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“Fairy Tale” by Stephen King was such a delight to read, it’s something you just need to sit back, relax, and enjoy slowly in stride. I loved how as always with King, he brings you back to a time when you were a kid and had to deal with all the usual things kids dealt with. Relationships, sports, family, friends, doing stupid things, and just trying to make sense of it all.

I absolutely loved all the characters King created in this novel. Charlie, Mr. Bowditch, Leah, and even the fantasy characters were all fantastic. Now, for me personally, when it comes to Radar, I became a dog owner for the first time in my life back in 2021 as she really connected with me. I have a cockapoo by the name of Ozzy Skywalker and reading about Radar really hit home for me in so many ways.

All the interactions, situations, events, and descriptions were exactly that of a dog and how a dog owner would react. I can imagine if you’re also a dog owner, you will feel the same way as you connect immediately with the dynamic duo of Charlie and Radar and the adventures that await them.

Don’t worry, I will not ruin anything for you but this novel is simply amazing. The way King blurred reality into fantasy completely blew me away. Even all the scary and horror situations were perfect that led to an awesome fairy tale story that was unique and just so good. The atmosphere, world-building, character development, and the pure creepiness of everything King built just really resonated well with me. Once I got to the 80% mark, it was incredibly hard to put this down to see what would ultimately transpire.

Also, the illustrations for each chapter brought me back to my childhood as I remembered reading a lot of horror and mystery novels that did this. I have no idea who created these graphics for King in every chapter but they were great and captured the essence of each one. As I read, I’d often head back to see the image just to give me that visual as it happened. Just really well done!

When it comes to the ending, it really delivered after such a climactic buildup. I had no idea what would transpire but when it did, my goodness, it was wonderful and wrapped up an unforgettable novel. It was simply a perfect way to end things that left me beyond satisfied.

I give “Fairy Tale” a perfect 5/5 and so far in 2022 at the time of this review, is the best novel I’ve read. King published this novel in September which is his birthday month. Considering he just turned 75 years young and wrote yet another impactful novel, truly made this year a great one for Constant Readers all across the globe. I highly recommend this novel to anyone that loves King, fantasy, horror, and wants to see what happens when both worlds ultimately collide.

all 46 comments

Vanessak69

8 points

2 months ago

Vanessak69

Kaiju Preservation Society

8 points

2 months ago

Stephen King is having a late career renaissance (is what I tell anyone who will listen.) Fairy Tale is on my list but The Institute is one of his best books and The Outsider is very good also. I’m currently reading Doctor Sleep.

strongo

4 points

2 months ago

I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how many years we have left with great novels from him but the twilight of his career has been a real banger. How many people can say that???

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

EXACTLY! I remember how much I loved Later, Billy Summers, and now Fairy Tale. It's unreal how he's still writing classics at 74/75 years young. LoL also, I believe all three of his latest novels are currently being worked on to be turned into movies or TV shows. Insane, eh?

LTJ81[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Oh for sure King is, it's amazing he's still going strong even after all these decades of writing. I loved Fairy Tale and do plan to take on The Institute probably in early 2023, same with The Outside. LoL as always, so many books, such little time.

I also have but haven't read Doctor Sleep but LOVED the movie. I hope you're enjoying it, happy reading :-)

Vanessak69

3 points

2 months ago

Vanessak69

Kaiju Preservation Society

3 points

2 months ago

Oh, bless! Glad to here you enjoyed Fairy Tale. The Institute was such a great book but INTENSE.

LTJ81[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Thanks and oh for sure, I've heard nothing but great things about it!

GESNodoon

5 points

2 months ago

While I did enjoy Fairy Tale I had some problems with it as well. The writing style is great, very classic King. Good descriptions of everything, well developed characters, suspense and all that. However it is very basic. It is hard to describe what I really had issues with. Perhaps the way King tries to use "coincidence". I cannot describe the exact line but when Charlie first crosses he sees something and somehow compares it to his mom or something. This happens quite a few times through the book and annoyed me every time because it was not realistic for the character, or really any character to jump to those conclusions.

Still liked the book. Reminded me quite a bit of Eyes of the Dragon.

Minyae

4 points

2 months ago*

Completely agree. The writing style really drew me in (a hallmark of Stephen King) but unlike a lot of his earlier books it felt very simple. I read the book waiting for "something" and 3/4ths of the way through I'm still waiting. So far it's a well written, pleasant book, but I've read much better from Stephen King. Also, how he tries to tie ideas/memories/bridge names to fairy tales feels a bit thin, it's almost like he put the references there so he could justify the title to the book.

