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Found 24 results

  1. The latest book by Stephen King. Billy Summers is an ex-US Marine. He was a sniper and killed many people whilst on tours of duty in Iraq. On leaving the military he is recruited by a ‘handler’ who provides him with work as a hitman. But Billy will only kill ‘bad men’, people who in Billy’s eyes have done very bad things and probably deserve to die. One day Billy gets a call from a known associate with a too big to miss offer of two million dollars to do a hit. The man is a ‘bad man’ and with the money Billy can finally retire and disappear using one of his already established aliases. Up until this point the story is tight and believable, we hear how Billy moves to an area close to the intended hit, rents a house, has a cover story etc, and prepares for the hit. But of course, something goes wrong, and the story then moves in a slightly different direction. It is a story of revenge now. As to be expected from King, the story is fast paced, the characters well drawn, a definite page turner. And this is a straight novel, no twisting reality, no supernatural just a story to be told and it is told well. Except for my comments in the spoiler part below. Apart from that the book is a good story. Not one of his best but far from one of his worst.
  2. I'm a die hard Stephen King fan and I've only ever started one of his books and decided that I didn't like it (The Gunslinger, part one of the Dark Tower series) and I've been reading him for a very long time. I have started a few that I decided were too horrific for me to read! That said I enjoy his horror fiction most but had to stop reading that as it was affecting my personality, or so my brother told me. The Institute isn't horror fiction, not by my definition of an SK horror, but it's engaging anyway. It's about children who are kidnapped, their parents killed and the children locked in an institute where they are tortured and then used to kill, with their minds. When they are used up they die and are cremated. This, apparently, has been going on for some 50 years or more. One of the kids escapes and that leads to the climax of the book. I enjoyed the book as far as it went but it felt very familiar so I may have read/seen something similar in the past. It's the only Stephen King book that I'm not keeping so although I enjoyed it, it's not a keeper - either that or I'm jaded.
  3. Stephen King’s latest book is a novella of just 132 pages. Whilst I love his doorsteps, I often think he is at his best with shorter novels and short stories. Elevation is the tale of an ordinary man who has something extraordinary happen to him, as often is the case in King’s books. Scott starts to lose weight rapidly - the scales show a 2-3lb loss every day but his size and frame and importantly, his clothes don’t change. He realises that the loss isn’t going to slow down and the book is his reckoning with “zero day”. Yes, I am a die hard King fan so I am always going to be a bit biased about his books, but this is truly a lovely story. I finished it on the train and I struggled to keep my emotions in check.
  4. Has anyone read this? Does anyone think there should be a sequel? I think Leigh is an amazing character, but why oh why, didi they have to spilt up at the end?!!!! Oh and can anyone recommend some King novels for a massive fan of Christine, who has only managed to get halfway through other King novles? mj x x x x
  5. I think Stephen King stopped being classed as horror a long time ago but still this is where people would expect to find of his reviews. This is his most recent collection of short stories - I will say straight off the bat that it's not as good as his last two collections but it is still full of dark treats. What sets this collection apart, is that King gives a little intro at the start of each story telling his constant readers where the inspiration came from for the coming tale. Given that On Writing is so good, these little intros are a delicious bonus. The stories within are each fantastic little reads but stand out stories are Obits and Drunken Fireworks. Obits is about a journo who writes the obituaries for a little publication. As a joke, he writes the obit of his boss in a pique of frustration but when she dies the next day, he finds he has a terrible power. Dangerous but becomes more so when it gets exploited. Drunken Fireworks is a rather amusing tale of one-up-manship on July the 4th. Living on a river, is a relatively poor family who bought their shack when property was cheap. Across the river, on the other side, is a mobster who owns a massive mansion. Each year they try to outdo each other with fireworks. it becomes a famous battle in the neighbourhood and so begins a worldwide search for the ultimate firework. I love Stephen King, I love his stories so I am pretty easy to impress. When he's good, he's great - this collection isn't that but it's still head and shoulders above most who try to emulate the Master.
