Books Stephen King Recommends discussion

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Dec 2011 - Jan 2012 Group Read > Part I: The Worst Dream in the World (SPOILER ALERT)

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message 1: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Part I comments go here.


message 2: by Ann (last edited Jan 01, 2012 09:49AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments When I read (listened to) part one (chapters 1-14) I had several questions and speculations.... It was not clear to me what was going on at all (not that not knowing was bad, I was quite intrigued)
These were my thoughts at that point, ready to start part two (spoilers up to but not including chapter 15)

How did Sister Lacy know how to find Amy (or Wolgast?) How did Doyle know that Lacy was coming and 'hear' her on her journey? Right now I can only assume that Amy was dreaming about what was happening with Fanning / Zero and the others (their plotting and communicating with the sweeps) and maybe involving seeing some of the future and was somehow sending a homing beacon or part of her dreams to Lacy (and possibly Doyle) How else could Lacy and Doyle act so calmly in the face of what seemed like an incredibly horrific scene?
I am speculating that Amy was mentally connected in some way to both Wolgast and Lacy from their first physical contact and that connection was on a very long tether, eventually including Doyle who had seemed to resist her pull initially.
It makes sense to me that possibly Jonas Lear had initially "heard" Amy too and he was the impetus for Amy's involvement, pulling in Lacy, Wolgast and Doyle in her wake. The people around the vampires either get infected from the blood dreams or have knowledge of what the others are thinking and doing (or both)
It may be fun to see what our speculations turn out to be, accurate or wildly off-base.


message 3: by Rocio (new)

Rocio (scarlet86) | 50 comments I'm still way behind, I'm about to finish chapter 3, but OMG, is looking quite good, I'm in the part of (view spoiler)


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments It really is, Scarlet! Scarlet86 wrote: "but OMG, is looking quite good"


message 5: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I'm totally sucked in. Loving it!


message 6: by Michael (last edited Dec 29, 2011 09:32PM) (new)

Michael Selmer (MichaelSelmer) | 17 comments I'm assuming that when SK called "The Ruins" the best horror novel of the new century, he had not yet seen "The Passage". If Cronin can keep this up, I have a feeling that it could rival "The Stand" as my favorite of the apocalyptic horror genre. That being said, I'm assuming this is a discussion and it is ok to make one critical statement. Some of the character development seemed overdone for the secondary characters. I especially felt that, if he was going to kill her off anyway, Lacey could have been made an interesting and sympathetic character in a lot fewer pages. I enjoy character development, but not if it means slowing the story down while it happens. That being said, if Carter and Grey turn up again, I'll withdraw most of my objection to the many thousands of words spent detailing their personalities.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments I agree, Michael - there is a lot of set-up time spent on the setting and characters in The Passage; for the most part in the end, and generally speaking, I decided it was well spent.


message 8: by Debra (last edited Dec 30, 2011 03:47AM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I wanted to point out that there is no need to use the spoiler tags to hide spoilers in these discussions, as we agreed that each section of a book could be discussed freely without using them. The group agreed to this a while back. This is why I have each discussion thread include the words SPOILER ALERT in the title. Folks shouldn't read any book section discussion until they've read that part of the story. The thread called "general discussion" should not include any spoilers, but the actual book sections will obviously have them.

Hope that makes sense.

Happy reading!


message 9: by Debra (last edited Dec 31, 2011 02:12PM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "When I read (listened to) part one (chapters 1-14) I had several questions and speculations.... It was not clear to me what was going on at all (not that not knowing was bad, I was quite intrigued..."

It did seem the connection Amy had with Wolgast and Lacey happened when they met... or perhaps there was destiny, fate involved, like you said with Lear choosing her in the first place. Interesting speculations!

Everyone at the chalet seemed more and more connected to the experimental subjects, as it was apparent everyone was having the dreams. Doyle would have been subject to the same dreams and connections to others. It's all as if it was meant to be, isn't it?


message 10: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "I'm assuming that when SK called "The Ruins" the best horror novel of the new century, he had not yet seen "The Passage". If Cronin can keep this up, I have a feeling that it could rival "The Stand..."

