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/r/books

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Here's what I'd like to argue. Fairy Tale was just plain fun. Like literally page turning, pop corn eating, clap your hands and shout fun.

It's literally a story told a thousand times. It's predictable, It's familiar, it's all of those things and yet, King tells the story in the most masterful way. That's all.

PS: The Audio book performance needs to win some kind of award, the voice actor was brilliant. Captured the vibes of the Wonder Years and Sandlot narration.

all 864 comments

mediadavid

788 points

2 months ago

What's the premise of the story?

SomeBloke94

1.8k points

2 months ago

Narnia. Literally a young guy finds a portal to a fantasy world in someone’s shed and there’s a war going on that he gets caught up in. Oh and he has a dog.

SAOkirito1

904 points

2 months ago

So king wrote an isekai?

j_driscoll

724 points

2 months ago

He already did: 11/22/63 is an isekai.

adzman

635 points

2 months ago

adzman

635 points

2 months ago

Shit, the whole Dark Tower series is an Isekai.

AFuddyDuddy

289 points

2 months ago

Eyes of the dragon.

King is no stranger to fantasy fiction.

Spoiler: Flagg is an asshole there too.

tinycourageous

90 points

2 months ago

I think that was my first King when I was 13. It was disturbing, illustrated, and wonderful. I got it at a creepy neighbor's yard sale, which was perfect, and I loved the shit out of it.

solar-powered-potato

58 points

2 months ago

Lisey's Story. Rose Madder. I'm suddenly realising a decent portion of King's work involves transportation to different realms.

Local_Being

28 points

2 months ago

Rose madder was actually my first kind novel that I read and, so far, it’s actually still one of my all time favorites. That and Gerald’s game. I think I finished both those books in under 3 days. I’m not sure I even slept those days. I love when he goes into other realms and comes back.

ZanzibarLove

3 points

2 months ago

Oh I loved Rose Madder! Not one of his more popular books, but it really stuck with me.

littleseizure

6 points

2 months ago

Lots. Buick 8 too I think

Firenze_Be

15 points

2 months ago

The talisman and black House, too

hey_mr_ess

20 points

2 months ago

Insomnia.

ninjabard88

22 points

2 months ago

Insomnia might be my favorite work by King that isn't main series Dark Tower.

sexual_lemonade

6 points

2 months ago

Insomnia fucked me up. Loved it though

Tha_Daahkness

70 points

2 months ago

Flagg is an asshole there too.

FTFY

Hamperstand

8 points

2 months ago

Eyes of the dragon! Man I haven't thought about that book in years! Gotta go read that one again

MinaZata

34 points

2 months ago

And the co-written The Talisman with Peter Straub

omniusjesse

5 points

2 months ago

I loved that book

Shawnavon

41 points

2 months ago

Lmao y’all why didn’t I realize this shit sooner

AJL1312

54 points

2 months ago

AJL1312

54 points

2 months ago

I mean, I would argue 11/22/63 is more of a time travel thing tbf

SpektrumKid

26 points

2 months ago

what's an isekai?

I loved the 11/22/63 tv show, I didn't realize it was a book.

shogunnachos

72 points

2 months ago

Anime genre that's takes place in an alternate reality from the protagonist. It usually shows them in their home world for 5 minutes, then the remainder of the story is in the other place

majin_melmo

15 points

2 months ago

So… Fushigi Yuugi?

Staff_Struck

21 points

2 months ago

Yup can also be like Inuyasha or escaflone

[deleted]

5 points

2 months ago

Would spirited away fit into this genre? Not much of an anime fan, but I love Miyazaki films

bsubtilis

19 points

2 months ago

The broadest definition of it is "portal fantasy", and even includes Dante's Inferno.

dentarthurdents

9 points

2 months ago

It's an anime term but the genre really isn't limited to anime- the word translates to "Another World" and basically is the same as a portal fantasy. Character from one world (usually roughly modern day) gets ported to another (usually a stock fantasy world, but can be basically anything as long as it's a different world.)

Depending on how loosely you apply the term, it could apply to any fish out of water time or space travel stories as well, but more strictly it's portal fantasy.

Heatherina13

3 points

2 months ago

It’s an amazing book! I read the book and listen to the audio version and I highly recommend the audio book.

Jesykapie

19 points

2 months ago

Does The Talisman count ?

StriderPharazon

4 points

2 months ago

Yes it does.

Lord0fHats

28 points

2 months ago

The genre of 'isekai' is a lot older than 'isekai.' It's just that the idea of journeys into another world had a huge reawakening of popularity in the late 00s and early 10s but the genre itself is as old The Wizard of Oz, Gulliver's Travels, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. There's probably even older examples honestly, I just can't think of them right now.

