This is a novella that was just published this month, and I decided to read it immediately since it is so short (around 60 pages). It started off awes...moreThis is a novella that was just published this month, and I decided to read it immediately since it is so short (around 60 pages). It started off awesome and creepy and then...all of a sudden...things took a turn. They got gross. Like I NEED TO SCRUB MY BRAIN WITH STEEL WOOL IN ORDER TO UNSEE WHAT I JUST READ gross. So, if you like your gore with a side of horror, allow me to introduce you to the next book you should be reading.(less)
The Long Walk by Stephen King seriously impressed me. Every time I pick up a book by Stephen King, some piece of the book always reiterates why he is...moreThe Long Walk by Stephen King seriously impressed me. Every time I pick up a book by Stephen King, some piece of the book always reiterates why he is basically the storytelling master. The Long Walk is absolutely no exception. You guys – this book is brilliant.
Brilliant it might be, but it also redefines the word bleak. It is a dystopian, so that is mostly to be expected. However – with most dystopians circulating these days, there is some form of hope. There is someone fighting for a cause they believe is right – readers devour the pages in hopes of seeing the protagonist succeed.
In this book, you can forget about it. Just check out the synopsis:
On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as “The Long Walk”. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying.
The book never pretends to be something it isn’t. We meet all these teenage boys – including Garraty, the MC – and we know from the beginning that most (if not all) of them will die. This is where the Stephen King magic touch comes in – because who would really want to read a book like this? Why get to know all these characters knowing they will die? Only one author I can think of could ever make me want to pick this book up.
From page one, I couldn’t put it down. Every single person introduced in the story is compelling – all of them in completely different ways. I was so torn when I found myself caring for some of them, because I knew I’d most likely be watching them die at some point. As the pages kept turning and I watched a hundred pairs of shoes start to fall apart and starvation and exhaustion set in – I was riveted. The rules of the walk say that it will only end when one person is left – so who was that person going to be? Or was there going to be a twist of some kind saving more than one of the boys?
If you know Stephen King, you know things are never as simple as they seem. The end will surprise you.
So, even though the entire book is overwhelmed with hopelessness, pain, exhaustion and cruelty – I can’t help but recommend you pick it up. It is storytelling at its very best, and is definitely a book I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.(less)
I read The Shining by Stephen King in honor of Halloween. It was a great choice too, let me tell ya! I’m not much of one for being afraid of ghosts, b...moreI read The Shining by Stephen King in honor of Halloween. It was a great choice too, let me tell ya! I’m not much of one for being afraid of ghosts, but by the time I was well into this story I sure was constantly terrified to see what would happen next…
Stephen King has this gift of being able to write normal, everyday people having normal everyday conversations over and over again in a way that makes you want to read it. When you look back on those parts of the story and try to figure out why you’re so captivated – you can’t quite put your finger on it because there isn’t anything extraordinary there. Just a gifted writer with the ability to remind you that the ordinary is worth reading about.
Of course, that is the truly scary part of the story. What can happen to normal, everyday people.
King also has the gift of making normal things seem unsettling. Even the simple act of the family going on an introductory tour of the kitchens gave me the heebie jeebies. Some of the most unsettling parts are just the pieces that foreshadow something worse to come:
As he got behind the truck’s wheel it occurred to him that while he was fascinated by the Overlook, he didn’t much like it. He wasn’t sure it was good for either his wife or his son or himself. Maybe that was why he had called [the hotel's manager].
To be fired while there was still time.
And of course, there is the big bad in this particular story: the Overlook Hotel. It starts off pretty slow and vague – but by the end of the story that hotel has woken up one rip-roaring demonic mess.
The Overlook faced it as it had for nearly three-quarters of a century, its darkened windows now bearded with snow, indifferent to the fact that it was now cut off from the world. Or possibly it was pleased with the prospect. Inside its shell the three of them went about their early evening routine, like microbes trapped in the intestine of a monster.
