I know I don’t cover too many fictional writers here, or fiction for that matter, but back in the day, I devoured horror fiction as much as I do movies and non-fiction books today. One of the writers I followed was Peter Straub. His earlier novels, such as Julia in 1975, which became a great little ghost story film The Haunting of Julia in 1977, Ghost Story, which the movie adaptation became a big hit in 1981 with an all-star cast. In 1984, he collaborated with Stephen King with The Talisman, which they revisited with a sequel in 2001 called Black House. His 1982 novel, Floating Dragon, creeped the hell out of me.
So it is with sadness that I mention that Mr. Straub has passed away, at the age of 79. I remember either reading or seeing an interview with Stephen King, where he mentioned that Straub hand wrote all of his work, and that he didn’t feel sorry for anyone more than Straub’s editor because his handwriting was damn near illegible. In the late ’80s, when I was reading a lot of fiction, I would often write to authors, many times getting a letter back. When I got one back from Straub, I realized how right King was. I’ve posted the letter below.
King had said that Straub was a “unique writer in a lot of ways. He was not only a literary writer with a poetic sensibility, but he was readable. And that was a fantastic thing.”
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.