  6. Stephen King gets a lot of stick and Stephen King fans bear a fair amount too but I am a happy-to-be fan. What I like about reading Stephen King is that you are guaranteed a story. Yes, one that the plot takes precedent to prose, but that's why we humans read and have a history of story-telling. But you are guaranteed a story. You are also guaranteed characters that you immediately 'get'. His characters are steeped in the ordinary, normalcy and therefore you buy it, allowing King to introduce the extraordinary which you automatically accept. Revival is no different. The extraordinary in the ordinary. Jamie Morton is a small boy in the 60s. A new pastor comes to town and Jamie and Charles immediately strike up a friendship. One that will take them to old age, despite themselves. Charles has a hobby - he loves electricity. Think Tesla in a tunic. He plays with electricity and one day, cures Jamie's older brother using a sort of DIY electroshock therapy. Then one day something horrific happens and Charles suffers a devastating blow that shakes his faith in God. When he delivers a rant at church, he is asked to leave and Jamie doesn't seem again until they are both older. Cue a carnival and Jamie - ex-Rock star, junkie, washed up has been - sees and older Charles perform. He is now doing a strange electricity show where he 'cures' people with his magic rings. They come into contact again and Charles turns his curing power to Jamie's drug addiction and hooks him up with a job with a previous 'patient'. But these people Charles cures - what becomes of them? What are the side effects of their cure? These are the questions that begin to haunt Jamie and he tries to get the answers. Ultimately Jamie finds himself in a situation of both wanting and hating Charles' power. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Spanning a long period, I felt immersed in the story and the characters at all times. Being a bit of a fan of Tesla, I especially liked the subject matter. I found the use of electricity being the 'horror' with the mad scientist who used to be a religious person, quite fascinating. Highly recommended.
  7. A man drives a Mercedes into a people waiting in a job queue. As Mr King is wont to do, he introduces us to a couple of the soon-to-be bumper-fodder before he introduces the bumper of the Mercedes. A desperate man. A young mother with her baby. Bill Hodges retired cop is haunted by this unsolved crime. He leads sedentary, junk food-filled daily existence until he receives a letter in the post from the killer laughing at Hodges' inability to catch him. Hodges ignores the claim but begins to put the case together. The owner of the stolen Mercedes, the murder weapon, dies some time after the crime was committed and Hodges doesn't think this is a coincidence. With his IT literate neighbour and the sister of the Mercedes owner, this little band of people flung together begin to chase a killer. Just as he chases them. King has announces that this book is the beginning of a trilogy featuring Bill Hodges and I am really pleased to hear that. I enjoyed this very much - as a straightforward crime novel it is very good. King is always...well, king at drawing his characters and the extraordinary predicament they find themselves in.
  8. This is a novella from the book Different Seasons. Said book contains three other novellas of King's. King has always been a treasured favourite of mine but I felt the need to give up reading his books twenty years ago as it was pointed out to me, by my brother, that my behaviour was changing and he suggested giving up King. Much to my regret he was right. I should point out that I did not come close to being an axe-weilding murderer. Curiously, this experience was an aid to making the Apt Pupil story very real. The Apt Pupil is Todd Bowden, a straight A student of 13 when he seeks out a Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander, who is in his early 70's. The reader is led to believe that Todd is merely going to blackmail Dussander and the reader is correct but the sting in the tail is that all Todd wants is to find out is what it was actually like to be involved in the death camps. Over a period of years he does find out, in great detail. The effects that that has on both Todd and Kurt is what takes up the majority of the story and is truly horrific. I thoroughly enjoyed this novella, it feels to me to be King at his best. I did not anticipate the ending at all, although I did know that it could not end well. This one is for King fans who know what to expect from him and they won't be disappointed. Highly recommended.
  9. Horns has recently been made into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe in the main role I believe. I can see why it would make a good film, it's a good read. Ig is rich, son of a musician, brother to a TV star and he has a girlfriend that he adores, Merrin. He befriends an odd boy at school and the three of them, over summer, forge a bond. Merrin is later killed and Ig is believed by all to be the culprit. Then one day Ig grows horns and with them the ability to hear what people are really saying. Their thoughts. Their truths. So he decides to use his new power to find out who killed his beloved Merrin. While this is a good read, Hill suffers a little of his father's flaw - he writes great characters, great childhoods which are endearing and malevolent in turn, great starts to a story, full of promise that unfortunately fizzles out a little at the end and just for a moment, loses the reader. I loved the relationship between Ig and Lee, the odd friend who needs Ig so much. It was intriguing and off-kilter - just as you'd expect and want. The question of Merrin's demise is really secondary to the story and I didn't find myself really thinking about it. The end just was a bit...hmm, saw that coming.
