The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester is a fun bedtime story or independent reading chapter book. Read it to my kids (ages 5 and 9), and though the storThe Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester is a fun bedtime story or independent reading chapter book. Read it to my kids (ages 5 and 9), and though the story line moves at an excruciatingly slow pace, (view spoiler)[(truly, the image on the cover doesn't even happen until the last couple chapters), (hide spoiler)] the cliffhanger chapter endings were great to keep them excited about the characters.
My only issue is the occasional kid-slang-profanity (not a big deal to some parents, but we are probably more strict than others) and the bad attitudes of the boys. (view spoiler)[Eventually Owen comes around and accepts Viola and her good ideas, but (hide spoiler)]Owen's friends Travis and Stumpy are constantly negative and bullying toward the nerdy neighbor girl, Viola.
Overall, we enjoyed the story. I wouldn't read this as an adult because it honestly takes forever for anything to happen. But it isn't geared toward adults; it's a young readers book! And for young readers, the real problems, emotions, and cliffhangers leave them wanting to continue reading, which is the point of any young readers book. :o)
Note for parents:Parents who deal with negative attitude or words from their kids might want to read along with their kids, using it as an opportunity to discuss about how we should treat others and the different ways we can kindly express our emotions.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Apt Pupil: First half, incredible. Second half, um...
The first half of Apt Pupil was creepily and absolutely compelling. King has a way of presentingApt Pupil: First half, incredible. Second half, um...
The first half of Apt Pupil was creepily and absolutely compelling. King has a way of presenting the twisted and horrific in a way that urges a reader to keep reading, keep reading, keep reading--like watching a mangled body being extracted from a smashed car. You can't look away no matter how grotesque it is.
Sadly, also in true King form, somewhere in the middle of the book, the story took a turn, and the soft porn and profanity that King is prone to lean toward finally came out. Hey, if that's your thing, that's your thing. But I personally can't stomach it much anymore.
I do grant that it fits the character around which it surrounds, showing his stark change in personality as he gets deeper and deeper into the darkness of his soul. If we wanted to give it the old "serves the story" logic, yes, I can see that. The profanity, the sex, the violent fantasies--it all drives deeper and shows clearly (view spoiler)[Todd's spiral into (hide spoiler)] the state of psychopath. However, one has to wonder: is there a better way to write this that isn't so graphic?
King is a masterful storyteller. I read his books growing up, and I still acknowledge that he is an unsurpassed suspense and horror novelist. No one can tell a story like he can. I only wish he could do so (and truly, he has the talent to find a way) without riddling his novels with the blackness of profanity and explicit sex scenes.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more