Life has definitely become predictable for Terry Maitland and there’s a certain level of comfort in that for the small town sports coach. Having the trust of his friends, neighbours and colleagues is no small thing and staying put to support his community in a time of trouble would always be what Terry would choose to do. Being arrested in front of the entire town at a game is only the beginning of Terry’s nightmarish fall from grace. The murder of an eleven year old boy is a hard thing for Flint City to endure, let alone to find out that the chief suspect is one of their most beloved
Our beloved Uncle Stevie always has many wise things to share with us, his constant readers, and continues to faithfully inserts these pearls into the storytelling matrix of each new novel. Sometimes they may be bashed directly into your psyche and at other times they may merely brush against you in passing but at whatever level of introduction, there will always be a direct appeal to his reader’s hearts at some point. King writes ‘everyman’ like no other.
King has an inexhaustible supply of wry observations to dole out via the mouths of his creations and you will find plenty of these in THE OUTSIDER. This is a classic King piece and whilst wildly entertaining, could have done with a trim to reduce some ‘waffle’. King’s skill at spinning out his fantastical yarns always involves a lot of inclusions that don’t necessarily advance the plot but will have us smiling anyway.
How are with the science on this ‘woo-woo’ stuff in THE OUTSIDER? Not entirely sold. This is primarily written as a crime novel and the introduction of supernatural elements is always a handy out to logic, if there arises the need to explain something away. But we need to remember we are reading Stephen King, so that usually comes with the territory.
There’s a nice surprise awaiting King fans in THE OUTSIDER. For those readers lamenting the end of the Bill Hodges trilogy, fear not. THE OUTSIDER will catch you up with what’s been happening with one of your favourite King characters.
This review is written by a fan who can be critical of her favourite authors, including King, and can state hands down that THE OUTSIDER, with all its dark magic and violence, is a delight to read. Pure escapism written by the world’s greatest living author is never a waste of your time and THE OUTSIDER slides on up alongside the reader with a knowing smile and wink. Uncle Stevie knows what we need, once again.
Book review - Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King & Owen King
Right on the money as he always is, Stephen King - with his co-writer son Owen King - addresses here a premise that is ridiculously and soberingly topical. What is it that could bring down society in such a dramatically short space of time? The withdrawing of the women.
Women - those who bear the ‘thought burden’, those who do the nurturing, those who are responsible for the “reining in” of erratic behaviour. Stunningly simple, the thematical concept behind SLEEPING BEAUTIES is not to visualize the horror and drama as the world is slowly broken down, but more to realize how simple and obvious making this happen might be.
As you would expect with the epic novels of this size, SLEEPING BEAUTIES has a cast of thousands and the reader will need to keep on top of all that, in particular as the siege of the women’s prison continues. Lots of guys with guns all fighting what they think is the good fight. Stephen King has obviously been here before (not necessarily geographically - though any fan of King knows that many of his towns and folk do crossover in a freakishly satisfying way) as his legacy novels like THE STAND set new benchmarks for post-apocalyptic works. Benchmarks, that just quietly, may never be vaulted over by other authors. King is King. He does these “rise above the common doom” novels extremely well.
It is easy (and quite fun!) to imagine that a savage edit might have taken place to remove the odd literary swipe at present day government and industry leaders. Messrs King masterfully duck and weave around the particulars and instead illustrate the domestic oppressions and expectations still placed on women via poignant little vignettes that strike uncomfortable and familiar chords.
The identifiable everyday and the supernatural are fully meshed in SLEEPING BEAUTIES and it’s a testament to the writers skill that soon we don’t question when the otherworldly inclusions appear. It is not a full scale good versus evil battle here in this novel but the take home will unsettle regardless. Allow a few days to switch off and take it all in.