Books Stephen King Recommends discussion

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Jul-Aug 2015 You > Chapters 1-11 (SPOILERS)

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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
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Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments I started reading this book and am about 10% in. I'm questioning why I wanted to read this book except that it was highly recommended by a couple of friends.

First, it's written in second person point of view of which I am not a fan. I abandoned the only other book using this technique that I read.

But, worse, it's disgusting being in the mind of a stalker. It's creeping me out. I hope I can persevere.

One of my friends said that she struggled with those two things, but once she got beyond that it was an amazing read. I hope so.


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Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments Oh! We have a Stephen King sighting right off the bat. Beck has walked to the F-K section of the bookstore and Joe is speculating which author she is going to pick. "You don't stage Faulkner and your jeans hang loose and you're too sun-kissed for Stephen King, and too untrendy for Heidi Julatvits and who, who will you buy?" She did not buy King, for what it's worth. Silly girl!


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Janice, hope the book gets better! Getting creeped out can be a good or bad thing, depending on your POV.

You should put your sighting in our Sightings thread. It's a good one.


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Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments I've decided to give up on this book. I really dislike second person point of view, and I feel really uncomfortable being in the mind of a psychopathic stalker. To calm my fears a bit, I took a peek at some reviews. One was hidden in spoilers, but that didn't stop me. The spoilers in it did stop me from wanting to read the book.

I feel bad, because this book was my nomination and now I'm going to bail after reading only 10%.

I will add that sighting to the proper thread.


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Wow, Janice, you've got me worried. Sorry you had to abandon this one.


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Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments I'll be interested in everyone's comments so will follow along.


Sarah I have read the first two chapters. So it's both 1st and 2nd person POV. I agree with you Janice about not liking 2nd person. I don't like this creepy guy addressing me. But I guess that's the point. To creep us out. Now the "You" is female and I am female so it has the desired effect but I wonder whether it would work on a male reader. Is the author's intended readership female?

While the POV is dislikable, it hasn't made me want to put the book down. What made me stop reading for this evening was I didn't want to be too creeped out to go to bed, especially after not sleeping for the last two nights due to the hot weather.

This guy, Joe, is scary. And I'm shocked at how he thinks. I don't like it one bit. He does highlight how easy it is for someone to find out information about you what with all the social media devices. It's good to have that reminder too.


Sarah I'm at the 10% mark now, just finished chapter 5. Not a huge amount is happening, just more of the same. Stalker following the woman. He's now entered her flat and accessed her laptop. He knows a lot about her.

While it's scary that he is following her, he is also very perceptive and seems to actually know her much deeper than her friends actually do.

He has also done this before - she is not his first stalkee. I am curious about what happened to the first one, Candace.

While he is following her home after she has got drunk, he witnesses her fall on to the train tracks and he saves her. So we shall see what happens from here on in.


Sarah Carried on reading. I think I'm in chapter 7. HE HAS A CAGE. A SOUNDPROOF CAGE! This does not bode well for the woman. I can't for the life of me think what she's called. She is just "You".

I am getting used to the POV and being in the stalker's mind now. So much so, that I am feeling less creeped out by him now. Not because his creepiness has diminished, it's just not having the same effect on me.

I don't like how graphic the stalker is about sex and the object of his desire. I don't mind expletives or talk about sex generally, but there is something so vulgar and disturbing when it's coming out of his mouth and I'm hoping he doesn't keep talking about her (and her body parts) in that way. But I reckon he will.


Michelle Holden | 115 comments I am up to chapter nine and not really minding the second person POV. However I agree with Sarah in that I don't usually mind expletives/sexual references in books when appropriate but I am finding the language in this book bordering on vulgar and unnecessary. I am interested in the story line and am finding it quite creepy on a plus note.


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I had a hard time getting into the book at first. The 2nd person POV is a bit difficult, but I've since gotten into it, and it has its desired effect of being creepy.

The girl's name is Guinevere Beck, but she goes by Beck.

Mr. Mooney actually built the cage and even put Joe in it for a few days for failing to remember to lock the cage. He's let out 3 days after 9/11 happened. The cage is to protect the collectible books, but why is there a drawer to pass stuff back and forth?

Didn't really feel sorry about Benji being put in the cage. His reaction is kind of funny with all his demands for organic food and such. Joe makes him read a SK book, and that is also funny.

I thought the whole part about people coming in to buy Doctor Sleep was hysterical. The author clearly loves SK.

SK said something about this book having snarky moments. And I agree. I have been amused by things; maybe I'm sick! We're inside a psychopath's mind and I'm finding some things funny!


Sarah I too have found aspects of it funny. I must be sick too.