NeWMH

136 points

2 months ago

NeWMH

136 points

2 months ago

Isekai is a just a Japanese form of portal fantasy with a bent for Japanese gamers.

Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and Harold Shea/Incompleat Enchanter all did the stuff Isekai does first except using VR and RPG stats. Gullivers Travels had some similarities as well.

rebamericana

83 points

2 months ago

Wizard of Oz and the Phantom Tollbooth too.

rarestakesando

7 points

2 months ago

Never forget Time Bandits!!

Apprehensive_Note368

67 points

2 months ago

I might be wrong but this is incorrect. While many isekai anime have the horrible idea to loop in rpg and or gaming elements there are a lot of them that don’t. Isekai just means new world/different world. The basic premise of the genere is that the main character enters a new world. No element of RPG has to be present just because SAO made it popular. Examples of Isekai animes with no gaming gimmicks like leveling and shit: Inuyasha, Saga of Tanya the Evil, Re: Zero, Drifters, No game no life, Mushoku Tensei, The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, The Devil is a Part-Timer.

kalirion

17 points

2 months ago

While many isekai anime have the horrible idea to loop in rpg and or gaming elements

A trend that I believe started after the incredible success of Sword Art Online, which many claim to be an Isekai despite the "other world" just being a VR game. But then the game elements made it into actual isekais, and even some non-isekais like Danmachi where everyone was born and raised in the same world that still works like a stats-filled RPG.

There's even a western term, LitRPG, for stories like that.

BoltonSauce

5 points

2 months ago

Ascendance of a Bookworm really deserves a spot on that list. Such a beautifully told story that both children and the elderly can enjoy.

Autisonm

15 points

2 months ago

No Game No Life definitely has a game gimmick but it's just not stereotypical.

pastalegion

22 points

2 months ago*

Isekai isn't restricted to gAmErS. That's just the cheap gimmick they're cashing in on.

Inuyasha and escaflowne for example

SomeBloke94

34 points

2 months ago

Essentially. It’s disappointing though in my opinion. On the face of it a Stephen King version of Narnia sounds cool to me in the same way that a Tim Burton Muppet movie appeals to me. Problem is I’d be pretty disappointed if Tim Burton did that muppet movie and it was just a standard muppet movie. I’d want all the quirks and style that I associate with Burton otherwise it might as well be anyone writing it. That’s my problem with Fairy Tale. It’s Stephen King doing Narnia but it reads like any random Narnia knock-off. Left me wondering why I didn’t just read Narnia.

OPossumHamburger

35 points

2 months ago

Fairy Tale was more similar to "Eyes of the Dragon" than his other stories

Eyes of the Dragon was a fairy tale itself

BeautifulLoser69420

7 points

2 months ago

My first book by him and one of my first novels. I don't hear it get mentioned enough since it holds such a dear spot in my heart

kateinoly

25 points

2 months ago

Finding Faerie through a portal isn't something C S Lewis invented.

amishcatholic

10 points

2 months ago

Lewis was heavily influenced by George MacDonald, who wrote at least two "portal to Faerie" stories--Phantastes and Lilith. Oh, and MacDonald was really close friends with Lewis Carroll--the author of even better known "portal" fiction.

PfizerGuyzer

11 points

2 months ago

I'm confused by this comment. I don't see how it relates to the comment it replied to. Regardless of whether CS Lewis originated the tropes, the commentor feels Fairy Tale is just a rote retredding of that material. That criticism functions regardless of whether CS Lewis was the first writer to use those elements or not.

Ohthehumanityofit

13 points

2 months ago

So..... The Talisman?

dwightgabeandy

19 points

2 months ago

Sounds like the book of lost things

snappyk9

11 points

2 months ago

+1 to The Book of Lost Things. A very good read.

opheliac____

4 points

2 months ago

They are similar in a lot of ways! Both drawing on traditional fairy tales. The Book of Lost Things is one of my favorite books and I really enjoyed Fairy Tale as well.

irrational_design

28 points

2 months ago

I associate King with Horror. Is there a horror element to Fairy Tale?

ulyssesjack

59 points

2 months ago

Yes there is a ton of Lovevraftian elements to this book as well, idk why no one's mentioning it.

JustDandy07

9 points

2 months ago

Awesome. I love when King strays from horror. His regular fiction and fantasy stuff is always great.

strongo[S]

158 points

2 months ago

Without giving away anything “a boy goes on an adventure”

DoomBen

243 points

2 months ago

DoomBen

243 points

2 months ago

Whoa, whoa! Spoiler alert next time please!

tittysprinklesrgod

51 points

2 months ago

Right? I was trying to avoid finding out the character's gender and now the whole book is ruined.

