A little back story – I bought Stephen King’s It at the age of twelve, when it was published in 1986. My wife, a library expert, says kids are actuall...moreA little back story – I bought Stephen King’s It at the age of twelve, when it was published in 1986. My wife, a library expert, says kids are actually amazingly good at self-censoring, so I guess I censored myself. I put it down after the first 100 pages or so. Way too gruesome for me then. It scared me.
However, with the rumors of a new film adaption being in the works, I picked up my original 1986 hardcover of the novel that has sat on my bookshelf awaiting me for so many years. Once I opened the novel, I could hardly put it down.
Although 1000+ pages can be intimidating, if you’re a Stephen King fan, you’ve got to make the time to read this novel. I believe It is considered one of two of Stephen King’s masterpieces with good reason. The novel is epic in that it spans the lives of seven childhood friends as they journey to adulthood and then back to the horror that they could not escape: It.
Each character, from the wisecracking Richie to the sickly Eddie, is very well developed. The dynamic within “The Losers’ Club” is reminiscent of real childhood relationships, and is easy to believe, which allows the reader to get lost in the story. I think of It as the story of a town, it’s history, it’s secrets, it’s imperfections, and a closer look at the lives of the innocent that grew up within it. Of course, the horror is compelling. The childhood nightmare lives within each crevice of the town, is familiar, deadly, and inescapable.
The seven friends eventually leave the town to lead very different lives, and, as adults, they forget that they once united long ago to fight an evil incarnate. They even forget having known one another. The now grown-up children begin to remember their history and accept what they have to do again, and the story of It unfolds. This novel is definitely a page-turner, but be forewarned – this is horror in the purest sense of the word. The gruesome depictions of It and what It compels occupants of the town to do and become may stick in your throat for awhile, and will churn your stomach, just not enough to make you want to stop reading. Leave all the lights on in the house after reading It. And don’t stare too long down into your sink drain. The dead lights may be staring back at you. (less)
The novel, Dolores Claiborne, sat on my shelf for many years before I finally not only reached for it, but opened it, and read it start to finish. Som...moreThe novel, Dolores Claiborne, sat on my shelf for many years before I finally not only reached for it, but opened it, and read it start to finish. Sometimes you have to be ready for a book, and I previously wasn't ready for this one. I am a huge fan of Stephen King. However, the description of this novel didn't pull me in - sounded boring. Ends up the novel is far from boring, one - because it is a lesson in character development and how murder can begin in the heart, and two because of King's masterful story-telling and ability to surprise. The clincher that made Dolores Claiborne so enjoyable for me was the point of view from which King tells the story. The novel begins with Dolores Claiborne in a courthouse explaining why she murdered. The voice of this rather crude, boorish woman - her use of vernacular, her flow and thought, is intriguing. Dolores Claiborne is not one of Stephen King's typical novels - again, you have to be ready for it. However, when you are ready, it is just as much of a page-turner as his other novels. Dolores Claiborne is a monologue that unravels a life, which includes vengeance, betrayal, and murder. You will definitely not want the occupation of caregiver after this one. Enjoy!(less)
I was a little hesitant to read another book by Mitch Albom in that I read Tuesdays with Morrie and did not feel a connection with the story. I am so...moreI was a little hesitant to read another book by Mitch Albom in that I read Tuesdays with Morrie and did not feel a connection with the story. I am so glad that, with a little help from a recommendation, that I went ahead and gave this novel a try. Although there are obvious and specific religious overtones in The Five People You Meet In Heaven, I believe this book can inspire readers from a host of different walks of life. Albom, through the life of a seemingly ordinary man, Eddie Maintenance, explores the idea that we are all connected, we all experience moments of loss, and that perhaps within those moments lies salvation and our reason for being - in fact, who we are. Albom's glimpse of an afterlife is inspiring and a joy to read through the tears. Read this book with a friend or in a reading group. It is sure to spark discussion, and personal reflection. Now to see the movie. (less)