  10. The hotly anticipated follow up to the classic The Shining doesn't disappoint. It is a very different novel to The Shining - much less frightening but still the 'kids-in-peril' kind of scary. Danny Torrance, the ickle boy from The Shining, is all grown up. For the first third of the novel he is a suffering alcoholic, trying to put the events at The Overlook behind him and contend with the shining within him. His mother has since died and he is all alone. Predictably he reaches rock bottom and ends up working in a hospice where he and a very special cat provide great comfort and dignity to those that are about to die. Danny begins to repair himself. But then a girl called Abra gets in contact with him. Abra has The Shining too and we do read of her childhood and growing up. Abra is a special girl, one of many special children. Special children who are being hunted by a sinister group called the True Knot. This group kills these children and eats their shining - they are old and ancient and are headed by Rose the Hat. Abra knows this and unfortunately Rose finds Abra so Abra enlists Danny's help to fight this ancient evil. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I haven't enjoyed King's novels for a long time and maybe it was fond memories of The Shining that compelled me to read, fondness for Danny Torrance, but I did enjoy this. I looked forward to picking it up each night and the relationship between Abra and Danny was excellent. Was it scary? No. Though kids-in-peril is always disturbing, especially the baseball kid's story, it still wasn't scary. But if you ever wondered what happened to ickle Danny Torrance - this is the book for you and you will enjoy it.
  11. If I think Stephen King and fairground, I get a chill and think of Pennywise. But this time King takes us to a off-season fairground called Joyland where Devin joins the staff and an all too human evil is lurking. When Devin Jones joins the staff at Joyland he is told about a girl who had her throat slit in the Ghost Train and continues to haunt the fairground to this day. Meanwhile Devin meets a young mother, her child is very ill and in a wheelchair. These two parts of Devin's life collide and Devin find he has to try and make everything right. This was a very good read indeed. Devin and his lonely life which is suddenly filled with great characters was very interesting indeed and the mystery of the ghost girl is resolved believably. I was quite upset by the end and King managed to stir great emotion.
  12. I reckon that Stephen King should just give up writing novels. Yes, I added novels to the end of that sentence just in case some books snobs paraphrase me. His last full length book, Under the Dome, I found bloated and similar in oh-so-many ways to most of his previous books. I gave up on it. But I still have fresh in my mind his excellent short story collection, Just After Sunset, so the warm buzz of that persuaded me to give his new collection, Full Dark, No Stars a go. This collection comprises of 4 stories, 2 rather long, 2 short: 1922 is 124 pages long, Big Driver about the same, followed by Fair Extension and A Good Marriage. The book also has a short afterword by Mr King which notes how he came up with the ideas for his stories within but mostly a 'harumph' at book snobs and the literary fiction/genre fiction divide. His main point is that literary fiction is about extraordinary people in ordinary situations and that genre fiction is ordinary people in extraordinary situations, which is what he'd both rather read and write about. I agree to some extent except to add that literary fiction can also be about ordinary people in ordinary situations. But ultimately, who cares what you read really? A long as you enjoy it, you shouldn't have to feel compelled to justify it. Anyway, to the stories. I can say without reservation that I thoroughly enjoyed every single story here, there isn't a weak one in the collection and to be honest a couple of them downright scared me. It's always the worst luck that you read a scary story in bed, and then something trivial but unusual happens that very same night that leaves you rigid with fear. After reading the first story, '1922', in this collection, a poster slowly peeled off from my son's bedroom door when I was drifting off to sleep and bloody hell, I broke out in cold sweats, eyes fixated to my closed bedroom door, wondering who the hell was in my hall making such a terrific noise. 1922 - Wilfred James begins a confession from a dingy hotel room, confessing to the events of 1922 when his life went awry. His wife had inherited 100 acres of rural land, adjacent to the James' farm. She wanted to sell it to a corporation who would turn it into beef cattle for the food industry. Wilf doesn't want to do this so with his son reluctantly and manipulatively involved, he plots to kill his wife and retain the farm and all the land. After killing her, a bungled job, he throws her down a deep well on their land. Slowly things start to go wrong for Wilf and Hank (their son). Rats begin to infest and infect their lives. Hank turns from a sweet-natured boy to a wilful, silent, brooding boy whose life turns tragic. He gets his teenage girlfriend pregnant and when she is sent away to 'deal' with the pregnancy, Hank goes after her and their lives on the run are short-lived. Wilf meanwhile struggles to keep the farm whilst being haunted by rats, one in particular is very difficult to get rid of. All the while he can't get the picture out of his head of his wife at the bottom of the well, slowly decomposing. And it is in these images that the most horror and scares come. King is the...king...at the horrific description and really can paint quite a vivid picture to scare you. One displaced jaw and I was scared. Big Driver - Tess is a writer (what else?) and she does speaking engagements every so often in order to pad out her pension. She writes cuddly, cosy mysteries around a Knitting Society who also solve crimes in their spare time. At the last minute she is asked to do a gig a few hours away as another writer has pulled out. They promise extra money and off she goes leaving her cat behind. But she has Tom - her GPS for company. The gig goes well and before leaving, the organiser, a big woman, tells her to take a shortcut home that will shave 90 minutes from her journey time. She helpfully programs the route