I've read a lot of Stephen King, and for years, I've held the belief that I only like his older stuff. Finally, one of his newer books impressed me! TI've read a lot of Stephen King, and for years, I've held the belief that I only like his older stuff. Finally, one of his newer books impressed me! This book was excellent. And talk about a master of suspense! Sometimes I was driving around listening to this in my car and grinning my fool head off because I was just so darn excited about what was happening, and what I was anticipating. Watching the whole thing unfold, soooo deliciously, torturously slow, was nerve-wracking. I wish every suspense and horror writer would read this book as a lesson. I happened to be reading a YA horror at the same time, and I was continually frustrated by this other book's tendency to rush the action at the expense of both suspense and clarity. Stephen King loves to explain. Some may think that makes his books move too slowly. But for me, it's worth every sentence because I am NEVER EVER confused, never asked to just believe something though the explanation is too muddy to make sense. SK is clear. He explains. He leaves no discrepancies. No stone unturned. And it's perfect.
This book is written by a master at his most masterful. Can't wait to read the next 2 in the series....more
This short story, read by the author, was pretty alright. I love Stephen King's voice, so I liked hearing him read it. The story was okay, too, but juThis short story, read by the author, was pretty alright. I love Stephen King's voice, so I liked hearing him read it. The story was okay, too, but just not life-changing (or scary for that matter). It was amusing at times. Just okay....more
**spoiler alert** This was an enjoyable addition to my list of King works. However, it wasn't anything spectacular. It kind of felt like an author's f**spoiler alert** This was an enjoyable addition to my list of King works. However, it wasn't anything spectacular. It kind of felt like an author's fears about the digital world taking shape. I did enjoy the stuffy professor character, which I haven't seen King do before. I also enjoyed both his colleague and the football player who seemed very smart and sweet, unlike the stereotype of the college athlete. This story also had a few great quotes, such as the one about spite being like methadone for lovers. That made me laugh aloud, both because it was true and funny (and of course, isn't most of what's funny only funny because it IS true?) But, I wouldn't say this story had too much originality in it. It just didn't grab my attention that much. Time travel, going forward in time to change the future, or seeing the future and then preventing it--all those themes have worn a little thin for me. The book had a few creepy moments, but nothing that stands out in my mind. Also, I wanted to know where all the professor's spite went--he just got scared and it seemed to disappear. The ending was a bit easy for me. I like the endings that are a little harder to swallow. I don't know if all King's books are like this, but the ones I've read this year have endings that go down like warm milk laced with valium--too easy to swallow after all that's happened, and seem like they're intended to sedate. I guess I like more of a mixed bag ending. Overall, this was a quick read that I'd recommend to people who want to read all the Stephen King that's ever been written (and a few thousand that might be in an alternate UR somewhere)....more
**spoiler alert** This was a short story that I listened to in an afternoon. It was classic King--creepy, gory, and suspenseful. My mother happened to**spoiler alert** This was a short story that I listened to in an afternoon. It was classic King--creepy, gory, and suspenseful. My mother happened to be in the other room while I was listening to this, and she kept saying, "What's that disgusting book you're listening to!" But I thought it was pretty standard King fare. I liked and related to the protagonist immediately, which is important in a short story where we have so little time for character development. As always, King is a master of character, whether in a short story or a 1000pg novel. Here, he did a great job as always. The husband wasn't very well developed, but then, he wasn't a main part of the story. Still, I would have liked a little more explanation for the woman leaving her husband than just that he didn't like her obsession with running. But when he says that she ran until she fell down, and that's not normal, it was a great and quick way to show exactly how obsessed she's become. Later, though, running doesn't seem to have the impact on the story that it should. I really thought the girl was going to run away at the end and that would save her life. Instead, the bad guy can't swim and ends up drowning? It felt like a little too easy a solution, I guess.
