Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Viking (1993)
This is what happened to me while reading this book. When I started reading this in 2011, I had completed Blockade Billy two years prior (a short and quick read) and wanted to read one of his larger works (this hardback clocked in at close to 900 pages) next. While reading this book, I moved from my native NYC to the Bay Area, re-read The Shining and the sequel, Doctor Sleep, applied and got accepted to graduate school, and have actively sought out books written by women and authors of color. So yeah, life has happened while reading this book.
At the core of this novel (and as the epilogue displayed) life goes on and on when you’re in the midst of other plans. Ralph, sweet old funny, Ralph is having issues sleeping. He and roommate Bill McGovern are homies and sort of covet Lois Chasse because she’s an amazing woman. Then, in Stephen King fashion, the mundane is injected with a serum of the supernatural that takes the reader into the unknown and beyond what anyone could comprehend in real life.
I’d taken so long to read this (in spurts), I didn’t think I’d feel as satisfied as I did reading the third act of this novel. Surprisingly, the way this book ended is the way most of his novels end (well, except the ones that leaving me wanting more, spent, or unsatisfied) – with a nice resolution that leaves the reader feeling content.
Apart from feeling fuzzy inside and wanting to share the love I felt for this character I’d lived with for so many years, I felt warmth for the staple of Stephen King in my life. Here I am, in my early thirties, still reading this author’s works. His work has been the consistent thread through my life and plans since I was a teenager. Through everything – heartbreak, pain, homesickness, happiness, triumphs, new jobs, old jobs, etc. – reading a novel by Stephen King has been the one thing that reminds me of home.
I wrote about Stephen King a year after I started this blog and realized how much a part of my life his work has been – the way that families come together to watch a baseball game or have picnics – for me, it’s reading a Stephen King novel. His writing inspired me and now I’m far from home but with a little piece of it always with me. Like a favorite sweater or cap that you throw on without thinking. I will never Not read a Stephen King novel. That’s just the way it goes. I’m a fan for life. I look forward to reading more of his stories and learn from his writing style.