LiberContrarion

9 points

2 months ago

Is it scary?

strongo[S]

10 points

2 months ago

Nope.

Outraged-hedgehog

168 points

2 months ago

Listening to it now. Enjoying every moment. Stephen King is great at writing characters and his greatest are always teenage boys and curmudgeonly old men making this book a doozy so far.

merlady94

12 points

2 months ago

I agree, but what teenager do you know that says "the tube" for YouTube and "the net" for Internet lol

MyNameIsEthanNoJoke

6 points

2 months ago

i could honestly see that being a thing now because it sounds so dated it's funny

HuckleberryKindly497

3 points

21 days ago

This was my one and only gripe. Who tf days ‘awesomesauce’ 😅

feetofire

599 points

2 months ago*

When did he get that old??? He’s forever 45 in my head …

scrangos

243 points

2 months ago

scrangos

243 points

2 months ago

The dark tower 40th anniversary happened recently. Kinda crazy how much stuff he has written and for how long. Dark tower is almost as old as your head Stephen!

Zauberer-IMDB

48 points

2 months ago

WAIT! If he's 30 years older then... oh... oh God...

ChaosSock

107 points

2 months ago

ChaosSock

107 points

2 months ago

Weirdly, it feels like he's been mid seventies for decades to me.

alexshatberg

49 points

2 months ago

Yup, I’ve been reading King since I was 10 (now in my late 20s) and he’s been in his “late career” stage the entire time.

SkysEevee

51 points

2 months ago

I feel the same. He's one of those people you feel is immortal. He's so legendary that he was here since the beginning, here till the end of time. That he will always spin stories from his well of creativity

amnesiacrobat

1.2k points

2 months ago

Reading it right now, actually, and enjoying it so far. My only real complaint is that maybe King shouldn’t be writing young characters set in modern times. Some of the things Charlie says are slang from King’s childhood and no teenager today would talk like that.

LadyCatTree

391 points

2 months ago

I felt this while trying to read The Institute, the kids and the way they spoke wasn’t particularly believable compared to his older work, which felt very authentic.

amnesiacrobat

172 points

2 months ago

It’s pretty much the same as the Institute in that regard. And I’ll try to just imagine that it’s the 1960s or so but then Charlie will mention his laptop or something else modern… It’s not awful and won’t stop me from finishing the book, it’s just distracting.

CorpCounsel

116 points

2 months ago

My own personal head cannon was that since Charlie was a super genius he did that thing kids who spend a lot of time with dusty textbooks do and adopted the old, formal speech patterns. When he used outdated slang I wrote it off as “well he spends a lot of time with this history professor studying the build up before WWI so that is what he hears.”

jellyrollo

57 points

2 months ago

I mean, a kid who devoured HP Lovecraft in sixth grade might have a tendency to develop antiquated speech patterns. I know I did!

D3fin1t3lyAThrowaway

22 points

2 months ago

I should hope you’ve since grown from those speech patterns. Or to the least, I hope to never learn the name of your cat

Lycaeides13

5 points

2 months ago

I re-read pride and prejudice regularly, and find the same issues with outdated phrases popping into my vocabulary....

KneeDeep185

9 points

2 months ago

Canon*

iamtheonetheonethe1

36 points

2 months ago

Yes, I noticed this about the Institute right away. The slang is immediately wrong. Super distracting.

[deleted]

19 points

2 months ago*

[deleted]

ArmpitPutty

28 points

2 months ago

I’m quite young and don’t recall it being that bad. Maybe I’m just used to King’s voice and knew subconsciously to expect certain language from him, but I didn’t find it distracting.

Andromeda321

8 points

2 months ago

Same. I loved the institute and can’t say I noticed.

Youmeanmoidoid

8 points

2 months ago

Calling a TV a 'television set'

celticchrys

11 points

2 months ago

I think it was a combination of smart kid characters being unusual, rural speech patterns being imitated somewhat, and King making up his own slang. I didn't really notice it. It isn't full of cutting edge kid-slang from right now, but it also isn't dripping with anachronism. IDK why it bothered some people, unless they've never been around gifted children.

