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review 2016-01-21 20:00
The Langoliers
One Past Midnight: The Langoliers - Willem Dafoe,Stephen King

I hadn't heard of this story before, but it came with Secret Window, Secret Garden and therefore I just had to read this one as well.


I won't say what's happening, because the confusion that especially plays a very important role in the first part of the book is the best part. Believe me when I say it's confusing, but interesting nevertheless.


It was an enjoyable read, but I wasn't blown away by it. There are some creepy moments, but I thought the ending wasn't really satisfying.

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review 2015-03-07 02:27
Four Past Midnight Review
Four Past Midnight - Stephen King

The overall theme of this collection, whether Stephen King realizes it or not, is that lazy little sin we call sloth. If you're a no-account layabout, the Langoliers will come and eat you up. If you're too lazy to write your own material, John Shooter might come calling. Can't be bother to take back that library book? Here comes the Library Policeman to suck you dry. And if you wanna make a fortune not by working but by profiting off other people's misfortune, the Sun dog might make you a Scooby snack.


I do have a personal favorite here, along with a personal story for each of these short novels, but I must ask your pardon, because both shall remain a mystery. Two of these books bring back memories of people whom I'd rather not name. I will be obtuse when mentioning them, perhaps not telling you even as much as their sex. Let the rumor mill run. 


The Langoliers - Five stars. Craig Toomy is one of King's classically flawed characters . All too often King writes about over-the-top baddies of both the supernatural and real-world variety. Where Toomy deviates from King's normal build is that you actually feel bad for him. He was a little boy raised by a tyrannical father. Then his over-protective mother stepped in. If there's a recipe to build a sociopath, I don't know a better one. The tale itself is fantastic and fantastical, with a clear theme. Seize the day, or something is liable to run away with it.


Secret Window, Secret Garden - I have a very special memory attached to the movie version of this one. That memory involves activities in a movie theater. I still haven't seen the end of the film adaptation, and I don't plan to. I'd much rather remember what happened in that theater. The book itself is a kind of fraternal twin of The Dark Half. To tell you why would be to spoil the book, and I will not. Suffice it to say that Secret Window, Secret Garden will always be an important story to me and one of King's twistier tales. Five balls of gas for this one, too.


The Library Policeman - This is probably my favorite horror novella from King. It's his creepiest by far, and I believe that the creature herein shares several traits with Derry's infamous dancing clown. The mystery element is handled well, and the denouement is one of King's best. Five easy stars.


The Sun Dog - I was fine until I got to this story. I cannot read or speak about it without crying. The story itself is not a tear jerker (far from it), it's the emotional baggage I carry, events in my life that just happened to go down while I was reading this book for the first time. The Sun Dog is an extended prologue to Needful Things, and if you want to travel down a long and windy road, I suggest starting with The Dark Half, moving to The Sun Dog, and then finally coming to a stop at the end of Needful Things. One helluva journey, if you ask me. (I miss you, my friend. I miss you so fucking much. When these moments pass, I'm good for a while. But when that wound is reopened, I bleed. And, goddamn it, does it hurts.) All the stars. 


In summation: To the average reader, this collection might not seem as good as Different Seasons, but to me, it means so much more than the words on the page. And, while I sit here remembering and swiping at my eyes, I'm returned to a time best forgotten. I will always fondly remember the back row of a cinema in Montgomery, Alabama, but I will also forever wish I could have a certain friend back. So there's some pleasure with the pain, and not one without the other. 


Final Judgment: Who stole the Kleenex?



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text 2015-03-01 02:53
Reading progress update: I've read 275 out of 930 pages.
Four Past Midnight - Stephen King

I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to tie The Langoliers to the Dark Tower... until I read this line:


"A world as fresh and new as a rose on the verge of opening."


You mean like the rose in the lot, Stephen? Oh, I think you do.

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review 2014-02-16 16:21
One Past Midnight: The Langoliers ★★★☆☆
One Past Midnight: The Langoliers - Willem Dafoe,Stephen King

This is not one of my favorites. While King, admittedly my favorite author, is a fantastic storyteller, he’s a lousy plotter and his stories are always better off when he leaves off attempting to explain how things work or why things happen. Often the essential scenario that he presents to us doesn’t bear much scrutiny. It’s better just to strap on your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.


In this case, the whole mechanism of

the rip in the time continuum

(spoiler show)

doesn’t really work.

If organic tissue attached to a conscious living being vaporizes, leaving everything else behind, why do people leave their fillings and pacemakers behind but their clothing vanishes with them? If their clothing vanishes because they’re wearing it, why would their wigs and jewelry be left behind? Obviously, because it makes for a better story for people to wake up to an empty plane and try to figure out what happened from the scattering of jewelry and medical hardware. Because it’s a better story for a blind girl to fumble around trying to find another person, and pick up a dead “scalp” of hair.

(spoiler show)


Although The Langoliers doesn’t really work for me, the flashes of Uncle Steve’s brilliance is enough to pull it up to three stars. He has an unmatched ability to evoke imagery of blood and gore, of violence and horror, mixed with snippets of dark humor in such a way that has me grossed out and laughing and shivering all at once. The character of Toomey isn’t particularly compelling, but the imagery of his blank-eyed concentration with the paper, rip, riiip, riiiiiiiiiiiip, is deliciously horrible.


My favorite: Albert, the shy teen whose favorite fantasy places himself center stage as a spaghetti western hero alongside Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. He’s Ace Kaussner, the Arizona Jew, the fastest Hebrew west of the Mississippi. This internal monologue pops up in the most unlikely places in the story, as the boy draws upon this heroic image in facing the story’s events. And does Ace get the girl in the end? You’ll see.


This was the audiobook, borrowed from my local public library. The book was read by Willem Dafoe, who proves himself almost as talented an audiobook narrator as he is an actor.

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review 2013-04-21 00:00
One Past Midnight: The Langoliers
One Past Midnight: The Langoliers - Willem Dafoe,Stephen King A classic case of King Syndrome wherein the author comes up with such an interesting initial concept, builds it up so well and effectively that no answer will ultimately satisfy.
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