The Outsider

The OutsiderThe Outsider by Stephen King
Published by Scribner on May 22nd 2018
Pages: 561
ISBN: 1501180983
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“Monsters are real, ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” – Stephen King

A Crime, an investigation, confusion……

An eleven-year-old boy’s body is found in a local park. Fingerprints found at the scene point to local coach, Terry Maitland. Several eye witness accounts also place Maitland as having contact with the youth prior to his death, one even saw Maitland putting the boys bicycle in his white van. Police detective Ralph Anderson arrests Maitland during a baseball game that Maitland is coaching. He wants the public to know that they have arrested the boy’s killer. Maitland becomes the town pariah – but wait – eyewitnesses also place him attending a conference- not only that, there is video of him there. How in God’s green earth can he be two places at the same time? He doesn’t have a twin. He doesn’t have time to go back and forth between the two places…so what gives? As Ralph begins to question Terry’s guilt or innocence, Holly from the Mr. Mercedes trilogy shows up and things get kicked into high gear. She is the real gem in this book for me! King sometimes likes to have characters from one book show up in another and I am so happy he did with Holly. If you have not read the Mr. Mercedes trilogy – I highly suggest you do! You will appreciate her more in this book, if you have read the other books which feature her character!

This book felt like classic King to me. King is a great storyteller and he put his skills to use here. He had my attention and I was wholly invested in learning the how’s, what’s and why’s of this book.
My eyes hurt after reading this book – seriously they hurt as I read this, to quote Annie Wilkes “cock-a-doodie” book in two days!!! I loved every minute of it. Even if my eyes were screaming at the end.

King was the first Author to scare me, really scare me when I read my first book by him when I was a teenager. I then went on to binge read anything by him that I could get my hands on. All those thick paperback books they sold at my local five and dime store, I couldn’t scoop them up fast enough. It wasn’t enough to check them out from my local library, I had to own them! Looking back at my high school reading, I read Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen and Stephen King. All the ones required by my English Teacher and one of my choosing!

Stephen King has had some amazing books over the years and he has also had some duds. But he is the Author who I have enjoyed for the longest period of time. This book felt like Classic King to me. He has been writing for a long time and I imagine he will be writing for many years to come! There is a reason we all keep reading his books and why various Authors cite him as being their inspiration. This book did not scare me per se, but it was entertaining and mixed with classic King-isms – sarcastic humor, quirky characters, flawed characters, good natured ribbing, social commentary, and an underdog the reader wants to root for. Plus, as always, there is a creepy bad guy and an inevitable showdown of good vs. evil. King has not lost his touch – he’s still got it.

“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” -Stephen King

Here’s to many more years of writing!!!

Classic King!


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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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.


Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties by Stephen King, Owen King
Published by Scribner on September 26th 2017
Pages: 702
ISBN: 150116340X
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Was this is Stephen Kings version of take your son to work day?

Somewhere in the future in an Appalachian town of Dooling (is this a spoof on drooling which one might do when they fall asleep?), women are falling asleep and being cocooned in a sticky white substance. Psst…don’t wake them. No one likes to be waken from a deep sleep, especially the women in this book who become violent once awoken. This is a big book so I am not going to give a big synopsis on it. The long and short of it is this: women are falling asleep, those not asleep yet are living on red bull trying to stay awake, one woman (Evie) appears to be not affected by it and may have even caused it, men are either trying to help figure out what is happening or are up to no good. For the most part, they are trying to figure out how to live and keep the sleeping women safe.

This is a science fiction meets fantasy meets horror type book. It’s long and in some parts it felt long. There is a magical tree, a fox, a tiger, a snake, talking rats, moths, and about 60 or so townspeople ; some of which are asleep and some are awake. Evie appears to be in control of all and has ties to the magical tree.

Some reviewers are stating that they can tell what parts Stephen King wrote vs. which ones Owen King wrote. In the beginning of the book, I thought “Yes!” this is S.King’s part..but then the entire book felt that way to me so I guess, I really couldn’t tell the difference.

I often wondered while reading this book “What’s the point?” and “What is the message?” Is there one? Tie in the sleeping illness (for lack of a better word) with the marital problems of the Psychiatrist and the Sheriff (married to each other) and you have a mess. But an enjoyable mess. I enjoyed this book. I don’t feel that it is Stephen King’s best but at least it is not his worst either. I have never read Owen King before this so I can’t speak for him. I thought they did a good job. Perhaps a little more edited especially in the beginning would have made this book better.

