The Skylark

by Peter Straub
The Skylark by Peter Straub 8.00   1

"What Subterranean Press will be publishing is an earlier state of the novel now called A Dark Matter, not merely the limited version of the trade edition. I wish to have it preserved and published in this form as well as the final, many-times-re-edited form to indicate what I hoped its shape would be like. This is a much looser, sloppier, more wild-eyed version of the book, with blind alleys, red herrings, and false trails." – Peter Straub


In the fall of 1966, a group of students, led by a charismatic wanderer named Spencer Mallon, meet in a deserted field outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Their purpose: to conduct an experiment that will, if successful, alter the nature of reality itself. The outcome of that experiment is astonishing and inexplicable, and will affect the destinies of everyone involved in fundamental ways.

The Skylark remains the clearest expression of the author's original intentions. With precision, delicacy, and great narrative power, it traces the endless reverberations of a single catastrophic event. In the process, it takes us deep into the lives of a diverse group of fully realized characters, among them a thief, a killer, a best-selling novelist, and a magnetic, luminously beautiful blind woman – the skylark of the title. The result is both a visionary novel about the mystery and terror that lie beneath the surface of the visible world and a moving account of believable people struggling to come to terms with the defining moments of their lives. Moving effortlessly, and with great authority, between the past and the present, the magical and the mundane, The Skylark is the kind of intense, wholly absorbing reading experience that only Peter Straub could have created.

The Subterranean Press edition of The Skylark is approximately 200 manuscript pages longer than the trade edition, to be published as A Dark Matter.

Category: Horror

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Release date April 2010
Details updated September 7, 2010
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