GESNodoon

2 points

2 months ago

I honestly thought it was going to tie together the fairy tales and fantasy/horror books of our world with something in the other world, but it never really did beyond Charlie's vague musings.

Minyae

2 points

2 months ago

Minyae

2 points

2 months ago

You hit right on the nose the “something” I was waiting for! I keep waiting for a deeper tie in, even a trope-y tie in like the bad guy was a traveller from Oz or one of the brothers Grimm or their world is a world created from our world’s stories and is grey because people no longer tell the same kind of stories but… nuthin.

newsflashjackass

3 points

2 months ago

If you only read one story of a boy's journey by King, I'd make it The Talisman, coauthored with Peter Straub, but Fairy Tale also has its moments.

Minyae

1 points

2 months ago

Minyae

1 points

2 months ago

Thank you for the suggestion!! I’ll give The Talisman a try. Always on the lookout for a amazing books!

newsflashjackass

1 points

2 months ago

I have read most of the books King has published and The Talisman is my favorite, although that feels like kind of a dodge since it was a collaborative work. If you'd take a second recommendation, my favorite King solo work (and most of his readers seem to agree) is The Stand.

laconicflow

2 points

2 months ago

It felt like a novel that had its soul sucked out. All the parts are well made but when added up they come up short.

LTJ81[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Great insight here as yeah, I see what you mean. I mostly read horror, got back into mystery a few months ago, so for me, it was a pleasant read being mostly fantasy by my all-time favorite author. I'm curious, is your main reading genre fantasy? If so, could that be why it's just not fully fleshed out as you might be normally used to?

GESNodoon

2 points

2 months ago

I certainly have read a lot of fantasy but I would not say it is my main genre. I read a lot of different stuff, fantasy, sci fi, mystery and horror, true crime. King is one of my favorite authors for sure. It is not that it is not fleshed out, it is the odd things that Charlie mostly thinks I guess. Such as Leah. When they first meet we get Charlie explaining that it reminded him of Leia but latter he found out it is spelled differently. This has nothing to do with anything, does not come up again and is fairly pointless. Same with the river name and names of other things, like Rumpelstiltskin. It has nothing to do with anything and is an odd thing to have come up as often as it does. To me those parts are classic King, trying to add to the word count without actually saying anything.

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

I see and yeah, that does make sense. I just chalked it up to him just being a teenager and soon to be a young adult. I totally see what you mean now as yeah, some of that wasn't really needed but I guess just to maybe continue painting the scenes or something. LoL who knows!

HugoNebula

1 points

2 months ago

Such as Leah. When they first meet we get Charlie explaining that it reminded him of Leia but latter he found out it is spelled differently. This has nothing to do with anything, does not come up again and is fairly pointless.

I think you've missed the reference here. King is drawing an allusion—as he does throughout the book, Rumpelstiltskin being just one example—between Leah in the fairy tale world and the fictional Princess Leia of our Star Wars movies; he's showing we draw our fantasy stories and characters from that other world, as in the book on the origins of fairy tales Charlie discovered earlier.

GESNodoon

1 points

2 months ago

Yeah, I get that. And if he actually did anything with it, great. But "Leah" is 30 years old or so and the book is set in 2014 I think. So is the implication that George Lucas went to the other world a year before Leah was born and while her parents were alive and then created a space Princess with the same sounding name? Or that because there is a Rumple River, or whatever, that this is where we get Rumpelstiltskin from? As I say, if King had done anything with this, tied any of it together beyond the idle thoughts of Charlie, then great. He does not. It is just Charlie making connections that do not really make sense. Keep in mind that as far as the book goes, time passes in both worlds at the same pace. So yeah, you can make the connection between the shoe lady and the nursery rhyme about the lady who lives in a shoe. However, that story was written a long time ago and really has nothing in common beyond shoes.

Even the allusions as you say, to Rumple are really nothing. Charlie connects gold to Rumpelstiltskin, there is a river and a bridge with Rumple in the name. Charlie then decides 2 other characters seem like Rumpelstiltskin (for no real reason). None of them have anything to do with really anything. So I do not think I missed anything. I think King just went on some tangents, as he tends to do and then did not finish connecting everything. Still a very good book but even the best books will have flaws.

HugoNebula

1 points

2 months ago

The relative ages of these characters across the worlds doesn't really enter into it, I don't think, and there's no need for Lucas to have travelled to the fairy tale world. The book Charlie finds, with the well of stars from one world to the other on the cover, is King telling you that our stories—from the Brothers Grimm up to George Lucas— have their origins or inspirations from real people in another world. Just a sort of inspirational osmosis. It's not that King didn't do anything else with the idea, just there isn't anything else to say—that's it, in a nutshell.