I started writing down the SK sighting but then when I realised practically the whole chapter focused on him and Doctor Sleep. I thought you'd enjoy that part Debra.

Joe mentions the bookshop owner's port collection which he keeps in the cage so I wonder whether he was a bit messed up in a similar way to Joe is.


Sarah I have finished this section now. it's quite a quick read. not a page turner as such though.


Sarah The creepiness has gone for me, especially now they have met properly now.


Sarah I've just recalled that Joe put Candace's brother in the cage. Joe isn't in prison so I'm thinking he didn't just let him go, but killed him.


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Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments Sarah wrote: "Carried on reading. I think I'm in chapter 7. HE HAS A CAGE. A SOUNDPROOF CAGE! This does not bode well for the woman. I can't for the life of me think what she's called. She is just "You".

I am g..."


That cage freaked me out. I left off sometime after he put Benji in it.

I wonder if Joe is being selective about his memories of Mr. Moody. If you just want the cage for storing valuable books, why make it sound proof and put a slot for passing things back and forth. For some reason, Apt Pupil popped into my mind as I was writing this.

I will fess up and tell you that I jumped ahead to the last few chapters and read them. LOL! I already knew how it would end because I'd read the spoiler, so I figured I may as well. So I'll follow along with the discussion. I know, my whole attitude is kind of silly.

It reminds me of the time I was watching Hush! Hush! Sweet Charlotte on tv when I was 13 and babysitting. When the guy was murdered, I changed the channel. Then I kept popping back and watching a bit more until something else happened.


message 18: by Debra (last edited Jul 04, 2015 12:40PM) (new) - added it

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I don't remember that about Candace's brother, but I'm sure Joe killed him. He would have had to.

Janice, you are too funny. Glad you'll be with us in the discussion, even tho you cheated and read the ending. LOL!

Almeta and I just had a chat about how scared we'd get watching scary movies, so can totally relate.


Sarah Candace's brother was mentioned in chapter 9.


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Candace's brother was mentioned in chapter 9."

Thanks, I'll go back and read that!


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Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments Debra wrote: "Janice, you are too funny. Glad you'll be with us in the discussion, even tho you cheated and re..."

I'll read vicariously through you. :)


Michelle Holden | 115 comments Never thought I would say this but I am starting to feel empathy with a psychopath lol! I dislike beck intensely-she is so high maintenance and fake.

I love the fact that joe is such an unreliable narrator that it just keeps you guessing. I almost forget he is committing a crime and get sucked into his diatribe!


Sarah Totally agree Michelle. Especially as time goes by and we get to know both of the characters better.


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I also agree, Michelle. Beck is such a flake, and I found myself rooting for Joe to win her over. That is just SO weird!


Larissa | 270 comments Still waiting for my $4 paper copy to come in, so I read the Kindle sample which isn't much. This guy is super creepy, but everything makes perfect sense in his head. That in itself really highlights for me how alien the thought process of someone this troubled can be. We readers could be shouting at him "No, a$$h@le, she isn't in to you," and he'd be indignant and incredulous---Of course she is!

I wonder if 2nd pov like this is getting traction recently in the publishing world. It's interesting in its unusualness, but I wonder if I'll tire of it for the whole book. Multiple pov has been done though, and maintaining a 2nd/1st pov throughout makes for an uncomfortably up close view of a crazy stalker (and completely apropos, right?)

I look forward to reading more in hopes that there are other tricks and surprises ahead. I wonder will it be possible to really develop any other character but our delusional narrator?


Larissa | 270 comments How interesting that some of you are sympathizing with Joe! That tells me things are about to take a turn for me! :)


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Well no one realizes he's a psychopath, and he seems so much nicer than the guys that Beck seems to like dating. She like guys that take advantage of her and use her for sex. Even Peach isn't a good friend. So Joe seems a saint by comparison.


Larissa | 270 comments Finally got my book. Here are my random thoughts so far:

So, you start reading and you get all creeped out by stalker dude (shall I continue in 2nd person? No?


Larissa | 270 comments omg 90% of my post is cut off. poo


Larissa | 270 comments (let's try this again)

But then I started kind of liking Joe, especially when he makes fun of people hiding their real interests at the book store. Also the scene with Benji in the cage is hilarious. I like that we get such a contrast between what he thinks and what he's like in person. Wasn't he cute on the date with Beck? Did anyone else want to see more of their who's-read-more-books game?

I think I'm enjoying Joe because his mind is so id--the part of us that want to cuss out a customer or boss or beat up someone who is just begging for an ass whopping. That's one reason I like dark fiction--you get to be so baddddd because it's all in your head!