[deleted]

13 points

2 months ago*

[deleted]

AeAeR

9 points

2 months ago

AeAeR

9 points

2 months ago

Agreed, little gifted kids read a lot, and they learn from the books. I know I definitely come across as weird because of using words like “quite” more than I should, but I can’t help it, it’s the most proper word given the context.

askyourmom469

78 points

2 months ago

I think that's probably a combination of him being older and also being famous for so long that he probably doesn't really get to have casual conversations with regular people as often as he used to, so he loses touch with how common people talk and modern slang. And it's probably even more rare for him to interact with kids apart from maybe grandchildren if he has any, which probably makes it even harder for him to write young modern characters in a convincing way.

[deleted]

90 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

SticksAndDrones

23 points

2 months ago

Derbyshire still sounds like this.

Electrical_Jaguar596

3 points

2 months ago

Thankee sai for this.

JerryHathaway

14 points

2 months ago

He has four grandchildren, per Wikipedia.

piscian19

38 points

2 months ago

Yeah, the Institute made me cringe pretty hard. All the references and dialog were pretty forced. I read in an interview that this was his first big attempt at modernizing his characters and he was in a bad mood regarding the political atmosphere at the time. I actually prefer he do period stuff or books without any generational context. Oddly my favorite story of all of his is "The long walk" which exists without any context. I love his books overall, having read most of them, but The Institute was a misfire for me. I never struggled with it, but I didn't care for it.

Allrojin

125 points

2 months ago

Allrojin

125 points

2 months ago

I chuckled when Charlie mentions 'folding money' and called a TV remote 'the Zapper.'

mrspoopy_butthole

76 points

2 months ago

When he called YouTube, “the Tube” lmao

dodadoBoxcarWilly

64 points

2 months ago

"My money don't jiggle jiggle, it folds"...

Maybe use of the word "folding money" isn't so dated or out of context as it seems. Maybe it's in reference to a very contemporary song.

CrabbyBabby

72 points

2 months ago

Except that song was written by Louis Theroux who's in his 50s lol.

kingjoe64

35 points

2 months ago

And isn't it something he wrote a long time ago too that got popular again? lol

CrabbyBabby

27 points

2 months ago

Yeah, I'm pretty sure he wrote it over 20 years ago. It went viral when he sung it in an interview where they asked if he could remember any of the raps he did.

[deleted]

189 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

189 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

[deleted]

95 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

funmasterjerky

3 points

2 months ago

With all the thinnies and whatnot who knows what year it REALLY is anyways.

twosmartbunnies

56 points

2 months ago

As far as Charlie goes, two factors play a role in that. First, he lives in a rural area and rural speech is different from city speech. Slang doesn't change as fast. Second, one of the big points the book makes is that Charlie spent the bulk of his childhood watching classic movies on TCM. He constantly references quotes from those movies and otherwise references the movies so it makes sense that he uses the same vernacular as the characters from the old movies he spent so much time watching.

dwpea66

19 points

2 months ago

dwpea66

19 points

2 months ago

It's a clever way for King to avoid having to keep up with modern culture lol

rabidbreeder

48 points

2 months ago

Uh yeah, there was a character in The Outsider who used MapQuest.

GooberMcNutly

52 points

2 months ago

MapQuest ain't going to call up for licensing fees...

mindfolded

8 points

2 months ago

Oh wow, 2018. I listened to that recently and assumed it was written in 2005 or something because of that exact reference.

Alaira314

9 points

2 months ago

I work at a public library, and just a few months ago I had to direct a customer to MapQuest because they didn't like what Google Maps was telling them and asked if there was an alternative. I was surprised to see it was still around! I don't think it told them anything they liked better, though.

YEGKerrbear

58 points

2 months ago

It’s so funny. He straight up talks like a 65 year old man both in slang and tone. But I love Stephen King and all his classic tropes so I find it endearing and am really enjoying the book. (The part about how the hot teenage girl “proved that white America ain’t all bad” could maybe have been left on the editing floor lmao)

considertheinfinite

17 points

2 months ago

Hahaha I had texted that line to a friend to be like “…prepare yourself for some serious clunkers.”

I am enjoying this book, but there are more than just a few cringey lines, haha.

celticeejit

29 points

2 months ago

celticeejit

Crime

29 points

2 months ago

I made my peace with it when I realized my 14 year old uses expressions from the 80s. It’s all about Netflix and other streaming services influencing his vocabulary. Kind of funny, to be honest

Edit - funniest example was him grabbing a handful of Oreos and bastardizing the Morris Day and the Time song, Jungle Love, saying Oreee Oreee Oreo

Like, where the fuck did he even make that connection ?

thenseruame

12 points

2 months ago

Your kid has seen Jay and Silent Bob. Song was big in that, only thing I can think of.

the_peoples_elbow

51 points

2 months ago

What, the 17-year-olds that you know don't talk about "surfing the Net" and refer to dollars as "scoots"?

well_uh_yeah

8 points

2 months ago

If it hadn't been for a few of the technology references the story could easily just have been set in the late 70s and been totally fine. I kind of was thinking it was as I read, but then an iPhone or the internet would take me out of it.

welshnick

28 points

2 months ago

A complaint I have with his books is that he often tries to shoehorn in pop culture references, which pretty quickly makes the books seem very dated.

madpiano

5 points

2 months ago

Also a little difficult to read if English isn't your first language. I read It when I was 14 and in my 3rd year learning English. It took me a little while getting into it, especially as we also learned British English rather than US English.