Unfortunately, I think many may pass this novel by because co-author Bill O'Reilly is such a polarizing voice in political commentary today. Quite fra...moreUnfortunately, I think many may pass this novel by because co-author Bill O'Reilly is such a polarizing voice in political commentary today. Quite frankly, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America is one of the most riveting examples of historical non-fiction that I have ever read. Anyone with an interest in the U.S. Civil War, U.S. politics, and/or the U.S. Reconstruction era would be amiss in not taking advantage of the obviously laborious research and effort put forth in writing this book. At times, historical non-fiction can be uninteresting reading. A reader must dredge through fact after fact of dry information, i.e. dates, names, documents, settings, etc. The novel format that O'Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard use here creates a page-turner that allows the reader to almost be there, whether the setting is the battlefield during the last few days of the U.S. Civil War, the streets of Washington, the shadows of the Ford Theatre, or in the swamps chasing after one of the most wanted and infamous men in U.S. History. This novel is laden with intricate storytelling, and a wealth of interesting facts. Well done, Mr. Dugard and Mr. O’Reilly. (less)
It was my first time reading this one. Of course I've read the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a million times. I'm trying to make my way through th...moreIt was my first time reading this one. Of course I've read the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a million times. I'm trying to make my way through the whole series. The Horse and the Boy is the third installment. This one was a little slow for me, but it really picks up towards the end. At first I thought why is it taking so long for them to make it through this long trek in the the desert. Then, I thought, ohhhhhh, this is based upon the Bible, pilgrimage through the desert, Moses, promised land, etc. I liked one specific scene, which gave great character developemnt for Aslan towards the end and a great lesson for Shasta, pretty action packed scene, as well. Avaris gets wounded, that's all I will say without giving a spoiler. Aslan's explanation of why and lack of expalantion of why Avaris' destiny involved the wound to Shasta was pretty profound. Other great things in the book - talking horses that are moody and long-lost twins. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are in this one as well as adults, but as secondary characters. Good read. Lewis is awesome.(less)
The Punisher character has changed so much over the years from when I was first introduced to him in Amazing Spider-man. He is not really likable, but...moreThe Punisher character has changed so much over the years from when I was first introduced to him in Amazing Spider-man. He is not really likable, but every now and then his character has a moral argument with which the reader can connect. Although Goin' Out West is a timely story in that it addresses current issues like immigration law, vigilante justice, and hate crimes, I was very uncomfortable reading this one. The Punisher commits a crime when trying to right the wrongs of a hate group that is unforgivable for the reader. I thought Matt Fraction took the character too far from the orginal idea of Punisher: he only punishes the guilty. The artwork in this graphic novel was superb. Another sketchy part of the story was the timeline; there were many flashbacks and flash forwards. Still a good read. (less)
The Lost Symbol is the third novel I have read in the Robert Langdon series. Obviously, I keep coming back for more. This installment is as intriguing...moreThe Lost Symbol is the third novel I have read in the Robert Langdon series. Obviously, I keep coming back for more. This installment is as intriguing as The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. Much of the story takes place in the U.S. Capital Building, rather than, as in the other two novels, running around a city looking for clues, although some of that does take place. Also, in this novel, Robert Langdon gets himself into a tighter, deadlier situation than he has ever been in before. If you like symbology, Masonic lore, religious allusions, historical fact merged masterfully with historical fiction and intrigue, then pick this book up. Read it because you like suspense and a really good yarn. Enjoy.
