Re: Books by Stephen King

Well I've now finished the last two stories in skeleton Crew, The ballad of the flexible bullet and The reach.

flexible bullet I did rather like. The start is ponderous and most of the people at the cocktail party are just place holders really to react to the story the old editer is telling, but the story he tells is quite a unique one.
I did spot some typical kingisms,  like the obsession with writers and writing, though some of the observations about madness were fun.

Beware! spoiling spoilers ahoy!


One thing I found a little odd was that King  randomly imply the little boy was controlled by something perhaps the evil Fornits, however he just seemed to be behaving like a typical sadistic six year old brat, indeed while Redge the writer  waaaay over board with shooting at the kid, not to mention shooting his wife twice, I  can't blame him for getting irritated when he sees a child behaving like a monster upon finding a helpless alien creature.

One thing I did find a bit odd in this story as well was the way he dealt, or didn't deal with women, at the cocktail party though he names both women (and interestingly enough not the men), they are still only talked about in narration as "the writer's wife" and "the agent's wife" which was a little off, especially since he makes the point of how nice a person the writer's wife is.

Similarly, Jayne, Redge the insane author's wife we're told a lot about that is admirable, in particular how she loves her husband, however other than doing laundry and writing pleading letters to the editer on her husbands' behalf we didn't really see her do much or have a lot of personality of her own, which contrasted rather oddly with how much she was talked about.

This in fairness is something I've seen with some of Kings' female characters, but it struck me as odd here given how much of a  part Jayne plays in the story.

The reach was cute, and surprisingly gentle for King. There is something though that troubles me about the story and it took me a while to put my finger on it. It is almost too! folksy for it's own good. The hole "the island takes care of its own" and all the "this is cousin Jo who's mother I knew" the insularity, even down to when the ghosts turned up I actually found a little more unsettling just in terms of how  and completely inward looking it is, especially with how King tells us that the people on the island are quite happy to murder physically handicapped babies just as readily as child molesters.

Maybe its me I don't know, but I've always found that "this place looks after its own, the local geographical feature of note is in person x's bones, all the men have  same job like their fathers before them and all the women exist to look after the homes like their mo thers" a bit disconcerting, if not actually slightly repellent.

Then again for someone who grew up in a large city and then moved  a large university and now has friends all over the country maybe its just an environmental difference.

Next up, later today my lady and I will start the green mile,  I'll likely save my comments on  until we've finished it.

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