Stephen King’s New Book and a trip to the library

April 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I heart Stephen King. I’ve read The Stand four times. Each time a new book in the Dark Tower series released, I would reread the series. I remember when The Green Mile came out as a serial, I worked in a bookstore and I would get first dibs on the latest edition. But my love for him has waned a bit. His last handful of novels have been decent, the ones I’ve gotten around to reading, anyway. Under the Dome and Full Dark, No Stars were my favorites. But never in my years of reading my favorite author have I finished his novel, flipped back to the beginning, and started all over again. Until now.

You can read a synopsis of 11/22/63 here. They write those things better than I can. Just know that this book was so good that I didn’t think twice about reading its 849 pages over again. I read online that Jonathan Demme, of Silence of the Lambs fame, will be directing the film version, set to start shooting this fall. Stephen King will serve as executive producer. I knew right from page one that this would make an excellent movie. Let’s hope they do the book justice. Many Stephen King adaptations fall flat, but just a few (The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption among them) become instant hits.

My only gripe (SPOILER ALERT!!) was that the romance didn’t resonate with me as much as I wish it had. When I read The Time Traveler’s Wife, I was absolutely balling at the end. Seriously, weeping openly on the subway on my second read, and weeping unapologetically in bed on my third read. (Can you tell I like that book, too?) But Sadie’s death, not a tear. I thought perhaps I’d read it too fast the first time – it was such a page turner, I couldn’t put it down – but even on my slower second read, no tears. It was sad. But not in a way that makes me grab a Kleenex. And I wish it had been. (OK, SPOILERS OVER)

This book was meticulously researched, and I found myself on Wiki constantly looking up the countless references to pop culture of the 50s and 60s. I’m sure if I’d lived during this era these things would have instantly made sense to me. But it was still fun to look them up. It was also fascinating to speculate what Oswald’s life was like, how he was with his wife and child, what sort of person he was.

I finished my second read just in time for another trip to the library. It had been awhile since I’d tried to coordinate my books with Liam’s, and it was tough this go around. In the Afterward to 11/22/63, Stephen King gave props to writer Jack Finney and his book Time and Again, lauding it as the best book about time travel ever. Judging from the synopsis, this time traveler also falls in love with a woman from the past. I’ll be interested to see if this love story is better.

And because I think my brain needs a break from all this time travel stuff, I picked up Stewart O’Nan’s humorous novel Last Night at the Lobster, which I’d heard about on NPR. It’s about a manager of a Red Lobster set to go out of business right before Christmas, and about his rather depressing (but in a funny way!) last day.

For Liam, the best I could do in a very crowded and disheveled kid’s section was The Wizard by Jack Prelutsky. The illustrations, by Brandon Dorman, are stunning, and it says on the cover that the author is a “children’s poet laureate.” Whatever that means. But it’s about magic. And what’s more magical than time travel?


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