into Tom. And off Tess goes. But she gets a flat. (You know where this is going don't you? It's inevitable really). In a deserted area with an old and unused gas station. Luckily, a recovery driver comes along, and he seems really nice, very helpful. Until he rapes and brutalises her then leaves her for dead in a culvert. When he is safely gone, Tess opens her eyes and notices that she is not alone. She struggles to get to safety and when she does she has to think. Should she report this? Can it do her career harm? Will there be more lasting public interest because she is famous? How intrusive will the police and press be? But what about the other women? Was there a child in that pile? Inspired by a recent viewing of Jodie Foster's film, The Brave One, Tess decides to deal with things her own way and a Death Wish-type story evolves. But life conspires against Tess and what seemed to be a straightforward act of vengeance proves to be more difficult than planned. Fair Extension - A deal with the devil type story here. Streeter has terminal cancer and during a drive home he comes across a roadside seller offering Fair Extensions. Extensions to whatever you want. His name is Elvid (see what Stephen did there?). Clearly, what Street needs is a life extension but for that he has to pay the price. He has to give his misfortune to someone he really hates. He picks his best friend Tom. After all, Tom stole his girl in high school, got a loan from Streeter's bank for a risky deal which went North and made Tom a millionaire, he has successful and beautiful kids and is still happily married to Streeter's high school sweetheart. Who could Streeter hate more? Life changes immediately. Streeter's cancer disappears, reappearing in Tom's life. His wife dies, his children suffer great tragedies, he loses his house, tradegy ad infinitum. But does Streeter have buyer's remorse? A Good Marriage - Surely she must have known? The premise for the last tale in this collection. When a serial killer is discovered people wonder about the partner - how did she not know? She must have colluded. How did he hide it for so long? Darcy marries young to Bob, a nice man, not outstanding in anyway, but a kind and loving man. They have 27 long years of happy marriage, fair, full of compromise and care, with 2 beautiful and happy children. She really couldn't have asked for more. They prosper financially and emotionally. Bob works his normal job but they both run a coin collection company specialising in obtaining rare coins for collectors. This means that Bob has to be away a couple of times a month - but that's ok, it's something they share, the company and the desire for it to do well. One such trip and Darcy runs out of batteries, but Bob has a stash in the garage. Looking for them she finds a box of catalogues - her catalogues, Bob's attempt to curb her mail-order spending. But buried below them is a bondage/fetish magazine. Shocked, she manages to rationalize it, and shoves it under the table. Clunk. She returns sometime later to that 'clunk' unable to get it out of her mind. She finds a box, one she gave Bob as a gift a long time ago, and in it 3 cards belonging to a woman: a blood donor card, a bank card and a driving licence, all bound in an elastic band. The name is one she recognises from the news. Further investigation reveals her husband to be a serial killer, Beadie, one that the police have been searching for for a very long time. In the midst of her panic, Bob phones and she manages to cover her upset. Until he returns home that night unexpectedly. Does she collude? Does she tell the police? Or does she deny? I guess it's rare to get a collection of shorts that are all as good as each other, when it's only 4 there's got to be one that's not quite as good, but here I'd be hard-pushed to pick a weak one. Each story is pretty gripping, a couple to the point of being scary and while you think they are going to play out as you expect, King keeps things twisting and you just don't know what will happen. We can only hope and pray that King sticks with the shorts and gives the novels the short-shrift.
  13. Just finished this mahoosive tome, it took me ages! I mostly enjoyed reading it - it seems that King can still weave a fairly good old yarn. It tries hard to be of his more epic style, like It or The Stand, but it felt rather more forced to me, and most of the characters were unlikeable, so it was hard to care tuppence for any of them. Most characters came across as very stereotypical - reluctant hero? Check. Misunderstood weirdo? Check. Brave kids? Check. And the narrative followed a predictable path too - although the reason the Dome existed is...well, it's pointless saying far-fetched; that's what king does! But it wasn't 'clever' enough. That said, it still held my attention enough to finish, although I only read it in bed - normally when a book grips me I'll read instead of tv - couldn't be bothered with this one. What did you think?
  14. This is a mystery story, an unresolved mystery story. First published in 2005 this is short and tight. 178 pages in a small sized book; about three quarters the size of an ordinary paperback. But inside it’s King. Instant characters you feel as if you know, have known them all your life. Two ‘old timer’ newshounds, Dave and Vince, telling their island stories in the local paper, their local paper, the Weekly Islander and Stephanie a post grad finding her feet and her voice as the Arts N Things reporter. On this island off the coast of Maine (where else I hear you say), an unknown man is found dead and so we have our mystery.As the story unfolds the layers slip away like early morning fog lifts and drifts. If you are already a King fan, but are looking for some more of his horror or something supernatural this probably isn’t for you. But if like me you like the way King looks at life, how he brings you a shell, a human shell, and fills it with thoughts and actions that are familiar. Perhaps skewed by circumstances but familiar all the same. Those little quirks that make us who we are, that provide the tick to our biological clock. If this is the King you like then wait till the nights draw in and there’s ‘nothing’ on the telly, pour a glass of something palatable and slip into the story, you’ll be finished in time for bed and a good nights rest. Before the world and it’s ills come knocking once more.
