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CR3 #82: Houses Without Doors by Peter Straub

Houses Without Doors is a collection of short stories by Peter Straub. Some of them are tied to his Blue Rose trilogy, but most are unrelated. I was not a fan of this book--it was simply too dark for me, and not in a fun way. The stories were technically quite good, but I just found them unpleasant. Topics include fraternal abuse, molestation, infantilization, murder...It's all too much, even for a morbid person like me. The characters were all right, but the short story format doesn't necessarily allow the amount of depth a novel does. Besides, some of the characters (the main character from "The Buffalo Hunter" for example) were people I wanted to get to know anyway. I thought some of the short vignettes between longer stories were interesting and thoughtful, but the full-length stories really put me off.

For those who like short stories, I'd say skip this collection and read Stephen King's short stories instead. He manages to make them both well-written AND fascinating.

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