Shadowland was one of the first horror books I read growing up (I think I may have been twelve at the time that I read it). Along with some of the early works of Stephen King, it was one of the big reasons I became addicted to the genre and later became a writer. Shadowland is a richly written, complex books that I quickly became engrossed in. Shadowland follows two friends Del and Tom in boarding school. Both boys are into magic and dabble at it while they are in school. After the school year is over, they spend the summer at Del's uncle's house. Uncle Collins is a crazed, retired magician who gives the boy's a tutorial in real magic. As the book evolves, it starts to become clear that Uncle Collins isn't all in the up and up, something that Tom begins to pick up on. He comes to the conclusion that if he and Del are to survive the summer at Shadowland, they are going to have to escape. The only problem is that Uncle Collins has taken a keen interest in Tom and isn't about to let him go.
Shadowland is one of those books that perfectly fits the description of "hard to put down". Straub does a brilliant job of making the characters come alive. I've read many of Peter Straub's novels and this is my favorite. He did an excellent job of weaving in sub-plots and creating a story world that was both highly entertaining and very rewarding to read through. A definite horror classic, I would strongly advise to pick up a copy if you haven't already read this one.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity