Monday, July 17, 2006

Whachya readin'?

Well, I didn't think I'd ever see the day again when I'd be recommending a SK book. I mean, it was almost completely downhill after Misery -- except maybe for the Dark Tower series, so I'd pretty much written him off. I mean, did anybody actually read that pretentious waste-of-trees Bag of Bones? Or his latest stupid gore-fest, Cell? Gimme a break. The guy started re-writing himself to the point of self-parody. "Retirement" became the operative word. So then, with a BIG dose of skepticism (does anybody really need to read yet another story about a writer, for cryin' out loud??), I started the advance readers copy of his newest book -- Lisey's Story -- which comes out in October, mainly because of the blurb by Michael Chabon on the back. And I couldn't hardly put it down. It's a return to form; the kind of well-crafted story the guy could tell all through the 70's and 80's, with earthy, distinctive characters that you find yourself thinking about when your nose isn't in the book. And the dark elements creep up on you, the tale taking a couple of unexpected twists. So then I started dreading the ending -- mainly because a bad ending to a good book can really screw the whole thing up, so I'm thinking "Oh, he's going to do something really really stupid and predictable in the last couple of chapters, and this whole 500 pages is going to sink!" The good news is the ending stays true, steering its way to one of those fateful, haunting conclusions that when he does it right, SK can do almost better than anyone (remember the finale of The Dead Zone? Or Pet Sematary?)... So if you're in the mood for one of those "grim fantasies," give it a gander when it comes out. Excellent!


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