So, you better believe this book had me freaking out. Not because I was looking over my shoulder expecting a crazy ghost to be there – but because this family – Jack, Wendy and Danny Torrence along with Dick Hallorann – got a hold on me and I was scared out of my mind waiting to see how their story would end.
I didn’t know much at all about the plot of The Shining before starting it, and that is what I want for everyone that might pick it up one of these days. Most of my enjoyment came from my crazed anticipation to see what would happen next – and dreading coming to the end. It was absolutely worth the ride y’all!(less)
Well, I got about two-thirds of the way through this sucker, and then set it down for over a week and a half. I wasn't bored exactly, the Roland flash...moreWell, I got about two-thirds of the way through this sucker, and then set it down for over a week and a half. I wasn't bored exactly, the Roland flashback just had a rather long lull, and I felt the pull of the many other books in my TBR pile.
Before I picked it back up, I had pretty much made up my mind to forget my usual review policy of trying to give series a blanket rating...because I didn't think I would be able to give a book I could set down for a week and a half 5 stars.
Then I started it reading it again and changed my mind.
Roland is such an amazing character, and as much as I loved him before...I am putty in his fictional hands now. I firmly believe that if you've had your doubts about him in the past, this book will change your mind. Not only for the story he tells about his past, but also for the things he says to his ka-tet near the end of the book.
I also loved the way King admitted how much he was dreading writing the flashback, because he is no romance writer. Once I was reminded of that fact, I appreciated Roland's love story much more, lull and all.(less)
Now we get to some real nail-biting action. This book is split into two parts, and each part will have you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering...moreNow we get to some real nail-biting action. This book is split into two parts, and each part will have you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what the outcome will be.
This is my favorite of the first three volumes I think, although I mostly just consider it all one big story more then I consider it to be split up.
This book made me love all the characters more then ever. Roland especially. He cracked jokes AND faced down a demented train. He kicks ass. I also have a very big soft spot for Oy, I am very worried that something awful will end up happening to him.
Guess there is only one way to find out...onto the next one!(less)
Reading this volume, it struck me that Stephen King really didn't know fully the depth and strain of the story he was writing as he wrote The Gunsling...moreReading this volume, it struck me that Stephen King really didn't know fully the depth and strain of the story he was writing as he wrote The Gunslinger. Not to say I don't still love that part of the story too, because I do. It is just that with The Drawing of the Three, the story takes a completely different direction and has a totally different vibe.
There was one specific passage I really liked: No, sugar was not cocaine, but Roland could not understand why anyone would want cocaine or any other illegal drug, for that matter, in a world where such a powerful one as sugar was so plentiful and cheap.
It just struck me that, to someone of Roland's background, sugar WAS something addictive like cocaine would be to someone in our world, relatively speaking. Interesting thought.
I can already tell I'm really going to like Eddie Dean. He comes a long way in this story from where we met him throwing up in an airplane bathroom.
As for Odetta/Detta...I was really annoyed by that block of the story, honestly. I even thought I might have to knock the rating down some. But once I finished the book, I saw that section for what it was - a means to an end, and I can appreciate that. (I'm trying to explain how I feel about it without too many spoilers, sorry if I'm vague.)
I wish I'd listened to my friends sooner and started this series a long time ago, because if the series lives up to the promise it shows in Gunslinger...moreI wish I'd listened to my friends sooner and started this series a long time ago, because if the series lives up to the promise it shows in Gunslinger, I'm going to fall in love with it!
I had a solid 4 star rating in mind as I was reading, but then I loved the conversation between Roland and Walter at the end about the passage of time and the size of the universe so much, plus (as silly as it sounds) I loved King's afterward. I love the way he admitted he basically wrote Gunslinger having no clue what Roland's past (or future) really was, but that he was sure as hell going to find out.
So, I had to bump it up to 5 stars. I'm sure this will thrill my Stephen King stalkers friends to no end.