Tag Archives: Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King

Overview
Misery by Stephen King | 9781444720716 | Booktopia

Title: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Thriller
Dates read: 16th – 17th August 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hodder
Year: 1987
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Better?’

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Synopsis

Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.

That’s when the car accident happened, and he woke up in pain in a strange bed. But it wasn’t the hospital. Annie Wilkes had pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.

The good news was that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news was that she was Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she found out what Paul had done to Misery, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all.

Thoughts

I have seriously got to stop reading Stephen King novels when I know I’m going to be home alone for the night… I keep thinking that I’m tough and I want get all wiggy… and then I get all wiggy. This time I was a little smarter, I put aside a whole day and started reading Misery in the morning. Just so that even though I did get wiggy… it wasn’t during the night. Rather, it was when there was still a lot of sunlight…

I both admire and fear Stephen King. I absolutely love his writing. It is just completely impossible to put down and forget. I also fear that he has a mind that is capable of this kind of story. It’s pretty damn intense and hard to forget. This story is definitely one of those that is a thriller – and spine tingling. Plus, every time I had hope… it was completely dashed away. Each time more brutal than the last.

Aside from the heart pumping, pulse tingling, craziness of this story I also really loved that it was a story that featured the act of writing. There was the weird hatred that the writer feels for his own work, the process of creating a story and the ways in which fans become just a little too connected to the storyline. It was a really great insight into an aspect of writing that I’ve vaguely experienced, but not truly (since you know, I’m not actually an author). I love how this fascinating look into a writers’ psyche was partnered with just total and utter, brutal insanity.

As someone who works in mental health, anything that investigates the different ways in which people can break kind of fascinates me. Partnering that with the amazing way in which King is able to show the damage of psychological torture… this is most definitely not a novel that I’m going to forget anytime soon!

<- Lisey’s StoryMr. Mercedes ->

Image source: Booktopia

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Overview
11/22/63 - Wikipedia

Title: 11/22/63
Author: Stephen King
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Alternate history, Historical fiction, Time travel
Dates read: 6th – 23rd May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Another long fit of coughing, which ended with a terrible wet gagging sound.

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Synopsis

Dallas, 11/22/63: Three shots ring out. President John F. Kennedy is dead.

Life can turn on a dime – or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away… but an even more bizarre secrets come to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession – to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten… and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

In Stephen King’s “most ambitious and accomplished” (NPR) novel, time travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Thoughts

I was told a few years ago when I first started feeling interest in reading a King novel that this was one to start with. I then started with IT because I’m a fool who is kind of freaked out by clowns… but I digress. Turns out that this is a fantastic novel. Fantastic to start your King journey with and just a fantastic read all round. It was fun, enjoyable and not filled with the freakiness that I have found in King’s novels so far…

Although this didn’t have that horror aspect to it, there was still some serious feelings of discomfort and darkness throughout this novel. Not only in the relationship between George and Sadie (which I found tragic on so, so, so many levels). But also in the many journeys that Jake / George goes through. Each moment is a lesson in morals and the past, a lesson in understanding just what the future can hold for us… if we figure out a way to move on from the past.

The only thing that I truly know about the Kennedy assassination is that it happened. He was shot. That was the extent of my knowledge. And, to be honest, I don’t exactly know heaps more at this point. But I do know that Lee Harvey Oswald is the known shooter and that it happened in Dallas and it occurred through a window in a building called Book Depository (which disturbs me, because that’s my favourite online bookshop). This may be all a fiction, but it’s a fiction based on facts, so it was nice to not only read a very interesting and intense book that was also filled with facts about a reality I’ve never known much about. It was certainly a great way to find out more information.

11/22/63 will not only hit you in the feels, but it will also draw you in. The concept of time travel and the machinations that are involved in this are complex and brilliantly thought through. I’ve got a few time travel novels on my shelves, and some of them are just a great plot point, without much thought into the actual practices behind how time travel would work. This isn’t the case in this story – King has seriously thought through all of the details, the facts and the difficulties which time travel would entail. Which is kind of obvious when you realise just how damn big this book is…

<- ‘Salem’s LotUnder the Dome ->

Image source: Wikipedia

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Overview
Image result for book cover pet sematary

Title: Pet Sematary
Author: Stephen King
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: FamilyHorror, Thriller
Dates read: 4th – 15th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hodder
Year: 1983
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Caa,’ the young man said, and now Louis fancied he could smell death on his breath, internal injuries, lost rhythm, failure, ruin.

