Sep 09, 11
Read from August 28 to September 05, 2011
First, two thumbs up to Craig Wasson and Jessica Hecht, the alternating narrators on the audio CD. Wasson was particularly brilliant and engaging with “1922.” Wilfred is brought fully to life, evil cackles and all. At times, Wasson's voice is dripping with desperation and we feel it in our bones. I enjoyed (if that’s possible) “1922” and all the ways King found to put Wilfred through the wringer of the economy, nature, neighbors and greed, to name just a few issues. Wilfred is haunted and so are we—desperately so. We can’t endorse his actions yet we are fully trapped and suffocated by his own series of odd, violent decisions. What a trick. I didn’t buy “Big Driver.” I liked the beginning, just didn’t believe the rape scene and didn’t buy the fallout or how the main character, a writer of “cozy” mysteries, deals with revenge. Terrific idea—and almost seemed to spoof “cozies” as it went—but it just didn’t connect for me. “Fair Extension,” on the other hand, is one I’d read again. It’s fanciful, witty—and bleak at the same time. It borders on mythological but what gives King so much storytelling power is to paint such ordinary everyday people and put us in their shoes. He succeeds here—big time. And, finally, “A Good Marriage” relies on a striking bit of coincidence to propel it forward, and could have been shorter, but the “what if” nature of this yarn is certainly gripping stuff. These four central characters each have their own dark side—or inner selves—and are either surprised to find what lurks inside or know full well how to take advantage of their ugly half.