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I ve listened to an hour and a half and I don t like it, am not enjoying it and don t pretend to understand it I m cutting my losses. Well, as with so many of Peter Straub s works, I am not 100% sure what to make of this I note that other reviews on Goodreads either give it 5 stars or 1 star folks love it or hate it It s sure not easy to understand or know what the point is It bears a second reading it s only a novella , but for now I ll rate it Beautifully written, gruesome, confusing as heck. An amazing, brilliantly written, hallucinatory novella whose overarching themes run the gamut from memory to time to destiny to, ultimately, as the very first line announces, consumption The imagery, the characters, and the strange predicament in which they find themselves are vivid and compelling Are Ballard and Sandrine stuck for years on a boat with a changing name, never quite remembering how long they ve been there, or what they ve eaten, or what books they ve read before Like many of S An amazing, brilliantly written, hallucinatory novella whose overarching themes run the gamut from memory to time to destiny to, ultimately, as the very first line announces, consumption The imagery, the characters, and the strange predicament in which they find themselves are vivid and compelling Are Ballard and Sandrine stuck for years on a boat with a changing name, never quite remembering how long they ve been there, or what they ve eaten, or what books they ve read before Like many of Straub s works, this one is rife with literary allusions, not the least of which is the name Ballard Or is this their purgatory, a never ending voyage down theriver of their own eternity As always, the journey provesimportant the destination Go forth, then, and swallow this astonishing novella in a single bite Winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award in Long Fiction, this 96 page novella focuses on the characters of Ballard, an older gentleman, and his lover, the younger Sandrine, and their strange and unsettling sado masochistic relationship Told without regard to following time and place, the reader is slowly, disturbingly, shown a portrait of Ballard and Sandrine s relationship across a series of cruises down the , with each section of the tale both hazily sheddinglight on prior events and Winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award in Long Fiction, this 96 page novella focuses on the characters of Ballard, an older gentleman, and his lover, the younger Sandrine, and their strange and unsettling sado masochistic relationship Told without regard to following time and place, the reader is slowly, disturbingly, shown a portrait of Ballard and Sandrine s relationship across a series of cruises down the , with each section of the tale both hazily sheddinglight on prior events and bringing to the forefront new questions.The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine may requirethan one reading to begin to truly plumb its depths, but even one reading will leave little doubt that, in this psychological horror story, the ambiguity of not knowing is eventroubling and horrific than the knowing Years ago I was a huge Peter Straub fan however he has really gone downhill in recent years He does not produce much these days and what he produces is confusing and not very well executed IMO This story really is a short story that again has no defined ending To make this into a specialized limited edition book is really silly Don t waste your time purchasing this tale, wait for it to be added to an anthology collection.What happened to the great Straub stories of old I miss him. Every so often, I ll come across a book and wonder what I just read When this happens, I either put the book down and go for a walk, or I turn to the first page and try again I went for a walk today.The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine tells the story of two lovers an older man and the daughter of his client throughout the decades Think Memento, if Memento ended with the beginning, as well Normally, I ll rehash some of the events for summary purposes, but I don t know what I read, so I can Every so often, I ll come across a book and wonder what I just read When this happens, I either put the book down and go for a walk, or I turn to the first page and try again I went for a walk today.The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine tells the story of two lovers an older man and the daughter of his client throughout the decades Think Memento, if Memento ended with the beginning, as well Normally, I ll rehash some of the events for summary purposes, but I don t know what I read, so I can t I know that they re on a boat That Sandrine is a bit independent That they both fell in love with each other the moment they met each other That Ballard might have something to do with the mob That, on the yacht, an invisible bird speaking servants run the show And thrown in there is a giant bug in a cage, which they might be eating, or they might be eating toucan No, I didn t understand the ending, either But, oh well Sometimes the quality of a journey makes up for a lack of destination THE BALLAD OF BALLARD AND SANDRINE is the kind of storytelling I associate with David Lynch It s dreamy, atmospheric, bizarre, creepy, and, frequently unsettling The horror story as art Perhaps not immediately satisfying, but the kind of tale I expect will linger with me a long time. *READ KINDLE ☝ The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine ☟ Meet Ballard and Sandrine, the eponymous protagonists of Peter Straub s extraordinary, deeply unsettling new novella The two are lovers, widely separated in age but bound together by a common erotic obsession Their story, which takes place over a period of twenty five years, is set primarily within the various incarnations of a mysterious yacht making its endless way down the River Their journey encompasses moments of beauty and horror, mystery and revelation, pleasure and pain, culminating in the vision of an astonishing and appalling apotheosis This is a nasty little shocker that reminds one just how masterful Straub is at evoking the ineffable I am not entirely sure that what I read here made sense except to say that, on a deeply visceral level, the truly disturbing images he evokes will flicker in my mind s eye for a long time to come, like a strobe light in hell If you were experiencing a little difficulty with a dragon, Ballard was the man for you One could very well say the exact same thing about Straub. Not sure I got thiscould be me Seems to me to be a story of metaphysical bondagetwo lovers trapped in a time and place that is no longer temporal in a linear way.