Larissa | 270 comments omg it did it again! dammit! I'll be composing elsewhere and pasting my comments from now on. smh


Larissa | 270 comments Is the author a King fangirl or what? Also a smart move to get noticed by the Master! YOU seems right up his oeuvre anyway.☺

The only part I had trouble with is imagining the mahogany cage that could hold birds or books. I think I may have to reread that part.

I think the stalker pov is spot on, crude in just the right doses. It's also fun to get to see how Joe misunderstands situations. I guess some stalkers really get lost in the delusion.

I'm really liking this book because it's still surprising me. I think I'll make another cuppa and read the next section.


Larissa | 270 comments (for the record, my original post was much better than this 3rd iteration!)


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
The cage really creeped me out... I just knew it wasn't designed just to keep priceless books.


message 35: by Kerri (last edited Aug 18, 2015 12:16AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kerri I'm late to this party, but I've really enjoyed reading all your comments, most of which I agree with.
I nearly gave this up at 10% of the way in but wanted to at least get to the end of the first section. I found it much easier to read after that, either it toned down a bit or I got used to the way it was written.
I found parts of it quite funny too and am actually now sort of enjoying being in Joe's head, what does that say about me? I guess I just like reading his thought process and seeing things from his perspective, I've always been curious about what goes on in a psycho's mind.


Sarah Glad you stuck with it Kerri. Looking forward to your comments. I think we all said we got used to Joe and ended up liking him a bit.


Kerri I'm glad I stuck with it too, on to the next thread now.


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Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Yes, glad you didn't give up, Kerri. Most of us did start rooting for Joe. And, yes, what does they say about us?


Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments Debra wrote: "I had a hard time getting into the book at first. The 2nd person POV is a bit difficult, but I've since gotten into it, and it has its desired effect of being creepy.

The girl's name is Guinevere ..."


Debra, my thoughts on why the drawer is in the cage - I think Mr. Mooney put it there back when he put Joe in the cage. He kept him in it for several days, he had to feed him some how - or maybe he just went in the cage - Joe was a kid at that time, but I think Mr. Mooney made it for Joe.


Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments Sarah wrote: "Candace's brother was mentioned in chapter 9."

Wow! I also missed the part about Candace's brother - how could I do that, I was trying to make sure I was paying attention - I am listening to the audio version and sometimes I need to listen to sections over again - I think I will go back and listen again.


Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments I'm extremely curious about the cage as well and this Mr. Mooney! I get that he probably needs a locked case of some kind to store collectibles but the cage seems really out there - when Joe first mentions the cage, I was thinking it was kind of like the cigarette cages they have at Costco or Sam's - but now I'm not quite sure what it looks like. Of course Joe creeps me out - and I want to add Mr. Mooney to that list also!


Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments Okay, I guess I should kind of start at the beginning, even though I have made some comments ahead of this one. I like Kerry am also late to this party - but so glad that I came. (I hope that does not sound weird) LOL!!!

I'm listening to the audio version and I didn't like the beginning of the book, I had a hard time getting into it. I just finished listening to Chapter 11 and now I am all in! Joe is truly a creeper - and his comments about how easy it is to find out about people because of social media - that is really scary but true so many people share so much of their lives on social media. - but back to the book.....

I agree with you all regarding Beck, she does seem a bit clueless! And I can see how easy it is going to be for Joe to get close to her.

I loved the Dr. Sleep moments in the book, and how people are coming in Mooney's to buy the book just because of Good Morning America - and not because they are fans of Stephen King.

Loved the part with the taste test. Its funny how Joe has Benji locked in this cage, and Benji is demanding almond milk, free range chicken, organic fruit etc. and Joe is getting it for him - but he is complaining about it - just don't get it for him Joe! LOL!!!


Sarah Linda wrote: "Loved the part with the taste test. Its funny how Joe has Benji locked in this cage, and Benji is demanding almond milk, free range chicken, organic fruit etc. and Joe is getting it for him - but he is complaining about it - just don't get it for him Joe! LOL!!! "

I thought this part brought out the caring side of Joe and that generally, he has no beef with the guy - he's just in the way of his "happiness". He doesn't torture the guy, but tends to his needs.

I'm not sure I'd have stuck with the book if I'd have listened to it on audio - hearing the psycho addressing my directly would have been too creepy.

As for the cage Mr Mooney built, I think the hatch was there before Joe was put in it. I get the impression he was a pretty messed up guy too. I think Joe mentioned that Mr Mooney had a stash of porn in the cage and he'd take himself off down there now and again - something that Joe also did. We don't know what their relationship was like or how long they known each other for. Perhaps Joe moulded himself on Mooney because his father wasn't present and he didn't have much of a relationship with his mum.


Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments I didn't think about it that way Sarah, it does show the caring side of Joe.

I'm enjoying the audio - the narrator is really good, and I don't mind creepy!


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