Top critical review
Formulaic, recycled ideas, Incest
Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2021
I purchased both the kindle book and the audiobook and read and listened to both at the same time, a feature offered by Amazon that I really like. This review is for the Stephen King novel, though the audiobook narration itself is really superb. The actual book though, not so much, not Stephen King’s best.
- The incest part just wasn’t needed and detracted from the enjoyment of the story.
- The recycled part from his novel, “It” felt exactly like just that, unoriginal and recycled, and this was a fairly important part of this novel. Readers of that novel will recognize it immediately. It would have been better if King had come up with a more original idea for this book, rather than import his past writing ideas.
- This book doesn’t belong in the “Hard Case Crime” series. Hard Case Crime conjures a Noir image, with gritty detectives and police officers dealing with difficult to solve crimes, ferreting out hard cases, and putting themselves in danger with worthy criminal adversaries. Authors such as Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins, Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy, and similar belong in this genre. This Stephen King short novel is really just a type of ghost story and a mild horror story at that; the crime part of this is just incidental.
- Largely formulaic, somewhat predictable from one scene to the next, no real twists, it just never really gets exciting.
This is a type of ghost story. The protagonist sees dead people, that is established near the beginning, not really a spoiler. So of course it is quite predictable that he will be sought out, on the one hand by police, to solve or prevent crime, and on the other hand by bad guys, to take advantage of him being able to glean information from the dead as well. There are a couple of other plot lines thrown in, but I don’t believe in dropping spoilers like that for people who want to read the book. Overall however, Stephen King has many other good books out there. It is ok to skip this one.