Overall, this was an enjoyable story that I'd say is worth adding to your list....more
**spoiler alert** It's always hard for me to review Stephen King books, especially the ones I'm not crazy about. I thought I'd really like this one, t**spoiler alert** It's always hard for me to review Stephen King books, especially the ones I'm not crazy about. I thought I'd really like this one, too. After all, I'm a huge fan of almost all of his more realistic books. Not that time travel is realistic, but other than that, there were few supernatural elements in this novel. I liked the dance theme woven throughout the story. I liked all the characters. They were well-done (when are King's characters NOT?) and likeable, easily believable. Except for one thing--not one of the characters stopped at any point during the novel and thought, "Hey, maybe screwing around with a major historical event might not be such a bright idea." I kept wondering why these supposedly intelligent adults never questioned that. I was thinking, "Come on, Stevie, are you serious?" Finally, at the end, he did deal with that issue, making the world radically different. I just found it hard to believe that NONE of the characters questioned that. Sure, they thought about if they could really kill a man, even one portrayed as a monster such as Oswald. But none of them considered the consequences of changing history--they were all so caught up in saving Kennedy and CHANGING HISTORY! YAY! I was skeptical. Other than that, the only thing that bothered me was the 'strings' or 'threads' or whatever they were, with the alternate versions of reality. It reminded me a lot of the URs in his short story (UR). But that's just my own imagination differing from King's. I did think the new world he created after Jake prevented the assassination was very interesting and thought provoking. So, overall, this book was okay. It was enjoyable, but for me, it just doesn't have that 'something special' that makes some of King's books so magical. This one was just a good read that could have been written by anyone. For me, it didn't have the signature kiss of King on it....more
I very much enjoyed this story about a nine 'but big for her age' year-old girl who gets lost in the Maine wilderness. For the most part. So let's getI very much enjoyed this story about a nine 'but big for her age' year-old girl who gets lost in the Maine wilderness. For the most part. So let's get down to it.
What I liked: The girl who loved baseball. Yep, that pretty much sums up why I loved this book. I mean, how can you not love a nine-year-old who loves baseball, in large part because she shared it with her absent-through-divorce father. And maybe I'm a little biased because I was a kid who loved basketball, and then baseball, and then football. Yep, I had favorite players, I could recount their stats. I knew who they pitched against, if they had trademark moves, etc. And for sure I could understand why and how baseball was her link to the world, how she listened to the games for solace and sanity and hope, for escape and, well, everything we love about sports as children or adults. And the girl was tough-as-nails but not unrealistically so. I didn't even mind that she cried ALL the time. I mean, not only was it realistic, but it didn't annoy me how, say, reading YA books about girls crying all the time makes me want to throw the book against the wall. No, when Trisha cried, it fit into the story and didn't make her seem like a spoiled whiny brat (sorry, I have a thing against girls who cry a lot in books). Instead of giving up and feeling sorry for herself, our plucky little heroine gets her resourceful butt up and goes on.
Which, incidentally, brings me to the next part of my review: what I didn't like so much. First of all...I may have read this wrong, but I'm pretty sure this is how it happens. Girl hiking in woods with family. Girl comes to fork in the road, goes off in the MIDDLE to pee, and gets lost. She tries to slant off to one side to catch up with her family on the trail, taking the short cut. Okay, so maybe the trail winds away somewhere and she wouldn't intersect it that way. So what does she do? She keeps walking. FOR NINE DAYS!!!!! Hello, why not just turn around? She's in the middle of a fork. When she realizes she's lost, if she'd turned around and gone back, she'd have to either run into one of the two trails or come back to the intersection. It's geographically not possible that she wouldn't. Draw a picture if you don't believe me. For such a smart, resourceful kid to not think of something so simple...I don't believe it for a minute. Not for a kid who knows what to eat in the woods better than I do, and I'm an adult who happened to grow up, that's right, IN THE WOODS! The next thing that sort of bothered me was how she got sick from drinking clear pure stream water. That's pretty much a myth. If you drink stream/river water that comes out of a farm where there's runoff from animal dung, maybe. In the middle of a pristine forest? Not so much. I'd buy it if the swamp water, or the puddle water, made her violently ill ie food poisoning, but not the clean water. And the last thing. Yeah, I know, SK points out that this was her first bad decision, to go north towards Canada instead of south when she got to almost civilization. I could see how she'd miss when she was so close. I could see how she didn't hear the town. But who goes north? Come on, she's seen maps, right? She lives in Maine, right? Can anyone name a town north of Maine besides, um, Canada? Can anyone name a town south of Maine? Yeah, that's what I thought. This girl was way too smart to make those mistakes. If she'd been an idiot, I'd buy it. But then, she wouldn't have lived.
So I guess my final word would be this: come on, Mr. King. Don't fall back on the same lame old lost-in-the-woods cliches. Your fans expect more.
Also, like most of King's almost could-happen books, I didn't need the supernatural stuff. It was hokey. There's plenty of horror in real life, plenty of scary situations for a girl lost in the woods. We really don't need wasp-gods to know it's scary. Really. I like King's supernatural books fine, but some of them, I always think, are more plausible (aka scary) without it. Those elements just ruin the spine tingling "this could REALLY happen" vibe and distract/detract from the suspense. Maybe he just adds it bc he thinks the fans like that? I know I don't need it in every book. Not. At. All.
