Stephen King is a much better writer today than he was 40 years ago. I devoured his first dozen or so books within a few months while in high school,Stephen King is a much better writer today than he was 40 years ago. I devoured his first dozen or so books within a few months while in high school, his complete canon at the time. Loved his books overall, but it seems like I care about his protagonists so much more these days. Even peripheral characters are more real to me.
Confession: I was never a huge fan of The Shining. I liked it, but couldn't connect with it. And the topiary creatures seemed (and still seem) silly to me rather than scary.
I reread The Shining in preparation for Doctor Sleep, and my 30-some odd year opinion holds. Good, but not great.
I definitely enjoyed Doctor Sleep more than the original tale it follows. There were thrills, tragedy, danger and fear of a different sort: fear of characters' survival, which moves me more than any boogeyman.
Daniel Torrance is a good but flawed man. Abra Stone is a charming girl coming to terms with the same abilities Dan had but in vastly different circumstances. That's what engaged me.
Doctor Sleep is a very good book. Great? Perhaps not, but for me, more enjoyable than The Shining. So I call King's first direct sequel (not counting the Dark Tower series) a success. Bravo!...more
This was a great start to the series. I even read it to my nephew... twice! (He loves guns and zombies. Whatever happened to dinosaurs & sharks anThis was a great start to the series. I even read it to my nephew... twice! (He loves guns and zombies. Whatever happened to dinosaurs & sharks and other fish? lol). Pulls you in quickly and makes you want to see what happens next. Disappointing that the original covers aren't reproduced, though....more
Once again (for the last time?), Larsson ramped up the tension and complexity in the lives of Lisbeth, Mikael, etc. I'm going to miss the characters (Once again (for the last time?), Larsson ramped up the tension and complexity in the lives of Lisbeth, Mikael, etc. I'm going to miss the characters (hopefully we'll eventually get the final book).
From the first page I slipped back into my emotional state at the end of the previous book (it ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger). Great stuff.
Larsson's brother has come out confirming the existence of another manuscript, but in accordance with his ironic (and moronic) persecution of Larsson's girlfriend, calls it the "5th book", claiming that his brother said it was more fun to work on the 5th than the 4th.
Be that as it may, does this imply that notes for a book set between the final volume and the ms. exist? Maybe. But it seems more likely to me that this is the latest exercise in the surviving Larssons' plot to exclude Eva Gabrielsson from any money from the the estate of the man with whom she'd lived for more than 3 decades (Sweeden does not recognize common-law marriages) and with whom she worked on the "Millennium" series.
The unfinished manuscript is presumably in her possession and she wants to finish it. It seems that Larsson's brother and father don't want her to because she'd definitely earn real money from that. But by calling it a "5th" book, they could conceivably hire someone else to write a pastiche for the 4th volume while they continue to try to wrest the original property from her.
Apparently the other Larssons have learned nothing from Steig's work about the injustices and violence toward women... ...more
I didn't want to finish this book, I really didn't.
Steve has a (sometimes) annoying habit of not foreshadowing events but flat out telling you what'sI didn't want to finish this book, I really didn't.
Steve has a (sometimes) annoying habit of not foreshadowing events but flat out telling you what's coming, i.e., letting you know that a character does not survive to the end of the story well in advance of the scripted demise.
When this was done for one character in this book, I had a violent reaction to it. I took the death personally (doesn't matter why), so I didn't want to finish what had been an exceptional book to that point because then she wouldn't die.
But finish it I did, and even though the book touches my heart and psyche with the art and redemption and restoration and life...
I still hate Stephen King for this one death that I can't shake off.
Hey, Steve... that Swamp Thing #21, "Anatomy Lesson" that I gave you around 28 years ago? I want it back now. (Just kidding, you can keep it.)...more
I give up. After two attempts to read this and finally making it 2/3 of the way through (p 121 of 182), I just can't take it anymore. It's a silly conI give up. After two attempts to read this and finally making it 2/3 of the way through (p 121 of 182), I just can't take it anymore. It's a silly concept (haunted houses), but having the characters alternate between over-reacting to extreme panic and then indulgently laughing and smiling at each other as if everyone else was a silly, delusional child (prettty much on alternating pages) just got on my nerves to the point that I might have thrown the book accross the room if I hadn't been on a train at this point.
Ooo, noises. Writing on walls. Scary stuff. No wonder they panicked! /snark
Interesting that the noises were always said to be doing something, not something was making noises.
I've enjoyed other pieces by Shirley Jackson, but this... no. Not at all....more
Meg pulled me in immediately, and proceeded on a simple, sustainable premise: that megalodons survive in the Mariana Trench (near Guam). There are sevMeg pulled me in immediately, and proceeded on a simple, sustainable premise: that megalodons survive in the Mariana Trench (near Guam). There are several scenes that do strain crudulity (to put it mildly), but it all works (even the unintentionally humorous climax). Bad science is trumped here by spectacularly good pulp fiction, and that's what Meg is all about.
Meg is part of a program called "adopt-an-author", persuading reluctant readers to... well, read. Fast-paced pulp-style adventure is a likely key to getting many kids to read, and the Meg series would seem to encourage kids and young adults to get hooked on serial novels. Get them to like one. Well, here's a sequel. And here's another.
I first discovered the latest book when it came out in harcover last spring (Meg: Hell's Aquarium). It sounded interesting, but then I found it was the fourth book in a series about (I'd assumed) a single rampaging megalodon shark (what a pull-quote on each of the covers calls "Jurassic Shark!"). One book might be interesting, thought, but four was just silly.
Still, my own natural curiosity got the better of me (and it doesn't hurt that a nephew is enamoured of all things fishy, especially sharks), so I snagged the first book. I simply didn't want to stop reading (even at the previously mentioned ridiculous climax), which means at some point I'll probably pick up another book or three in the series and wait for the possible movie.
It's not exactly Moby Dick, or Benchley's Jaws or even Crichton's Jurassic Park - but that's okay; we already have those to enjoy, too....more