I really enjoyed this one from one of my favorites Stephen King. I have read more of him than anyone but it had been a while. It is classic King writing, with the book doubling as a murder-mystery with his typical horror backdrop. I would have gone with 5 stars but there were a couple of parts that dragged a bit. Still entertaining and I am now going to watch the HBO series they made out of the book that also has great reviews.
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.
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.
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.