A struggling author returns to the town he grew up in to revisit some skeletons of his past for a new book. He finds romance, friendship and more evil then he can deal with as townspeople start disappearing.
Stephen King can really describe a setting and get you settled in. He gets the reader the feeling of being comfortable and then boom here comes the creepy. The creepy just increases and increases. For me I keep thinking wait let's go back to the comfiness. I want to see author, Ben, connect more with townie, Susan.
When I read King I expect major scariness, the creeps and...not completely welcomed nightmares. This one had some creep factor but it was not really scary to me. I find his short stories scare me the most. It was a decent book. I was not thrilled with the ending either. In some ways it set up for a sequel although I do not know if there is one or not. I know there is a short story prequel called Jerusalem’s Lot which I have never read.
For a vampire book it had some interesting takes on the usual mythos. Other than that I say there is better Stephen King books if you want scary but it is some very good writing.
“The town kept its secrets, and the Marsten House brooded over it like a ruined king.”
The Marsten house called to me, invited me in and would not let me leave. In a record for me and the King, I read this in a couple of days. I loved every single page. A quirky little prodding of my subconscious (and probably a little nudge from my husband) had me picking up this book up after "The Haunting of Hill House" - a delicious decision given Jackson's inspiration to King.
One of my biggest difficulties with the other Stephen King books I've read is that he details a scene or action so finely that ten minutes of narrative turns into a hundred pages. I think there were the beginning hallmarks of this style in 'Salem's Lot (just open the door, Ben! I don't want to know about the one other time you were this scared right now.), those moments were sparse. He kept to the action, the story clipped along at a nice pace.
I don't really want to detail anything about the book here because if anything is worth a blind read, it's this book. I don't even know if that is possible in this day with it's popularity and age. But I will say that this, this is the third (fourth?) King book I've read in which the heroes stand hand in hand against evil in the end. He has consistently shown me that he believes in a battle with the monsters, love may not get you through each fight unscathed, but that it will win the war. I don't think there is much more that I want in a book than that.
(Just in case that sounds too sweet and endearing... remember, this is a book of horror that absolutely plays on every fear you've ever had:
“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym…”
“The basis of all human fears, he thought. A closed door, slightly ajar.”
“At three in the morning the blood runs slow and thick, and slumber is heavy. The soul either sleeps in blessed ignorance of such an hour or gazes about itself in utter despair. There is no middle ground.”
This is pretty much a re-blog of something I posted a couple of years ago during the 30-day book challenge.
I have to confess that I'm a bit of a wuss when it come to scary books and movies, and I'll always choose pschological subtlety over buckets of blood. So if you want a good old-fashioned ghost story, with chills and things you just catch out of the corner of your eye, then these will be your bag. They are all very atmospheric with spooky houses and things that go bump in the night.
Dark Matter – Michelle Paver
The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill
The Girl on the Landing – Paul Torday
Or maybe you lean towards a bit more gore and/or horror? You can’t go wrong with Stephen King and Joe Hill. I had no idea Joe Hill was King’s son, but he’s certainly following in his father’s footsteps.
NOS 4R2 – Joe Hill
Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
The Shining – Stephen King
Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
But if short stories are more your bag, try these Victorian/Edwardian classics.
The Monkey’s Paw – W W Jacobs
The Signal-Man – Charles Dickens
Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad – M R James
And finally, I have to recommend Ray Bradbury. His books and short stories are perfect for autumn and Halloween.
Something Wicked this Way Comes
The Halloween Tree
The Golden Apples of the Sun