I definitely fell in love with the character in this book, which is one of the things that Stephen King does SO well. I just didn't buy all the circumstances. But overall, it was a satisfying, if not exactly terrifying, story.
I'd recommend to younger King fans or those just getting into his work. And YA readers. And people who have gotten or would like to get lost in the woods....more
This was one Stephen King shorts that I really enjoyed. It was nicely creepy. I also liked the younger voice. Usually King's protagonist's are older,This was one Stephen King shorts that I really enjoyed. It was nicely creepy. I also liked the younger voice. Usually King's protagonist's are older, but this college boy had a good college type voice. One thing that annoys me about older established writers deciding they want to write for a younger audience is that they usually butcher slang. But this one had hardly any slang, so that helped. It had a bit of creepiness, but it was also one of the more touching books I've read. The boy's relationship to his mother was touching and sweet. Overall, a good short read (or listen) if you want some King and only have a little bit of time....more
This one is better than the other recent shorts I read (listened to) by Stephen King. This one had a great setup, was very imaginative, and had a creeThis one is better than the other recent shorts I read (listened to) by Stephen King. This one had a great setup, was very imaginative, and had a creepy vibe that was missing in the last novellas I got.
I liked the premise of this book, and it got creepier and creepier as it went along. But then, near the end, it got a little too...light. I wanted a darker, scarier ending I guess. I never thought I'd say this (I may be the first to ever utter this phrase about a Stephen King work), but this was a cute little light read. Man, my mind must be twisted if I think that about a Stephen King book!
I got absorbed in this book, it was good, all that. I just thought the ending was as little bland. It might have been better as a novella or short novel, as opposed to a short story (1.5 hrs on audio).
I'd recommend this to King fans and those who have a little time to sit down and read but don't want to get sucked into a whole novel....more
This book (or novella?) was a major let-down to me. I love King's older stuff, and I thought I'd try to get into some of his newer stuff. This one wasThis book (or novella?) was a major let-down to me. I love King's older stuff, and I thought I'd try to get into some of his newer stuff. This one was short, so I thought it might ease me in.
I was wrong.
This book was just lacking...something. That magical King touch. The audio version is read by a great guy who does the New England accent of the two old men so wonderfully that it kept me going. But the story itself did not hold my interest. It was supposed to be a mystery, but it just wasn't very...mysterious. Not that I 'figured it out.' I don't think the reader is supposed to. But honestly, I just didn't care about the mystery. It did not intrigue me. I just wanted it to be over so I could mark it as read and move on. If I'd read this book instead of listened to it, I'd probably only give it one star. But I did enjoy it slightly, so I gave it two. Great audio narrator. Sub-par story.
Recommended for: Anyone who thinks Stephen King write words of gold and can do no wrong. If you have actual opinions that vary on his works, skip right over this one. He's written so many amazing stories, and this one is really not worth your time unless your goal is to read everything he's ever written. Next, please....more
I found this short story in audio at my library, so I thought I'd get it even though it's short. Well, now I know why I really love King NOVELS. I knoI found this short story in audio at my library, so I thought I'd get it even though it's short. Well, now I know why I really love King NOVELS. I know some people don't like the 'slow' progress of his novels, but I love development. This story was just okay to me. I'm not a fan of the interview type story that pretends to be real, either. It was an interesting read, but nothing too special. It could have been better as a novella, I think. The ending was pretty great, but the rest of it just so-so....more
I'm not sure why I haven't read this book before now. In high school I read tons of Stephen King, but for some reason I skipped over this one. Maybe bI'm not sure why I haven't read this book before now. In high school I read tons of Stephen King, but for some reason I skipped over this one. Maybe because it was thin and I liked the big thousand-plus page books he wrote. I was finally inspired to read this book because I saw the movie, liked it, and wanted to see if the book was better.
For me, it was a good read. Some of the parts got a little tedius, but overall, it was a good book. A little immature in the King realm, but that's to be expected from his first book. Some of the characters could have been better developed, IMO, and some of the exciting parts were too slow. They would have been better if the action had been speeded up some. Such as the part about Carrie after the prom, which went on and on, and I really lost interest and drifted off to sleep a few times during those parts. I did like how the book showed how alienating it can be to be an outcast, and how that made Carrie at sort of hateful person on the inside despite her religious upbringing and her usual character for most of the book. But when she had the power to get back at everyone, all the years of being picked on boiled to the surface. I thought the book did a good job of showing how brutal girls can be, even more so than boys.
This book was pretty good, but far from my favorite King book. Recommended for King fans, since this is a classic and his first book--you sort of have to read it. ...more