  15. I got given the first two in this series for Christmas, but decided not to read them until after my exams. Unfortunately two days ago I made the mistake of having a "quick look" at The Gunslinger (book one). I just finished it. All I can say is that it was amazing. I've never read anything by Stephen King before, I always thought he wrote horror stories, but this was amazing, and I think I'll have to be checking out some more of his work in the near future. I'm not quite sure what genre this should come under, as far as I can tell it's set in the future, but there seems to be magic of a sort, and sorcerers, so I'm guessing it's Fantasy-ish. One thing that confused me slightly was trying to work out how old Roland is. To begin with I imagined him in his 30's, but there's a reference to 35 being old, and I'm guessing he's not an "old man". Immortality also came up briefly, but there's references to death as well so I'd guess Roland isn't immortal. Anyone else got any thoughts on this? Anyone else even read this?
  16. Terribly lazy of me to stick Mr. King in the Horror section, but that's generally where you find the man. After a long King-hiatus, I couldn't resist the pull of good reviews for his new collection of short stories, Just After Sunset, and so I started it the other night. My plan here, is to write a little about each story as I read it, otherwise I'll have to do a lot of flicking through it at a later date, and I am far too lazy to do that. So first up - Willa - It takes a while to realize why such a disparate cast of characters, who seem to know each other very well (to the point of being tirelessly irritated by each other) are collected together. And I am not about to spell it out as it's a nice little mystery and interesting to have the reader wonder why they are together at the same time as they try to figure out where, how and why they are...there. Anyway, one of the party, Willa (David's fiancee) wanders off, to the relief of the rest of the party as they found her very annoying. David debates whether he should go after her or not, finally deciding that he really should be a gentleman and not let his fiancee go wandering off in the dark, at night, near a forest with loud wolves...Right at the beginning Willa tells David that he doesn't always see what's right in front of him and that word of warning goes for the rest of the party. I enjoyed this little tale, King seems to be as comfortable as always spinning a supernatural little nugget, and thankfully no alien machines spoil the show. It left me thinking at the end So far so good. The Gingerbread Girl - One of those tales that start one way and you think you know where it's going and before you know it, you're thrown a curveball, much like life. Emily and Henry's baby dies and to cope Emily takes up running. Steadily, she runs longer and longer and eventually, literally runs away from Henry. She moves down to her father's beach house to recover, where she can run as much as she wants. Passing by a concrete block of a beach mansion, she catches a glimpse of something she shouldn't and soon running takes on a whole new importance for her. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, and while I am not quite finished the collection yet, I think this is the one that will stay with me. It is very reminiscent of King's Gerald's Game, one of my favourites of his work. King is very good at communicating personal horror and perception, not so at common villians - still, a great wee tale. Harvey's Dream - Another tale that begins with domestic boredom/frustration and drudgery. But here, the husband Harvey experiences a dream, and in the telling of it, his wife Janet, slowly realizes how alive her husband appears. How unlike his usual self he is. He even calls her Jax, a nickname long since forgotten. He relates the dream of a seeing the neighbours car after a car accident and how his own daughter called him. Slowly everything becomes more alive. A good story with a traditional ta-dah moment at the end. Rest Stop - A famous writer with a famous pseudonym and a less famous real name, (the opposite to King himself) has an identity crisis at a motorway rest stop. Unfortunately, the crisis plays itself out during a drama unfolding in the next cubicle, where a girl, a pregnant girl, is being beaten by her boyfriend. His authorly alter ego takes over. Interesting premise but it doesn't really go anywhere, and I wonder if this is King's warning to writers who believe their own hype or get themselves confused with their characters. Or maybe a warning to us readers who may confuse author with character. Why does Lee Child/Jack Reacher spring to my mind?! Stationary Bike - Painter Richard Sifkitz gets a medical and finds that his weight and cholestoral levels are too high. So his doctor recommends he do something about it. To explain