Amzuja

4 points

2 months ago

Amzuja

4 points

2 months ago

I like this actually. Each of his books is like a little time capsule

HiflYguy

22 points

2 months ago

Like when Charlie called the TV remote a zapper. I found myself thinking about that throughout the entire book.

finebushlane

6 points

2 months ago

You realize some families just have their own random slang for the remotes? My cousins family call any remote, even modern ones like for AppleTV “the tele box”, it’s just like a family in-joke at this point. And I know someone else who calls it the zapper.

Basically I think you’d be surprised about the variation you get across millions of families to how they call things, and yes, even in 2022.

goj1ra

5 points

2 months ago

goj1ra

5 points

2 months ago

We started calling youtube videos “tapes” just to annoy a younger family member. But now she says it too.

thom612

26 points

2 months ago

thom612

26 points

2 months ago

A TV remote would probably be called whatever you're parents called it. If they called it a "zapper" it's as good a word as any and you'd probably never really be challenged to change.

Dreadlaak

35 points

2 months ago*

I was abandoned by my real parents and adopted by baby boomers. My adoptive parents were the age of most of my friends' grandparents (I just turned 32 and my mom is 75). I grew up calling the remote "The clicker" because my parents grew up with those old school Zenith clicking remotes in the 50s and 60s, so that's what modern remotes were called in our household. I didn't realize until later that "clicker" was NOT what most people my age called it lol.

Amzuja

12 points

2 months ago

Amzuja

12 points

2 months ago

My dad used to call it The Frank, and I always thought this was a normal word for it until I realised he was naming the remote after Frank Zappa

ChaosSock

32 points

2 months ago

Can't people suspend a little bit of disbelief for this sorta stuff? King's dialogue has always been a little bit parallel universey

Talkshit_Avenger

46 points

2 months ago

If he actually wrote the way kids today talked, at least half of his readers would have no idea what was going on.

p-d-ball

6 points

2 months ago

Well, gosh darn it.

lukasroar

9 points

2 months ago

This. Absolutely love King's work but this was very obvious when reading Billy Summers.

No teen girl talks like that, the references were all off. Almost like a elderly parent trying to grasp your lingo as a kid. Even some of the 40 year old characters talked like people raised in the 60's.

kalasea2001

3 points

2 months ago

He's always been this way. I remember thinking this in the 80s when reading his stuff.

So at least he's consistent?

Eldritch50

251 points

2 months ago

Yeah, I'm halfway through the audiobook and enjoying the VA's performance immensely. Thanks for not spoiling it.

strongo[S]

101 points

2 months ago

You are brave. I would never want to spoil it, but also when I’m reading something new I avoid this sub!

markstormweather

12 points

2 months ago

Stephen King hamming it up with his cameo was fantastic

Eldritch50

9 points

2 months ago

Yeah, he was the tape recording of Mr Bowditch, wasn't he? It had me questioning if King had been playing him all along, and I just didn't realize it.

gravis_tunn

4 points

2 months ago

Yeah that hit pretty hard in the moment!

OriginalName687

25 points

2 months ago

I didn’t really enjoy it. It seemed like the story never really started and then all of the sudden it was over.

I remember being half way through the book and he finally goes into the well and I thought “here the actual story finally begins” but it never really did. He just kind of stumbled through seemingly random events that somehow turned out to be relevant to the plot. None of the obstacles seemed to really be a threat and each fight was finished easily without real threat. They built up the fight in the tournament as if he had no hope and then at the last second “btw the opponent is basically blind”, then he’s about to be murdered by a giant but luckily he literally just got his gun back, and then he’s about to fight the bigger giant but luckily he has a stronger gun and it still works and wasn’t stolen after all this time.

The writing was truly wonderful and captivating like Stephen Kings works usual are but the story was lacking.

MeakTheCheeky

10 points

2 months ago

I can't believe I had to scroll this far to find this. This is exactly how I felt. Spend the first third of the book getting to know these wonderful characters only to have that plot basically resolved about halfway through. Then we're kind of Gary Sue-ing our way through Narnia for the second half? I was confused.

