** spoiler alert **
I'd never read a SK book before but for some reason this one jumped off the shelf for me. So I bought it and then I though I better read it before someone put me off such a thick book.
Two weeks later...
I walked around the house like a zombie. I walked reading from room to room. I thought about it during the day and dreamed (rather unpleasantly) about it during the night.
I read it a little too fast - I wanted and needed to find out what happened and was completely paranoid about Stu dying. (My favourite character) I never considered that everyone else would go and die as well!
I'd like to read it again and take my time, but I think I'm going to break down crying with every Larry Underwood scene because next to Stu, I loved him. And poor Glen, poor Ralph.
I felt sorry for Harold too because it was such a waste of a life. I hated him for killing Nick, in the end it wasn't wholly the Dark Man's doing - he made plenty enough choices from his own free will. But just the way he died and the many opportunities he had to be better... I always hoped beyond hope he'd make the Right choice.
Stephen King produced some of the most real feeling characters I have read in a long time. That is the strength of the book - the characters because you care about them so much it feels as if they are real. To me, they are quite real and that is why it hurts when they die. I think on a second read it is going to be worse because I'm going to be taking my time rather then reading it so hungrily I'm sure I rushed through.
However, despite this... the climax with Flagg was a little anti-climatic and detracted a lot from the grief I should have felt from losing Larry, Glen and Ralph. It felt slightly rushed - slightly hashed together and not very well thought out. I suppose I was expecting some big show down but it never came.
The Stu's escape back to the Free Zone was a little long and protracted, slowing down what should have been an amazing ending. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it - in a way after Larry & co dying I was a little shocked and it didn't really set in until Stu talked about them.
My whole heart was hurting when I read the end of this book at about 0530 though tears were slightly dry.
I loved this book, but the ending could have been better. Maybe it should have been two books rather then one?