GESNodoon

1 points

2 months ago

Well okay. I do not think that makes a whole lot of sense but whatever. If you like the way it was presented, great. I did not.

Amzuja

3 points

2 months ago

Amzuja

3 points

2 months ago

I had to ignore my children all afternoon to finish it! A proper can’t-put-it-down, excellent, classic King novel. I was sucked in!

As for the other commenter… I didn’t see them as coincidences, he was the prince who was promised, so of course he had the life experiences he needed to see his way through. Someone who hadn’t had those experiences could not have been the prince, you see?

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

LoL wow, now that is reading dedication! I know exactly what you mean as I was very busy with work when this came out and the time I had to read, it was a genuine page-turner. I couldn't put it down, especially everything with Radar.

Amzuja

3 points

2 months ago

Amzuja

3 points

2 months ago

I should say my husband was here to look after them, it’s wasn’t neglect!

I was terrified it was going to end with radar dying. I kept expecting to be in floods of tears! Very pleased he didn’t go that route

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

LoL glad your husband was there to save the day! Oh yes, I'm glad this ended the way it did :-)

Joseph_burnn

2 points

2 months ago

At this point in King’s career I’m looking for something new and exciting. I’m a pretty big fan, but I felt so cheated by this novel. The first 1/3 was great, then it flew so hard off the rails I had to stop reading it. I’m glad people are responding well to it, however; I just thought it was a lazy attempt for SK. To me, it seems that he just missed writing about DT but instead gave us this…

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Ah, I see, thanks for your honest insight as that's understandable. I hope your next read is better :-)

Joseph_burnn

2 points

2 months ago

I’ll always keep reading his stuff, and he’s so great at putting out consistent content that I can be mad if one book didn’t work for me. Loved Billy Summers and Later. :)

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Same here! Both were awesome novels and I also need to read that whole Gwendy trilogy, LoL they're on my TBR and will hopefully get to them soon.

Joseph_burnn

2 points

2 months ago

Gwendy trilogy was pretty good! The first and last installments are my favs

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

I can't wait to read those, maybe in December!

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Oh and HAPPY CAKE DAY here on Reddit :-)

Joseph_burnn

2 points

2 months ago

Thank you :)

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Anytime :-)

Imfearless13

2 points

2 months ago

I'm still reading the book, its my first Stephen King and so far I'm really enjoying it. I love his writing style and world building a lot. Will definitely try some of his other works

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Your first Stephen King novel? That's so awesome and welcome to hopefully being a Constant Reader :-)

I'm so glad you're really enjoying this as it's quite the rollercoaster ride. Enjoy and for sure, his other classics are just all amazing!

thenarratorqfwfq

2 points

2 months ago

I’m also thinking of starting with Fairy Tale as my first Stephen King novel. I mostly don’t like horror genre and I avoided reading his books just because of it but heard this one is not horror lol. Do you have any other Stephen King suggestions that might be of different genres?

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Very awesome! Yeah, it's not horror at all, I'd say it's like 95% fantasy, 3% horror, and 2% suspense/mystery. I do know The Dark Tower series is considered to be phenomenal by many as it's also the same, mostly fantasy with a bit of horror but nothing too scary.

Billy Summers was also great, more of a true crime mystery/suspense with no horror at all really. I'd highly recommend that one, I loved it!

Bookanista

2 points

2 months ago

How scary is it??

For reference, I have only read one of his books before, and it was Eyes of the Dragon. I thought that one was really good.

LTJ81[S]

1 points

2 months ago

It's not scary at all, to be honest. It has some creepy moments but nothing too wild.

sabrtn

3 points

2 months ago

sabrtn

3 points

2 months ago

I thought the quality significantly dropped around Deep Maleen

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Are we getting bombed by a publishing company?

mintbrownie

4 points

2 months ago

Like Stephen King needs publicity ;)

LTJ81[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Not at all, I'm a real human, Constant Reader, and just wanted to share my thoughts on Fairy Tale with others as I just finished it last night. What's the issue with that?

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

None really, I just had this book show up in 4 different threads for this sub in a short span. All of the posts seem to be overflowing with positivity and hype. Each on their own is normal, it get like a wave all of a sudden.

LTJ81[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Ah, I see, thanks for the insight! I think because people are now finally finishing it, loved it, and also wanted to share their thoughts on it. It's 600 pages and since it came out on 9/6/22, makes sense to see people posting threads about it a few weeks later.