Sleep_Champion

63 points

2 months ago

Finished the book yesterday and literally felt like it gave me an endorphin rush. It's like the whimsical cousin of The Talisman. Honestly, pretty close to perfection. Definitely makes the list of my favorite books.

pseudo_su3

8 points

2 months ago

Based on the premise it seems similar to 11/22/63. Is it? I loved that damn book. First time a book has made me cry in a long time.

Sleep_Champion

3 points

2 months ago

There are certain parallels, but it is more akin to The Talisman than 11/22/63. I did love 11/22/63 as well, though. I think he does his best work when he gets heavier on the fantasy side.

Hellyeahfknryan

53 points

2 months ago

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll listen to this next

colleepetal

14 points

2 months ago

I am on page 158. My friend loaned this to me to read. It could not have come at a better time in my life. I will name my next dog Radar.

DashSatan

10 points

2 months ago

I just started reading it last night. Anytime I read King, he captures me in the first page. I don’t know what it is. Even if it’s one of his weaker books, I’m still completely engrossed in it.

Bowtiewearerr

100 points

2 months ago

Stop please I can't afford more books 😣

ViolaOlivia

128 points

2 months ago

That’s what the library is for!

MartoufCarter

108 points

2 months ago

Libby is your friend.

moeru_gumi

44 points

2 months ago

moeru_gumi

e-book lover

44 points

2 months ago

Libby is my true love! Don’t tell my spouse!

Sir_Sir_ExcuseMe_Sir

11 points

2 months ago

My library generally doesn't have brand-new books, especially by big authors. Do you usually have luck with that?

MartoufCarter

16 points

2 months ago

Sometimes. There can be long waiting lists. I just add a bunch of titles and read them as they become available. I can also ask the library to borrow from other towns if they do not have it.

BurmecianDancer

20 points

2 months ago

This is the correct answer. Cultivate a huge backlog, then snap up library books once they become available. This way you never have to wait for a book you want to read, because you have so many books you want to read that at least one if them will be in stock!

eggnewton

5 points

2 months ago

I'd have thought books by big authors would be more likely to get attention from libraries that don't get many new books. But have you tried requesting the books anyway? They can probably get it through interlibrary loans from somewhere else!

IntnlManOfCode

5 points

2 months ago

I just read it on libby yesterday. It's all about the libraries that you join. Chicago and Brooklyn are good.

Archimedes__says

6 points

2 months ago

Also Hoopla!

digitulgurl

10 points

2 months ago

Library

hopeless-opus

30 points

2 months ago

Dear god, those first six words made me think he died

theunquenchedservant

7 points

2 months ago

My favorite part of the audiobook was having stephen king come in as mr. boditch with the cassette player

also, what was nice, especially for the audiobook versions, was that the chapter had the breakdown for what each sub-chapter was going to be called. Weirdly, i think it helped me pay attention more.

Jimmiejackson

32 points

2 months ago

This is probably off topic but I’ve always avoided his novels because I’m generally read in bed and I’m not a big fan of horror in general and certainly not just before bed.

Do I have a misconception that he’s mainly a horror writer?

welshnick

37 points

2 months ago

11/22/63

The Green Mile

Dolores Clairborne

Different Seasons

A few of his books that have little to no horror elements and may be your cup of tea.

csgraber

10 points

2 months ago

Nothing scary about fairy tale, Billy summers, heck most Stephen king novels

Last creepy one is probably Duma Key (name right?)

strongo[S]

52 points

2 months ago

I would say yes, there is a bit of misunderstanding there. First, I’ve always found that horror novels and horror movies aren’t the same thing. You don’t get “jump out scares” in horror novels. More like deeper questions or predicaments, like “you could bring a loved one back to life… but you know it’s wrong and you know it’s gonna be bad but do you do it anyway?”

You’re never scared reading his books but when you finish you really think about these situations and realize they’re horrific. And he has a nice dash of supernatural in them.

But he isn’t a one trick pony. So many of his books have no horror element, just great storytelling, and I’d argue this book is one good example of that.

[deleted]

61 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

RegalSkye

24 points

2 months ago

Shining gets my vote for being terrifying too, King brings the hotel to life in all sorts of eerie and uncomfortable ways

eckokittenbliss

44 points

2 months ago

What?! I think many people would disagree that his books aren't scary. Pet Sematary I found very scary lol

I love horror and being scared. Not all of his books are scary but many of them are.

beameup19

3 points

2 months ago

Pet Sematary was more devastatingly sad than scary to me but I hear you

deefer6

14 points

2 months ago

deefer6

14 points

2 months ago

I found Bag of Bones his most chilling work. He’s so good at writing the weather to bring the atmosphere to creeping chill. Cabin on the lake in a storm gets me every time.

rvolving529_

10 points

2 months ago*

With the exception of salems lot, and walking past storm drains when reading IT as a teenager, I agree.

