In the Tall Grass

In the Tall GrassIn the Tall Grass by Stephen King, Joe Hill, Stephen Lang
Published by Simon Schuster Audio on October 9th 2012
Pages: 2
ISBN: 1442359889
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three-stars

This short story asks the question “What would you do if you heard a child calling for help?” Would you stop and help? Would you stop and call for help? What if a child is calling for help but his Mother is warning you against helping?

In this short story, brother and sister, Cal and Becky, are driving when they hear a boy in the tall grass asking for help. He is lost and can’t find his way out. Of course they want to help him, wouldn’t you? But wait! The boy’s Mother is warning you against helping. She is warning her son to be quiet or “he” will hear you. Who is this “he” she is referring to.

Wanting to help, the brother sister duo both enter the tall grass……

This short story can easily be read in one sitting and evokes a feeling of dread. Will they find the boy? Will they find each other as they were instantly separated? More and more I am enjoying books that evoke that feeling of dread; ones that get your heart beating because you don’t know what is going to happen next. You know something is going to happen….but what? Ahhhh, that anticipatory anxiety. I think Hill and King were successful in this. But then once the “reveal” if you can call it that occurred, I felt a little let down. This is where the short story lost a little of it’s magic for me. Sometimes I think it is better to never see the source of terror is. That is what makes it terrorizing. We use our own minds to create the “evil” that would scare us the most. Yes, that is my fan fiction take on this.

In the Tall grass is still enjoyable. Definitely worth reading.

three-stars

NOS4A2

NOS4A2NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow on April 30th 2013
Pages: 704
ISBN: 0062200577
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five-stars

I may never view Christmas songs the same way again. I don’t know if I should thank Joe Hill for that or kick him in the knee!

What can I say? I loved it (by “It” I mean this book and not “It” which I also loved)!!! I liked Horns, I liked Heart shaped box and I do believe those two books were Joe Hill getting “warmed up” and NOS4A2 is him hitting his stride. I seriously could not put this book down. I found it to be interesting and captivating from cover to cover…and yes, I am on the “nice” list because I read the acknowledgements!

I respect that Joe Hill shortened his name to create a pseudonym in order to stand on his own merit. But come on Joe, you look just like your Dad! But kudos!!! How brave to enter a profession where your father is “King” and how wonderful to know that you can stand on your own two feet and hold your head high knowing that you are an Author on your own merit. This book KICKED ASS!

Vic a.k.a Victoria a.k.a. “the brat” has a knack for finding lost things. She just gets on her trusty bike, rides across a rickety old bridge and is transported wherever she needs to go in order to get what she is looking for: a bracelet, a photo, etc. She knows not to mention the bridge or her visits to wherever she needs to be. She does not mention meeting Maggie, a stuttering librarian in Iowa who gets messages through scrabble tiles. Maggie warns her about Manx… but well, do people ever really listened when warned to not do something? A mother may warn her child not to touch a stove, but will the child still touch the stove to see just hot hot the stove is? hmmmm

Charles Manx is a maniac who preys on children. He takes them for rides in his 1938 Wraith which has the license plate of NOS4A2. His car seems to have power of it’s own, it can go wherever it needs to go on secret “hidden” highways and can control it’s locks and doors. What it can also do is take Children to Christmasland. Christmas Carols always seem to be playing and if you are a good boy or girl you will be “rewarded” with a visit to Christmasland.

One fateful day Vic finds Manx and of course, all hell breaks loose. She manages to escape – barely and helps put Manx away. Vic goes on to grow up and leave a troubled yet normal life. She has a relationship and child with Lou, the man who saved her from Manx. How does not live a normal happy life after seeing and experiencing what cannot be explained or even believed? She begins to received phone calls from the Children in Christmasland. They are not happy withe her for taking Manx from them. Vic is not stranger to inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations, I mean she is speaking to missing children who live in Christmasland. Who will believe that?

Until one day when Charles Manx goes missing. No one can find his “body” and yet he is out and searching….searching for that one person who escaped him. He wants his second chance if you will to destroy Vic’s life. As I mentioned, Vic has a son. A son Manx would very much like to introduce to Christmasland.

“Was there any human urge more pitiful – or more intense -than waning another chance at something?”

Manx is coming and Vic is ready for him. She receives a little help along the way but in the end there will be a showdown. I liked that Maggie came back to help as did Lou.

This is a BIG book. It’s HUGE in fact but it didn’t feel big. It did not feel as if it were over 700 pages. I read this book FAST as in very FAST because I wanted to know what happened next. I love when books have me on the edge of my seat, scare me a little but also dazzle me with their character development. All three were great in this book. There are also some really great characters in this book. There is also humor. This book has “teeth” and they will sink in and hold you captive. Hill’s best in my opinion.

I love when a book surprises me. I did not expect this book to be bad but I was not expecting to like it as much as I did! It really did take me by surprise in a very good way.

Wonderfully written, a fun suspenseful read that kept me turning the pages and on the edge of my seat!

I highly recommend!

five-stars