the cholestoral problems, he provides Richard with an analogy of little workmen in work clothes fighting in his arteries to keep back the fat. So back at his house Richard is struck doubly with inspiration. He paints the little workmen and he creates pictorial life for them. And he gets an exercise bike. As he peddles furiously daily, he simultaneously imagines a road where his cycling and workmen intertwine. As he loses weight, he loses his grip on reality. He literally peddles his way into a terrifying hallucination. What happens when the workmen have no more fat to shovel? Great and typically horrifying tale of King's when much of the horror is in the mind. The Things They Left Behind - A 9-11 story, which begins, as most of the tales of this collection seem to, as one thing - a man chatting up a woman in his apartment block - and ends as something else entirely. Scott Staley was working in the World Trade Centre at the time of 9-11. However, that particular day he decided to take a sickie. Now, some time later, objects are appearing in his home. Objects that belonged to friends and colleagues of his that perished in the attack. Typically for King, one of the items is a baseball bat. Try as he might, he can't get rid of them. At first, you wonder if these hallucinations are caused by survivor guilt compounded by the fact that he took a sickie that day. But touchingly, he finds a way to clear his apartment of them. I think that this tale is one of the more successful of the collection so far. Through inanimate objects, we uncover the people, and the aftermath of such a disaster. Not how it affects the families, but how it affects those that should have been there, or survived when so many of their counterparts didn't. And the silly things that we remember people by. Graduation Afternoon - Again, this tale begins as teenage couple, one wealthy boy and one girl from the wrong side of the tracks, deal with the imminent separation following graduation. Rich boy is off to an Ivy league school, and poor girl, though having worked hard and done well, is off to a less prestigious school. It is from the girl's point of view that the tale is told as she tries to convince herself, almost succeeding, that it is better this way. That they would have only broken up later when rich boy realised she wasn't that special after all. She contemplates how to break up with him even in the midst of the graduation celebrations. All very interesting, until a curve-ball is thrown. And really the future doesn't matter so much now. Hard to tell if this is another 9-11 comment, or just a rather simplistic peri-apocalyptic tale. Either way, it seemd like too easy a ta-dah ending.
  17. Hi Just thought i would start a thread. have just recently started reading The Stand (i haven't finished it yet so please do not spoil it) and so far i am really enjoying it. It strange, the book was written in the late 70's - its almost as old as me. But still 25 or so years on its really relevant - Captain Tripps the mysterious flu bug - could that be Bird Flu or the Sars of a few years back. Germ warfare - was certainly an issue when we started this war in Iraq - a weapon of mass destrucion - as far as i have read it appears to be doing that job well!!! Am i reading to much in or is it just as striking to anyone else??? Still want to read Salem's Lot as its one of his earlier novels too
  18. I really enjoyed this. I haven't read much of King's output (apart from The Dark Tower series) in the last 20 years, and was surprised at the content of the story. It is very much a love story covering various levels of flashbacks to different eras of Lisey's (and her husband's) lives. I thought it was very sensitively handled and whilst some of the style could become a little irritating if you let it, for me it worked and gets a resounding 4 stars, even though it had a lot less action than we might be used to with King. I often read reviews of books from critics after I have read them to see if they concur with my views and this one shows up a quite brilliant contrast. It is obvious these 2 reviews are talking about the same book as many references are virtually identical but boy do they come from different angles. They are quite long but I think worth reading. (see next post as they don't all fit on one.) The reviews neatly encapsulate the whole discussion about the merits of his writing, one that was held on here a couple of years ago but was (I think) sadly lost in the great crash.
  19. I had an argument with my friend who kept on insiting that Tommyknockers was the King's best book ever. I have read that book but in the middle of it I sort of felt fed up!I thought that the story was exaggerated to an annoying extent.I like King but this one did not appeal me as much as his Firestarter and Different Seasons had done. What do you guys say?
