Monday, October 27, 2014

the king is not scary part 2

As a nod to a friend of mine, but also because I thought it was a good topic, I listed five Stephen King books that weren't horror stories... perhaps they dive into the supernatural just a little, or maybe science fiction, and definitely an air of suspense, but nothing like an evil hotel, like "The Shining", or a possessed car, like "Christine", or an evil, possessed clown like "It"... so here is another five of Not Scary King... you can read Part I of this post by clicking here. Otherwise, here ya go...

A little girl is hiking in the woods with her family along a familiar trail... her family is quite dysfunctional, of course, as Brother is quite annoying and Mommy and Daddy are fighting all the time. She slows a bit to take a restroom break right off the trail, slips on an embankment and ends up down a hill, completely lost. Trisha begins to drift further into the deep woods, armed with only a few things like a Twinkie, a poncho and a Walkman, which she likes to use to listen to her favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, and her favorite player and athlete crush, pitcher Tom Gordon. Thus begins a psychological story of a little girl who is not only battling the elements, but the darkness, fear and eventually, her sanity. It's thrilling, a little strange, and you'll root for Trisha the entire way. (224 pages)

CELL (2006)
More science fiction than anything, a random signal from outta nowhere is shot across the world, and everyone who is on a cell phone at that exact time is zapped in an insane zombie-like killer. Writer Clay Riddell is in Boston, and amidst the ensuing chaos and destruction that follows, sets out on a journey to try and get to his son, Jonny, in Maine. He teams up with Tom and a teen named Alice, and the trio meet good guys and bad guys as they make their way.  (355 pages)

Here's what I wrote back in 2011, listing this book at the 42nd Coolest Thing of 2010... In the fall of some year after 2012, Dale Barbara, known as "Barbie", is trying to leave the small town of Chester's Mill. Before he can get very far, however, something odd happens. An invisible, indestructible barrier--a dome, per se--is dropped over the town, keeping everyone who's out of town out of the town, and everyone who is in the town, in the town.

Big Jim Rennie, second selectman, takes over the town, appointing his corrupt friends and sick, twisted son Junior as town officials, and does his best to try and contain the opposition, which includes Barbie and newspaper editor Julia Shumway. Slowly but surely, the town's government falls apart as Big Jim's rule becomes more and more stern, and as his ego--and paranoia of losing control--spiral out of control.

Efforts to destroy the Dome fail one after the other, and everything from civility to law to just common sense begins to fall apart, piece by piece, little by little... its not a slippery slope so much as a straight up and down cliff. 

While the Dome is the central key to the novel, it is what happens to the town that becomes the book's plot. The breakdown in civilization, the loss of respect and democracy... that's the book's central storyline. When Big Jim realizes that not everyone sees it his way, its then that he begins doing whatever, and I mean whatever, is necessary to ensure his own rule is followed.  Also, one of my favorite Stephen King covers ever... (1074 pages)

JOYLAND (2013)
I listed this at the 10th best book I read in 2013... here's what I wrote about it: Some of King's best work is not horror or of the supernatural ilk, and this is a great example of that. "Joyland" is set in 1973, and tells the story of Devin, who gets a job at an amusement park in North Carolina. He ends up befriending a few people, including Annie and her ill son Mike, plus some of the people at the park, all set with the backdrop of some unsolved murders that occurred in the Haunted House years previous. At under 300 pages, it reads quickly, and though you might see the ending coming before you get to it, its worth the ride. (288 pages)

11/22/63 (2013)
One of the most random, unusual non-Stephen King stories that still plays out like a Stephen King story after all is "11/22/63". Jake is a divorced high school teacher who, through a friend who seems to be going through his own troubles, is shown a "portal" in the past... namely, 1958, at exactly 11:58am on September 9th. No matter how long he stays in the past, only a few minutes pass in the present day, along with some other restrictions of the portal. The mission is to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy on, you guessed it, 11/22/63, so Jake begins a life in the past to try and lead up to the event. And the story slowly unfolds bit by bit, and though it's a slow burn, it's worth the ride. King also gives a very interesting answer to the question, "What if JFK lived?". (849 pages)

Finally, MR MERCEDES is the latest non-horror-but-thrilling novel from Stephen King, from earlier this year in 2014. I loved this book, but will wait to review it until the end of the year. However, you can read my friend Jessica's review on it if you'd like...  and at the end of the year, I'll also be discussing King's newest book, "Revival", coming out in November.

The #31DaysofWriting is coming to a close this week! And coming tomorrow... Taylor Swift's new CD dropped today! I'll give you my own fangirl experience and a track-by-track commentary on the whole thing!

1 comment:

  1. I used to read Stephen King all the time! In fact have a whole slew of his books from the 90's, but haven't read him for awhile. I think I need to visit some of these!


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