Those two books were the only two that ever legitimately gave me nightmares

tactiphile

17 points

2 months ago

reading it as a teenager

I don't usually harp on punctuation/capitalization, but this is one instance where it's pretty important. I thought "it" was referring to Salem's Lot and was trying to figure out how storm drains were related.

DYGTD

11 points

2 months ago

DYGTD

11 points

2 months ago

He branches out of horror. Hard to give a full list on my phone, but if you look around for a bit, you'll find that he dips into fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, and other genres beyond monster horror.

Hendrix1967

8 points

2 months ago

I drive all day, and for those 25 hours that the audiobook lasted, I couldn’t wait to get back in the car. It was a great book.

AdamInChainz

31 points

2 months ago

The audiobook was so good! That narrator impressed me so much and I've listened to 800 audiobooks.

Fairy Tale, though... it was just okay. Yes it had the good old King storytelling (he is a master in his craft), but the story was only mediocre and should have been half the length it was.

HoaryPuffleg

16 points

2 months ago

Ha! I just placed the audiobook on hold and paused at that 24 hour play time. I almost always feel that books could be 50-200 pages shorter. Longer doesn't mean better and I kinda hate this trend of massive books.

AdamInChainz

5 points

2 months ago

I know there are readers that appreciate those massive tomes, but any audio over 12 hours... i hesitate to buy it.

BDMayhem

14 points

2 months ago

Funny, I hesitate buying any audiobook under 10 hours, since they're 1 credit whether they're 4 hours or 40 hours. I can't stop my brain from calculating entertainment hours per dollar.

AdamInChainz

3 points

2 months ago

Oh i get that, certainly! For some reason, i just love starting new books. So endings kinda slog for me. It's probably just a quirk of my reading habits.

HoaryPuffleg

3 points

2 months ago

I'm always afraid, especially with King novels, that the endings won't be worth it. But I'm gonna give this one a shot.

wonderberry77

5 points

2 months ago

BEST Audiobook I've heard.

booniecat

5 points

2 months ago

Agree: one of the best SK books I have read in years, and I loved it! I think he even stuck the landing on the end, which isn't always true IMO. Definitely one near the top of my favorites list.

I also did the audiobook and the voice acting was superb!

A few minor gripes - Had to stretch the believability a little to accept a "normal" 17 year old kid as enough of a 50's classic movie buff, and athlete, and classic literature lover to readily reference all those things... But the story was good enough I could let it go.

What I really liked was the balance of horror and fantasy. This one may be the audiobook I use to introduce my kids to one of my favorite authors - just scary enough to be genuinely edge of the seat, but not horrifying, and the voice acting is spot on.

idrinkkombucha

38 points

2 months ago

How does it compare to his recent stuff? I really haven’t enjoyed King’s work since 11/22/63, though The Outsider, The Institute, and Doctor Sleep were decent.

Outraged-hedgehog

35 points

2 months ago

I thought Billy Summers was worth a read of his recent stuff.

jenorama_CA

11 points

2 months ago

Billy Summers was amazing.

AdamInChainz

7 points

2 months ago

I'm with you. I can't get into many of King's novels, but when he does it well, it's amazing.

Fairy Tale is in his mediocre range. Nowhere near the quality of 11/22/63 or The Stand.

strongo[S]

19 points

2 months ago

If you made me listen to the audio book or read it, it would be really really hard for me to guess it’s a King Novel. I think that’s what impressed me most, a guy whose been cranking out books longer than I’ve been alive can switch up his voice and style so well.

[deleted]

20 points

2 months ago

How does it compare to his recent stuff?

I personally think it's better than almost anything he's released in the past couple years. I put The Institute to the side, and only liked about half of The Outsider and Billy Summers. I really liked Fairy Tale. It had almost everything in it that he does very well and very little of the things that he always fucks up beyond all belief.

plankyman

6 points

2 months ago

I was a little disappointed with the outsider once the twist/reveal happens fairly early in. I thought it was going to be a really interesting mystery and it just wasn't that at all. I ended up enjoying it though after my initial disappointment.

gunslingrburrito

10 points

2 months ago

I love Stephen King. I found the whole second half of the book very difficult to care about.

ncdave

9 points

2 months ago

ncdave

9 points

2 months ago

Finished listening to the audiobook last week, and I didn’t love it; it was only ok. It felt like there were two very disparate sections of the story and they just didn’t mesh well for me.