Yes, but is Lacey really killed off? She leaves the car, but we are not told she is killed.

I can see your point about developing characters that just get killed off after the first 200 pages, but this didn't bother me. I liked the character development and got attached to all the characters in one way or another. What happens to each of them seems inevitable, and for those that died, I don't expect to see them later unless they get reanimated somehow!


message 11: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I had to go back to the emails regarding the jungle to remind myself who Zero/Fanning was. He's the one who liked to get involved with the young students. So now there are 13 of these super-human vampire-like creatures. Was it just the bats that did this, or was there something else in that jungle. There a brief reference to there being something else, other "undead" folk who attacked them?


message 12: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Sad how Amy's mother's real story couldn't come out; and what a sad life she had. Can't imagine what it would be like to have to give up your own child to try and give her a better life, only to find out she'd been kidnapped.

Same with Carter. His innocence didn't come out. He, also, didn't have the best luck, did he?

Anybody a FreeCell freak? I used to play it a lot.

Time to go on to the next part. I'm really liking the book, so far!


message 13: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 47 comments Debra wrote: and for those that died, I don't expect to see them later unless they get reanimated somehow! ..."

If Uncle Steve were the author, the return of a 'dead' character in one of his many other whens - or other wheres - would be standard practice.
So . . . logic has it that one of King's favored authors could do likewise.


message 14: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Tom wrote: "Debra wrote: and for those that died, I don't expect to see them later unless they get reanimated somehow! ..."

If Uncle Steve were the author, the return of a 'dead' character in one of his many..."


LOL. So true!


message 15: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments Finished Part 1 today - so in response to Ann's comment regarding Doyle "hearing" Lacy coming possibly thru Amy's dreams, what surprises me is why did Wolgast know this, to me Wolgast has a much better connection to Amy then Doyle did. It's almost like Cronin wanted to keep Wolgast "in the dark", he did not know what was going on at all. He was surprised to see everyone along the route that Lear lead him to.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to why Lear had a connection to Amy and why he wanted her??? Except for the fact that he wanted/needed a younger person. I didn't get that part - Most of the sticks were criminals, right???? Or was Carter the only criminal???


message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael Selmer (MichaelSelmer) | 17 comments All the sticks were criminals. I'm not positive, but it seemed to me that Amy's selection was a matter of chance and convenience. If Lacey hadn't called the cops, Doyle & Wolgast wouldn't have been redirected to get her.


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments Doyle & Wolgast received orders from Richards to pick Amy up, that would have happened even if Lacey had not called the cops. The cops just arrived at the convent before they did. I think Lacey called the cops because she had a abandoned child and felt that she needed to report it.


message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Linda, the communication between the various characters was confusing and you are probably right with picking up that Cronin was starting to separate them somewhat by keeping Wolgast in the dark, ... which does not make sense to me, but not much makes sense related to the dreams or how they seem to do things out of their own conscious control ( creepy!) I couldn't figure Doyle out much of the time.


message 19: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments I agree, he was a little suspect most of the time. I did like that he risked his own life to help Wolgast and Amy get away. Well, I suppose he risked his life, at this point since I am still in the first half of the book, I'm not sure what has or will happen to those characters that Cronin took so much time in helping us to get to know them.


message 20: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
When Lacy called the police, Amy went into the police's computer system. Lear was looking for an unattached child to experiment on, and Amy was chosen because she was exactly that - an abandoned child. I believe Amy wouldn't have been selected if Lacey hadn't called the police, because then the military wouldn't have found out about her.

I'm going to have to re-read the part about Doyle hearing Lacey. I don't remember that.


Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf (melissaseclecticbookshelf) I really need to pick up this book so that I can re-read and refresh my memory on certain sections. Doyle was definitely a little suspect all along...and it was a bit implausible that Lacey calling the local authorities let the military to Amy so quickly...but then again...they certainly have a great reach...


message 22: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Thanks for joining in, Melissa! Yeah, it is almost as if Amy, Lacey and all the others were destined to meet; a higher plan or something.


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