  20. Rescued thread that I'll format nicely if there's a call for it. My Friend Jack 16th February 2006 08:49 AM Cell I've just had an email from Amazon, letting me know that this book will be available at the end of February. Sounds good to me - here's the Amazon synopsis:- Don't miss "Cell": A topical and terrifyingly plausible novel from the hard drive of the King of contemporary horror. 'Civilization slipped into its second dark age on an unsurprising track of blood but with a speed that could not have been foreseen by even the most pessimistic futurist. By Halloween, every major city from New York to Moscow stank to the empty heavens and the world as it had been was a memory.' The event became known as The Pulse. The virus was carried by every cell phone operating within the entire world. Within ten hours, most people would be dead or insane. A young artist Clayton Riddell realises what is happening. And together with Tom McCourt and a teenage girl called Alice, he flees the devastation of explosive, burning Boston, desperate to reach his son before his son switches on his little red mobile phone... Hazel 16th February 2006 09:01 AM I am really in a quandry about this book, I have always immediately bought every Stephen King book that came out and read it feverishly. However, in the last few years I came to realise that I only did it out of habit and I didn't enjoy the new stuff at all - I was still pining for the lost days of Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining, and Salem's Lot. So I gave away most of my collection and kept the odd few that I still loved. From A Buick 8 really was the last straw as it was an embarrassing rehashing of some of his worst tripe. I used to be such a huge fan - so much so that when my sister went to New York during the book fair one year, she queued for 7 hours to get him to sign Bag of Bones for me, and when she brought it home I cried for nearly 3 hours. What a sad pathetic creature I am. So do I give in and buy Cell - or do I realise that my King days have passed? My Friend Jack 16th February 2006 09:17 AM Hazel - interesting problem, particularly as I have found King's more recent work to have been far more enjoyable than his earlier, more traditional, horror stories. I've enjoyed the way he has explored themes of childhood, human relationships and human fears in recent years. And, of course, the links to other books and the Dark Tower stories have always kept me amused. Horses for courses, I guess. Adrian 16th February 2006 09:19 AM I was an early King fan too, but I haven't read any of his later books, certainly none in the past 10 years. It's out here and I picked it up in the shop today and started reading the first chapter. It didn't grab me and I didn't buy it. I might pay $3 to borrow it from the library for a week (it's just on the bestseller's list, not in normal stock yet), see if he's back to his best. Stewart 16th February 2006 09:44 AM Quote: Originally Posted by Hazel So do I give in and buy Cell - or do I realise that my King days have passed? They've passed. Get over it. Treve 16th February 2006 11:26 AM Hazel, I too was an early fan; but alas, no longer buy his books. They just don't have the same appeal ... I know it's so easy to get disheartened when one of your fave authors loses the plot (no pun intended!); but you can always try someone new or different and go back now and again just to make sure you're not missing out on anything ... Hazel 16th February 2006 11:32 AM Quote: Originally Posted by Stewart They've passed. Get over it. Well put. Grammath 17th February 2006 02:00 PM Quote: Originally Posted by My Friend Jack Don't miss "Cell": A topical and terrifyingly plausible novel from the hard drive of the King of contemporary horror. 'Civilization slipped into its second dark age on an unsurprising track of blood but with a speed that could not have been foreseen by even the most pessimistic futurist. By Halloween, every major city from New York to Moscow stank to the empty heavens and the world as it had been was a memory.' The event became known as The Pulse. The virus was carried by every cell phone operating within the entire world. Within ten hours, most people would be dead or insane. A young artist Clayton Riddell realises what is happening. And together with Tom McCourt and a teenage girl called Alice, he flees the devastation of explosive, burning Boston, desperate to reach his son before his son switches on his little red mobile phone... Certainly smells of rehash to me, judging by that description. Substitute Captain Trips for The Pulse and isn't this more or less "The Stand" with added zombies? I was surprised to hear of the appearance of this book - didn't King announce his retirement a little while ago? I thought this was his reasoning for finishing off the "Dark Tower" saga. I've spent a year reading "DT", off and on. Whilst I'm enjoying it for the most part, I will need to take a long break from the man once I've finished it, so "Cell" is not on my shopping list for now. gloomygirl1313 16th March 2006 10:20 AM IT IS SO NOT WORTH IT!!!!!!!!! My mother and I are, or let me rephrase that were BIG king fans. But from the regulators to Gerald's game, insomnia and everything else since...it has been constant let down. He cannot possibly be doing this because he loves to write or even for his fan's any more. But because he is under contract or simply for more money. THIS story was the worst yet. there is no explanation there is no real end and it leaves you wondering what in hell he was thinking. The recant rash of books and stories that leave you off to imagine the ending for yourself is annoying, This story has that AND it is insulting well. He not only doesn't see fit to give his loyal readers quality stories now but now on top of that we must finish the stories FOR him.. and furnish our own plot as well. The HOW. ISN'T that what the AUTHORS job is not the reader?? My mother and I cringed as we forced ourselves threw it.. We are on an automatic send list and king is sent to us with every one he puts out. We just have a collection that it is habit. One I am thinking we need to break. This was such a disappointment. Don't waste your time or money unless you are just THAT bored.undefined Hazel 16th March 2006 11:11 AM That settles it, thanks for your review gloomygirl1313 and welcome to the site. Stewart 16th March 2006 07:46 PM Quote: Originally Posted by gloomygirl1313 My mother and I are, or let me rephrase that were BIG king fans. But from the regulators to Gerald's game, insomnia and everything else since...it has been constant let down. I was never a big fan, as I preferred Clive Barker, but it was Insomnia that put me off King and Desperation made me never go back, although I did buy Everything's Eventual in Gatwick Airport a few years ago, although never read it. Quote: there is no explanation there is no real end and it leaves you wondering what in hell he was thinking. When done well, this can be a very enjoyable part of fiction. Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal And The White, for example, is a perfect example of this postmodern technique in action. I believe Thomas Pynchon's The Crying Of Lot 49 also applies this technique. Quote: I am thinking we need to break. Do you exclusively read horror? gloomygirl1313 16th March 2006 11:30 PM I mostly read horror, I like lots of stuff though. I love kafka, shakspear, koonz, H.P. Lovecraft, ann rice,poppy z brite, peirse anthony.. you name it I will try it... at least once. But horror has always been special for me. since I was a little girl my mom was a big horror buff so I was always reading what she read. I read the four seasos when I was 11 and since then was a deep lover of king. so now.. well I guess its Koonz and Saul for me. Stewart 18th March 2006 11:05 AM Ever read Caitlín R. Kiernan; books other than her collaborations with Poppy Brite? Kats 27th March 2006 10:37 AM I finished this yesterday and, well, it was ok. That's the biggest praise I can give it, sadly. I thought the main idea of the story was really good, but it wasn't really capitalised on. He seems to have 'borrowed' liberally from his back catalogue - themes are repeated almost without change. I agree that the ending was terribly abrupt. But it's not necessarily a bad thing, it could lead to discussion with other readers and so on. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it. I just didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I'd hoped. deirdreofthesorrows 19th April 2006 04:54 PM Finished CELL yesterday and like most of the comments I felt that it was mediocre at best,certainly not as good as I would have expected. A lot of the story was reminiscent of other works which were far better. I am aware that I am not saying anything original here so I will cease. With reference to the ending, I don't think it could have gone any other way, what would have been the point? ..............and I cant go without throwing in some defence of King, I like most of the stuff he has written and always will, sure there have been some real turkeys in there but I suppose thats the way it goes, as with everything in life.
  21. Hooray. A nice easy read from King. If I ws given this book without the authors name I would have said Dean Koontz or John Grisham. The writing style, narrative & twist in the tail made for a page turner. I also feel that with King it is a bit of a lottery. Some books are very good & some are down right rubbish like from a Buick 8. This one (Dead Zone) ranks very high in my top ten. "IT" though remains at an all time no 1. CJ
  22. I read this book a few months ago, and although it's meant to be one of the scariest books ever written (or someting like that) I didn't find so much so.... Has anyone else read this book, because I really enjoyed it. The film too, was quite good, but the special effects were more funny than anything else. The "Here's Johnny" bit was scary, but as Harriet would put it; "Johnny's here!" (To anyone else this probably sounds stupid, but at the time it was vair vair funny. ;P) Sorry, this should go in Horror, but I'm not sure how to move it.... Good lord... sorry!
  23. This appears to be the best-selling horror book of the moment. <iframe width="180" height="180" scrolling="no" frameborder=0 src="http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=bookgrouponli-21&l=st1&search=%20%20Song%20Susannah%20Dark%20Tower%20king&mode=books-uk&p=33&o=2&f=ifr&bg1=C6E7DE&lc1=082984&lt1=_blank"> <table border='0' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='468' height='362'><tr><td><A HREF='http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/redirect-home/bookgrouponli-21' target=_blank ><img src="http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/G/02/associates/recommends/default_180x180.gif" width=180 height=180 border="0" access=regular></a></td></tr></table></iframe> I used to be a big fan and reader of King's work in the 80s, but then he ended up writing books quicker than I could read them, and I got left behind. Since then, I have admired from afar, for his prolificness (surely not a word?) if nothing else. Is he still any good?
  24. The final volume sees gunslinger Roland on a roller-coaster mix of exhilarating triumph and aching loss in his unrelenting quest to reach the dark tower. A journey which means he must leave his faithful friends Eddie, Susannah, Jake, even Oy, as he closes on the Tower. His steps are followed only by Mordred, half-human, half-terrifying creature heir to the Crimson King. In the end, it is an unlikely ally who will hold to key to the Tower itself, centre of all time and all place. <iframe width="180" height="180" scrolling="no" frameborder=0 src="http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=bookgrouponli-21&l=st1&search=dark%20tower%20VII%20stephen%20king&mode=books-uk&p=33&o=2&f=ifr&bg1=C6E7DE&lc1=082984&lt1=_blank"> <table border='0' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='468' height='362'><tr><td><A HREF='http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/redirect-home/bookgrouponli-21' target=_blank ><img src="http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/G/02/associates/recommends/default_180x180.gif" width=180 height=180 border="0" access=regular></a></td></tr></table></iframe>
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