How about that book cover? Beautiful


End of Watch

End of WatchEnd of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #3) by Stephen King
Published by Scribner on June 7th 2016
Pages: 432
ISBN: 1501129740
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End of Watch is the end of the Bill Hodges Trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch). It is also the end of various characters from the books. I have to say I enjoyed the first two books in the trilogy more than I liked this book. Finders Keepers being my favorite in this book series.

Brady, the Mercedes Massacre killer, has been in a coma for five years. His Doctors do not expect any form of recovery. Boy, were they wrong. Behind that vegetative state his evil mind had woken up and began to plot and practice his evil skills. He has discovered that he has secret powers. Powers that he tries out on the hospital staff. As he practices his skill grows as does his desire to seek revenge on Bill Hodges.

Bill Hodges, is a retired police officer and hero of the other two books. He is currently running a detective agency with his partner, Holly. Holly is the one who hit Brady (Mr. Mercedes) in the Head thus landing him in the traumatic brain injury center. Soon Bill and Holly learn that “suicides” have been taking place Suicides that are linked to Brady, the Mercedes Massacre and Hodges himself. Soon, it is evident that Brady is back.

I enjoyed this final chapter but I did not love it. I thought it was good. I just wanted it to be better. I wanted more in the “showdown” in the end. But overall, a nice conclusion to the trilogy. I think most King fans will be happy with this book.



ItIt by Stephen King
Published by New English Library on October 1st 1987
Pages: 1116
ISBN: 0450411435
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This is one of my favorite Stephen King books. Why? Probably because it was the first book to really scare me. I was young when this book came out and the idea of kids, and then adults fighting an evil so terrifying was so attractive to me.

Derry, Maine should be a lovely place to live. A beautiful hometown. Wholesome and safe. Yet it is not. There is an evil lurking here. An Evil that preys on children. It lurks in the dark, in the deep, in the sewers, in storm drains, it comes out to terrorize, to hunt, to take the shape of one’s darkest deepest fears.

Children know something is amiss. Something is out there..waiting, waiting, waiting and then killing, killing, killing.

They thought they killed it. They thought they had conquered evil. But they did not and now as adults. They made a promise to each other. A promise that they would come back. They would face It once again.

Chills. Stephen King knows how to spin a yarn. He knows what and how to scare us and he does it well.

A Masterpiece!



JoylandJoyland by Stephen King
Published by Hard Case Crime on June 4th 2013
Pages: 283
ISBN: 1781162646
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Joyland is not a typical Stephen King book. If you are looking for horror, supernatural gore, scary clowns, vampires, fire setters or children who come back from the dead, or any other really scary parts – you will not find them in this book. This book is not like the typical books Stephen King wrote in the 80”s.

I had not read a Stephen King book in many years prior to picking this book up. Don’t let the cover turn you off, this book is a jem! It is a mystery, and a unique coming of age story. Another great book by Stephen King. He is a fantastic storyteller and he has done a great job telling this story. I often go years without reading a King book, but when I do, I am always reminded about just how gifted a writer he is.

First I will start off this review by stating that I think this is a great book to read for those who have never read Stephen King before, for those who do not like horror novels or being scared. This is Stephen King doing what he does best – tell a story. This is the Stephen King whose Novella “The Body” inspired the movie “Stand by Me”, This is the Stephen King who wrote the novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” which inspired the movie The Shawshank Redemption. This is also the Stephen King who wrote “The Green Mile” which inspired the movie by the same name.

Joyland is not a typical Stephen King book. If you are looking for horror, supernatural gore, scary clowns, vampires, fire setters or children who come back from the dead, or any other really scary parts – you will not find them in this book. This book is not like the typical books Stephen King wrote in the 80”s (or since then).

I had not read a Stephen King book in many years prior to picking this book up. Don’t let the cover turn you off, this book is a jem! It is a mystery, and a unique coming of age story. This book is about love and loss, growing old and those who never get to grow old. Stephen King is a fantastic storyteller and he has done a great job telling this story. His characters in this book are well developed as is the plot which has a couple of twists and turns. The story is told from the perspective of an older man looking back on a pivotal summer of his life.

Devin Jones, a college student, takes a summer job at Joyland hoping to recover from a broken heart. But as it turns out Joyland was once the scene of a viscous murder and a ghost of the murdered girl sometimes haunts a popular ride at the park. Intrigued, Devin sets out to solve the murder. Over the course of the summer he also meets a young mother with a dying child. This summer and it’s revelations will change his life forever.

This is a smaller book by King. Well worth the read. I think this book will surprise readers who have not liked King in the past or who do not like horror.