(Incidentally, I would have done away with the Epilogue before publishing. Still a great book.) (less)
This is going to be a mixed review. I just finished reading Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now. I enjoy watching Joel preach Sunday mornings on TV from...moreThis is going to be a mixed review. I just finished reading Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now. I enjoy watching Joel preach Sunday mornings on TV from Lakewood church. I’d like to drive to Houston someday to see him live. I think he is one of the most inspirational men out there today. However, getting through Joel’s book was, at times, mind-numbing. Sermons do not necessarily translate to chapters of a book. I would recommend reading a chapter, putting it down for a few weeks, reading another chapter, putting it down, and so on. Otherwise, the repetition that really helps Mr. Osteen drive home his point in his sermons may drive you crazy in his book. I will still probably crack open this book every now and again for some pick me up when I need to be inspired or motivated. However, I can’t recommend it. Joel Osteen, from what I have seen, is a great man, but not a great author. Of course, I will still probably read his second book.(less)
There’s a reason Time magazine voted Watchmen one of the 100 best novels. If you are a comic book fan, like I am, then without a doubt you will love W...moreThere’s a reason Time magazine voted Watchmen one of the 100 best novels. If you are a comic book fan, like I am, then without a doubt you will love Watchmen. The story is unlike any other comic I have read; it is bigger than any one costumed character. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons took a genre and stretched it beyond the normal confines of what a story can be in a graphic novel. If you’re not a comic book fan, but love well-written science fiction, I still recommend. One of the lines in the book read, “That in our pedestrian descriptions of a marbled or vermiculated plumage we forfeit a glimpse of living canvases, cascades of carefully toned browns and gold that would shame Kadinsky, misty explosions of color to rival Monet? I believe that we do.” The line is part of a description in which Owlman explains his adoration of the Owl, one of the reasons he chose an owl for his costume. That’s good writing. Also, each character in Watchmen is complex, and in some way broken, interesting. As a reader, you will pity some characters, feel hope for others, and not be able forgive others. I highly recommend Watchmen. Even if you’ve seen the movie, which was good, as well, you will get much more by reading the graphic novel. Favorite character: Rorschah. Who’s watching the Watchmen? Find out. Happy reading! (less)
Night Shift is an awesome collection of Stephen King shorts. I've been a Stephen King fan since I first read 'Salems Lot at a young age, and was only...moreNight Shift is an awesome collection of Stephen King shorts. I've been a Stephen King fan since I first read 'Salems Lot at a young age, and was only later introduced to King's talent as a short story writer through Four Past Midnight and then later, Nightmares and Dreamscapes and Everything's Eventual. I never got around to reading Night Shift, until now; I wasn't disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of film adaptations that came from this collection: Graveyard Shift, Maximum Overdrive, Children of the Corn, and the short story movie Cat's Eye. I think that Stawberry Spring might have been King's first attempt at what would later become The Dark Half. I liked the two preface stories to King's novel 'Salems Lot in this collection, as well: Jerusalem's Lot and One for the Road. Both made me want to read 'Salem's Lot again. I felt I am the Doorway was one the creepiest and most unsettling stories, and the Mangler and the Grey matter were the most fun, in an eerie way, of course. The Boogeyman is an exploration of schitzophrenia, or is it real? I liked the Lawnmower Man, also. King has an amazing way of allowing a reader to visualize the impossible. You might want to skip The Woman in the Room. It is both sad and depressing. As always, you can't go wrong with a Stephen King short story collection. He writes for the love of writing and to entertain, which he does in every story. (less)
The Postman Always Rings Twice is the first book I've read by James M. Cain. The voice and characters that Cain creates in his novel are enjoyable fro...moreThe Postman Always Rings Twice is the first book I've read by James M. Cain. The voice and characters that Cain creates in his novel are enjoyable from the first page to the last. The story is not overly complex or even so unique, but is such a wonderful example of the hard-boiled genre. If you just want a fun read for the evening, at 116 pages, it would be hard to beat this novel. However, as a reader, you will more than likely not like the characters in Cain's novel, and depending on your personality, you may or may not sympathize with them. Still, you will for sure want to know how it all ends for them. I really liked this, and look forward to reading another Cain yarn.(less)
Desperation wasn't close to one of my favorite Stephen King novels, but it was an enjoyable read. However, I'm a King fan. I liked the first half of t...moreDesperation wasn't close to one of my favorite Stephen King novels, but it was an enjoyable read. However, I'm a King fan. I liked the first half of the book better than the second. Officer Entragian scared the beejeebies out of me. I enjoy King's novels when he groups a bunch of mix-matched characters together, such as it is here, with a common goal. I also like the good vs. evil theme done here on a grand scale. The town of Desperation is a town that it is easy to picture oneself in: a small town in Nowhere, USA. Then King adds the terror. I would say that some parts of this novel are more page-turner quality than others. When the supernatural nature of the horror in this book takes over from the wrong place at the wrong time horror, for me, it was a little disappointing. However, I did get sucked back into the story. I thought the amount of gore as opposed to just scariness in the novel was unlike King, and I could have done without it. However, it is the horror genre. Gore and horror sometimes go hand in hand. If you like King, you should pick this novel up. It's not the best he has written, but, then again, I think it will scare you, at least a little.(less)