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Synopsis

‘Sometimes… dead is better.’

The house looks right, feels right to Dr Louis Creed. Rambling, old and comfortable. A place where the family can settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seem a world away from the fume-choked dangers of the city.

It’s only those big trucks on the road outside which growl out unnerving threats.

Behind the house there’s a carefully cleared path up into the woods to a place where generations of local children have walked in procession with the solemn innocence of the young, taking with them their dear departed pets for burial.

A sad place maybe, but safe. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding…

Thoughts

Let me start this by saying that I basically read the whole book in one day. While I was home alone. It is not something that I recommend. To make my decision making all that much more questionable… I’d actually gone to start it late one night before bed (when my partner was next to me) and, after reading that King thinks this is the scariest story he’s ever written. So I put it down and decided it was a day time read. Which, to be fair, I did start it in the morning. Thought I’d stop when it got scary. I didn’t. I finished it at about 6 pm, realised I had a long, lonely night ahead of me… not what I would recommend at all.

Actually, after reading this, I realised that a) Stephen King was right, this shit is terrifying; b) I needed a super hot shower to wash off the insanity of what I had just read; and c) I really needed to call someone, anyone to distract me. To make matters worse, I have a beagle that likes to find dark corners from which to just… watch me. A little like Church, the creepy not-so-dead cat.

To be fair, Part One of this book isn’t too bad. Don’t get me wrong, bringing a pet cat back from the dead isn’t great… but it was a just enough tingling level of creepy. Then you started Part Two. It started to get worse there. Because you just knew that the decision making was not going to be great. By the time I got to Part Three… I actually really didn’t want to continue. I felt physically ill. But I had to know what happened. Especially, since most horror stories have an ending that will let you sleep at night. This one doesn’t. When I told my partner the storyline a few days later… I kind of just paused, stared at him and realised that I wasn’t going to be getting to sleep anytime soon.

One of the things about King that I love is that although the horror comes from supernatural beings, it’s truly the actions of the people that have caused it. The death of innocents (such as children and pets) is always horrendous, but the ways that people act afterwards? The decisions that they make? There is something FAR more unsettling about that than anything else…

 <- The Outsider ReviewRevival Review ->

Image source: Kobo

IT by Stephen King

Overview
Image result for book cover it stephen king

Title: IT
Author: Stephen King
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Thriller
Dates read: 22nd June – 11th October 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hodder
Year: 1986
5th sentence, 74th page: The door had opened at quarter past nine and in he had ambled, wearing jeans and a GO ‘BAMA tee-shirt and his old engineer boots, looking like he’d come from no farther away than cross-town.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

It is the children who see – and feel – what makes the small townh of Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurks, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reaches up, seizing, tearing, killing…

Time passes and the children grow up, move away and forget. Until they are called back, once more to confront IT as it stirs and coils in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

Thoughts

This is my first ever Stephen King. It’s also my first ever full-length horror novel. I was kind of scared to start it – horror is not a literary genre I’ve really spent much time with… but man am I glad that I did! Totally understand why so many people love Stephen King, and now I want to fill my shelves with his terrifying tales too…

When I started reading this book, I was really wigged out by the fact that King dedicated his book to his children. After finishing it? I’m even more creeped out. This is a book about a gruesome apparition of the night killing children… and he dedicated it to his children. Dude. Not cool. But the story also highlights the importance of children and their imagination as our future… so maybe it makes sense?

IT wasn’t as terrifying as I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t read it late at night, or when I was going to spend the night alone… but it just wasn’t quite as horrifyingly terrifying as I expected. I could actually sleep each night after reading it, and I really wasn’t expecting that. Instead of making me jump at too many shadows, I felt uncomfortable about the state of the world and what people are willing to do to one another. Particularly Beverly’s story… after all, she’s the only woman and so much of what she goes through is what I, myself am terrified of. Each of the seven in fact go through horrors that are human induced. It’s not so much the creature of IT that terrifies… but the things he manages to convince other humans to do to one another…

I loved how the timeline for this tale flickers. Jumping between their childhood (the 50s) and adulthood (80s) two different stories that are eerily familiar echo one another. I loved the parallel storylines and the mystery of just what happened underground. Instead of giving anything away, you have to read to the end to find out how both storylines end. It’s almost impossible to put down, even if it is over 1,000 pages! Definitely a great introduction to the writings and insane inner workings of Stephen King.

 <- The Institute ReviewJoyland Review ->

Image source: Amazon