Books Stephen King Recommends discussion

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June-July 2012 Group Read > Overal Impressions (SPOILER ALERT)

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message 1: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Put your final comments here.


message 2: by Ann (last edited Jun 03, 2012 02:11PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments I was wowed by the book, and I didn't expect to be. I thought I would like it, but not that it would give me so many thoughtful moments to ponder afterwards.
*Love lingers*; and *that the dead can't save themselves, someone else must do it*.
I am eager to discuss as best I can along the way; as I was listening to the audio I didn't take notes at the end of each part, so will depend on others comments to tip-toe around revealing too much, too soon. I may look for a print copy at the library to guide my comments.


message 3: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Koryta is such a great writer; I will definitely continue to read his stuff! This book was relentless, and I was on the edge of my seat all the way through; so anxious about Arlen and Paul and Rebecca. I wanted them to just get out of Corridor County and make tracks! I like the supernatural twist, too. It didn't overwhelm the story; just added a bit of spice and intrigue.

I'm going to pace myself on adding my comments to each section, so others can catch up.


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Debra: I agree, the supernatural parts were very well done, adding to the story without overwhelming it.
Debra wrote: "Koryta is such a great writer; I will definitely continue to read his stuff! This book was relentless, and I was on the edge of my seat all the way through; so anxious about Arlen and Paul and Rebecca.......! I like the supernatural twist, too. It didn't overwhelm the story; just added a bit of spice and intrigue"

.


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments I finished this one today. Not really sure how I feel about it. I mean I liked it.... but??!!???

Maybe I need to talk it out. I'm ready anytime you are Debra and Ann..... help me - what am I missing???


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Linda: I wasn't sure I liked it either as I read / listened to most of the book. I couldn't quite warm up to Rebecca, she seemed too cold and aloof. Arlen was ok, Paul was ok, the rest despicable for the most part.
It's hard to like a book with characters you can't like much.
So then at the end I was intrigued with the twists on the storyline, the backstory on Arlen grabbed me in, then the supernatural aspect of Arlen's gift was compelling as he went on his search for Paul. That plus the contemplation of the type of psychic knowledge Arlen lived with redeemed the book for me.


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments I agree with you on that part Ann, I was excited to see that Arlens gift was very much like his dad's, and that he was able to connect with him on that level. I think when he was a little boy and he saw his dad talking to the dead, it scared him and he thought his dad was crazy, but I think after he discovered that he had the same gift and Owen spoke to him that first time, Arlen was able to open his mind to the gift.

But now there is another question that is left unanswered, Arlen saw the smoke in his eyes, and his skeleton body, but he didn't die, Paul was able to get him to the hospital and they saved his life, now, why would the author have that happen if he was going to allow Arlen to live in the end... that was odd to me..


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Yes, Linda that part perplexed me in the end too. Arlen was sure that he would die and he did everything he could to save Paul knowing his sacrifice was inevitable. It seemed to be another feature of Arlen's knowledge of how his gift worked. He seemed to have had endless opportunities to study how it worked with all the death he experienced in the war.
I was intrigued by his assertion of what he'd learned in the Belleau Wood, that the dead couldn't save themselves- he could help the men with smoke in their eyes, but they couldn't ever help themselves.
Evidentially Paul could help Arlen ( and to great effect!!)

Linda wrote: "But now there is another question that is left unanswered, Arlen saw the smoke in his eyes, and his skeleton body, but he didn't die, Paul was able to get him to the hospital and they saved his life, now, why would the author have that happen if he was going to allow Arlen to live in the end... that was odd to me.. h..."


message 9: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Although I expected Arlen to die, I wasn't too surprised when he didn't. After all, he was able to save people when he saw death in their eyes, if he was able to lead them on a different path. He saved some men when he was at Belleau Woods in the war, and it is implied he could have saved the men on the train if they'd just listen to him. So... why couldn't he be saved too, if someone or something intervened on his behalf like Paul did?

I gave this book a 4. It was a hard book to read in some ways because of the unlikeable characters, but the story was so good, well-written, and atmospheric, I couldn't help ending up liking it a lot. And it still haunts me, so that says something about it.


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Debra: Exactly! It haunts me too. The ending really nailed that for me.
Debra wrote: " And it still haunts me, so that says something about it. "


message 11: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Just finished this book, I find myself giving it a 4 out of 5 stars on here. It held me captive and I don't know why. There was something magical about the way Koryta wrote the book and the way he writes just puts me at ease. I didn't feel like I was pressured to hurry up and find out whats next, but he made me want to continue reading to find out what happens next. I find that with a lot of books I read, I want to hurry along and finish them. I wanted to savor every word he put down.


message 12: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Yes, Koryta is an excellent writer. Keeps you intrigued and wanting to savor every word.


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Nikki: I can agree with that - the Cypress House caught me up in the setting and I was not jumping to leave it and finish like I am sometimes. I was eager to know what happened, but not in a rush to get there.


message 14: by Amber (new)

Amber | 126 comments I listened to this one and in the beginning was not expecting that I'd be finishing it. But like a lot of you have said on here, something about his writing kept pulling me back to the story. What I could not stand were the voices used by the narrator at the end of the story representing the dead men speaking to Arlen. They were so ridiculous, as were the background 'noises' they'd play. Aside from that, there was not really anything that I didn't like about the story, but there was also nothing that really jumped out at me making me want to give it more than 3 stars.


message 15: by Ann (last edited Jul 22, 2012 11:42PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Amber - I found the background noises odd and also jarring too, though I eventually got used to them and stopped wondering what they were!
For those of you without the experience of the audio book, when Arlen started to have one of his psychic moments seeing the dead, there was a musical overlay. The music was ethereal and a bit creepy.


message 16: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Hmmm... sounds like I might not have enjoyed listening to this one, but ya never know. Sorry the background noises and voices pulled you out of the story, Amber!


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