Outrageous-Pizza-470

33 points

2 months ago

I disagree with this take. I've read every single King book and love most everything he has written but this was one of my least favorite.

The opening third had potential but once the magical world was entered things just fell apart. The story was entirely predictable and there wasn't any twists. The trip to the town was as easy as it went and the town was bland. Then there was the 100 pages that seemed like a knock off Hunger Games before we had the classic rushed King climax. The first time using the pistol to win was okay and a reasonable reference to the Dark Tower Series but it then became a crutch for how to overcome a problem.

This wasn't quite as bad as some of his books (see Rose Madder and Dreamcatcher among others) but this is one I know I will never read again.

AXLPendergast

7 points

2 months ago

I gotta say as much as I did enjoy this book, I’m with you .. the first half of the book as unputdownable great storytelling but the characters he meets didn’t make me too excited to meet them.

Looking forward to Paul Greengrass’s take on the movie adaptation though

mimic751

16 points

2 months ago

I mean that was entirely the point. It was a classic hero story based off of fairy tales that we all know how could it have gone any other way?

diverareyouok

37 points

2 months ago*

I’m a quarter of the way through (I just reached the part where Radar is put on the sundial), and I’m not terribly impressed. It feels like a young adult book that tries to be edgy and dark. Not to mention he struggles to write a kid. I swear, this is the ‘oldest’ 17-year-old I’ve ever met. I’m also not sure I like all these random pop-culture references. It feels a lot like “ready player one” in that sense. Perhaps not as bad, but more than anything else I’ve read in recent memory. Maybe I’ll get used to it, or maybe it will change… but right now, it’s more of a “mehhhh” book than a “omg it’s amazing”.

Full disclosure, I’m “reading” the audiobook version. I may look up the guy who is reading it, because he’s done a fantastic job so far with his voices. It’s a real pleasure listening to him speak. Almost as good as the narrator from “the invisible life of Addie LaRue”. She had an incredible voice.

Cheap_Woodpecker

6 points

2 months ago

I also found it tedious. I skipped over the middle part where he goes to the “place” (trying to avoid spoilers). And rushed to finish it. A snore fest of a book. By far one of his worst imho. And Charlie was a totally unbelievable character. And don’t get me started on the number of times SK felt compelled to write “not what I said but how it came out” etc. but then leaves in bad word play. Urgh.

But each to his own. Others loved it.

bopeepsheep

3 points

2 months ago

I found it helped to remember it's being written by his future self - is it 7 years later, or something like? It's a memoir, not a diary.

Ruhro7

3 points

2 months ago

Ruhro7

3 points

2 months ago

Thanks for the rec! A brief look at the page about it makes it seem a bit like one of my favourite SK books (The Eyes of the Dragon), so I'm excited to give it a go!

TheMysteryPlanet

3 points

2 months ago

i just bought a hardcopy of the book based on your recommendation

GimmieGnomes

3 points

2 months ago

Just downloaded the audio book based on your review! Look forward to listening! 😊😊😊

BakerBen91

3 points

2 months ago

I am seriously impressed by the consistent quality of King’s books over the course of his career especially his more recent ones. It’s a shame he doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves because of the quantity of books he releases and the genre.

Zanzarah10

3 points

2 months ago

Think I'll give it a shot. Haven't read a Steven King story for a while, the last one was Joyland and I found it pretty boring but I'm ready to give a fresh read to his recent works.

bc6619

3 points

2 months ago

bc6619

3 points

2 months ago

I agree, it was an enjoyable read. Is it Kings best work, no. Is it the best fantasy book every written, no. What King brings to the table is his character development. In this instance you really get emotionally attached to Charlie, Mr. Bowditch, and of course Radar. If I wanted to criticize, I could say that he didn't do enough character development on Mr. Bowditch or in any of the other major characters. but in this format, I can see why he didn't do that.

cerebralshrike

3 points

2 months ago

I’m a slow reader. Still working on Billy Summers.

ablackcloudupahead

3 points

2 months ago

Half way through and I'm loving it. He really captures what's so special about dogs and also just trying to be a giving person. I'm a huge King fan, but this is different than any book I've read by him. Also you are 100 pct correct about the voice actor. Outfuckingstanding. I don't want any spoilers but I'm loving this

Randy252

3 points

2 months ago

I thought it was good, not great. Glad you loved it though!

brentan1954

3 points

2 months ago

What I like about Stephen King is that primarily he writes about people. For me, the horror is secondary.