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review 2020-05-30 15:54
The Green Mile
The Green Mile - Stephen King

by Stephen King

 

After watching and enjoying the movie made from this book many times, I had to read the source material. The story wasn't actually changed much for the film version apart from details about character's thoughts always being easier to convey in books.

 

I enjoyed the read a lot, but have one complaint. He kept giving spoilers for the upcoming chapters! It's something I haven't seen King do in any of his other books that I've read. He would finish a chapter with "and then X happened." All suspense was deflated, even though I knew what was coming because of seeing the movie.

 

Still, this is one of those not-Horror stories with supernatural overtones that King does so well. The story of John Coffey and his special ability to 'help' people is a King classic with good reason and translated to film well.

 

The last few chapters diverged a little more from the movie and went into more detail about what happened to various characters and that was interesting, although one issue was left unresolved unless I missed a detail.

 

As King books go, I think it's one of his best despite the spoilers along the way. I'm kind of glad I saw the movie first on this occasion though. I don't think the eerie supernatural scenes were depicted as intensely as I know King can do, or maybe I'm just spoiled because the movie did it so well.

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review 2020-05-28 14:05
The Eyes of the Dragon
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King

by Stephen King

 

Stephen King says in the introduction to this book that although he was writing it for his daughter, he made an effort not to talk down to a child audience. Despite his good intentions, I felt that this story was written at a very young level. That doesn't stop it from being a good story, but I think he could have told it in his usual adult voice and made it even better.

 

Some spoilers ahead:

 

The premise is fairly well-trodden ground; an evil wizard called Flagg, advisor to the king, craves power. The king has two sons, Peter and Thomas, and the eldest has been groomed for future kingship, while the wizard thinks the second son, Thomas, will be more easily manipulated. So the wizard concocts a plan to kill the king and get the elder son blamed for it, not realising that his efforts to teach the younger son his own sneaky ways will backfire on him when Thomas witnesses the murder.

 

This is where it all falls down. The evil wizard's plan moves ahead and Peter is blamed for his father's murder, but instead of outing the wizard, Thomas whines and begs for his help because he has not been prepared to be king.

 

Suspension of disbelief is stretched a bit in this story. I found Peter the most interesting character and was constantly frustrated over Thomas' failure to act. A little sibling jealousy just doesn't wash as sufficient reason to leave his brother rotting in a tower for years! Peter's escape plan also stretched credibility a little too far, unless you think of the story as a fairy tale in the same vein of magic as Rapunzel or Rumplestiltskin.

 

As much as I love Stephen King, I won't be reading anymore of his children's stories and may not bother with future attempts at Fantasy. He's let me down in this genre.

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review 2020-05-25 03:45
The Stand by Stephen King (audiobook)
The Stand - Deutschland Random House Audio,Stephen King,Grover Gardner

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 

 

 

Another re-read (first time listen) of a Stephen King book. I figured this was as good a time as any to re-experience The Stand. My goal this year is to listen to all the Stephen King books I have previously read. This year seems like it is being written by Stephen King, so yeah.

This is one of my favorite Stephen King books and the audio version did not disappoint.

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review 2020-05-19 03:20
Book Review: Mr. Mercedes
Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King

A good solid mystery written by one of the best writers around. While I had a few issues with the plot in this one, I invested heavily in the characters as I usually do in Stephen King stories.

 

This is the first in a trilogy featuring Bill Hodges, a recently retired detective struggling with finding his purpose now that he is no longer a cop. He is haunted by a mass murder that he was unable to solve before he retired. The book opens with a detailed account of this crime.

 

"In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes."

 

The killer is also bored and has no plans to retire any time soon so reaches out to Bill Hodges, at first trying to play on Bill's despondency by trying to convince him to commit suicide and then by threatening an even bigger mass murder than the Mercedes killings. As Bill opens his own investigation into the killer, he picks up some assistance along the way from Jerome Robinson, the brilliant 17 year old who mows Bill's lawn and Holly Gibney, middle-aged and struggling with mental illness.

 

I was debating whether to continue on with the trilogy but thanks to feedback from a trusted reviewer coupled with the fact that I really love the Holly Gibney character, I will be continuing. I know there is another smart mystery to solve in book 2 and then I think there is some supernatural elements that get introduced in book 3. Looking forward to both!

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review 2020-05-17 20:16
The master speaks!
Finders Keepers: A Novel - Stephen King

Is he not the guy who writes horror stories? That’s what everyone says when I declare I enjoy reading Stephen King novels. What an insult to one of our greatest living novelists, an author now in his 72nd year and still with the hunger, and still writing with a verocity that must be the envy of many younger would be SK’s. Yes many of his stories contain a horror element (here’s Johnny!) but deep down he truly understands the human condition of love, loss, want and the connection that exists between both friends and lovers, indeed all of us. (The Shining to me is really a study of a family coping with mental collapse)

 

Finders Keepers is the second story in the Bill Hodges trilogy and even better than the first; Mr Mercedes. In 1978 Morris Bellamy killed iconic American author John Rothstein stealing not only cash but unpublished works about the great Jimmy Gold. Bellamy hides both cash and books just before he is given a 35 year sentence for rape. In 2009 young Pete Saubers accidentally discovers this buried treasure and uses it to help his family. However there will be a day of reckoning, in 2014 Bellamy is a free man and he is seeking retribution for 35 wasted years, first stop to reclaim the contents of the buried chest. The scene is set...enter Bill Hodges (retired detective) Holly and Jerome, the Finder Keepers investigative company. King always tells more than just a story, he uses the time he spends, with you dear reader, to show  both the good and bad, the positive and negative that is the DNA within all of us. You will both hate and love his characters; Bellamy epitomises evil, but Bill, Holly, Jerome and Pete are driven by hopes and aspirations, they believe in the connection of people, believe in helping others not destroying, believe in dreams and the knowledge and faith that man is ultimately good and we all need a little bit of love and affection in our daily lives.

 

 I have never read a bad book by Stephen King and this is most certainly one of his best, I now look forward to the final part of the trilogy "End of Watch" but before I close why don’t you read and feel a little of his magic…..”........ the vast and ever metastasizing concrete sprawl of John M. Kiner Hospital. As he walks to the parking garage elevator, he sends up a prayer as he almost always does, thanking God that he’s here as a visitor rather than as a paying customer. All too aware, even as he says his very proper thank-you, that most people become customers sooner or later, here or at one of the city’s four other fine and not-so-fine sickbays. No one rides for free, and in the end, even the most seaworthy ship goes down, blub-blub-blub. The only way to balance that off, in Hodge’s opinion, is to make the most of every day afloat”......... Highly, highly recommended.

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