Spider (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

By Patrick McGrath

Vintage, 9780679736301, 224pp.

Publication Date: October 8, 1991



Spider is gaunt, threadbare, unnerved by everything from his landlady to the smell of gas. He tells us his story in a storm of beautiful language that slowly reveals itself as a fiendishly layered construction of truth and illusion. With echoes of Beckett, Poe, and Paul Bowles, Spider is a tale of horror and madness, storytelling and skepticism, a novel whose dizzying style lays bare the deepest layers of subconscious terror.

About the Author

Patrick McGrath was born in London and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital, where for many years his father was medical superintendent. He is the author of Blood and Water and Other Tales, The Grotesque, Spider, Dr. Haggard's Disease, and Martha Peake, and he was the co-editor, with Bradford Morrow, of The New York Gothic. He lives in New York City and London, and is married to actress Maria Aitken.

Praise For Spider (Vintage Contemporaries)

"A small classic of horror." — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Brilliant. . . . The sensuous world that McGrath creates is intense in its beauty. . . mesmerizing." —Katherine Dunn, The New York Times Book Review

"Disturbing, wholly absorbing. . . a combination murder mystery/dark-night-of-the-soul. . . touchingly, menacingly brilliant." —Chicago Tribune

"A gorgeous, painful howl of madness, shockingly perfect." —Jonathan Hawkes

"Has the compelling quality of felt reality [that] feels like the inevitable truth. Spider is a thriller of sorts, as well as a psychological case study. . . a gem." —Washington Post Book World

"McGrath especially excels at evoking the latent horro in commonplace sights. . . . [He] has created a manifestly untrustworthy storyteller without sacrificing suspense or sympathy for his characters." —Cleveland Plain Dealer

"[Spider] is as creepy as a fleshy incarnation of an Edward Gorey drawing. . . . McGrath's a shrewd performer. You're fascinated; you're enthralled. . . it's a pleasure to be mesmerized." —Newsday

"Truly outstanding. . . evocative. . . Accomplished in the sinister and macabre, McGrath transcends his already solid reputation with a powerfully realized character who simply won't let you go." —Christian Science Monitor

"The strength of Spider is in the character of the deeply human, if mad, protagonist who emerges as a formidable sufferer among the Gothic trappings. . . . McGrath is a sly literate who. . . has talent—in spades." —Philadelphia Inquirer