tension and suspense that are interspersed with quieter moments of reflection and introspection. Straub’s prose is rich and evocative, with descriptions that are both vivid and haunting.
One of the strengths of The Throat is Straub’s exploration of the connection between childhood trauma and adult identity. Tim’s struggle to come to terms with his sister’s murder is a powerful metaphor for the ways in which our past experiences shape who we are.
The novel is also a commentary on the ways in which small towns can harbor dark secrets and how the sins of the past can come back to haunt the present. While The Throat is a masterful work of suspense and horror, it may not be for everyone.
The novel is at times graphic and disturbing, with scenes of violence and abuse that may be difficult for some readers to stomach. Additionally, the multiple plotlines and complex characters may be confusing for some readers.
Despite its flaws, however, The Throat is an essential read for fans of the horror genre. Straub’s skillful storytelling, complex characters, and haunting prose make for a powerful and memorable reading experience.
The novel is a testament to the enduring power of horror as a means of exploring the darkest corners of the human experience. Overall, I would give The Throat a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
While it is not without its flaws, the novel is a masterful work of horror that is both thought-provoking and deeply unsettling. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a suspenseful and intelligent read.