Genre: Horror, Suspense, Fantasy
“Dolls with no little girls around to mind them were sort of creepy under any conditions.”
As a constant King reader, I was looking forward to diving into his twisted mindset again, for believe it or not this was my first King book this year and immediately from page one it felt like home. The whole setting for this book lends itself well to the extreme creepy factor from the ghost town in the middle of a desert to the long stretches of highway that just give this unsettling feeling like something bad is about happen.
“You said ‘God is cruel’ the way a person who’s lived his whole life on Tahiti might say ‘Snow is cold’. You knew, but you didn’t understand.” He stepped close to David and put his palms on the boy’s cold cheeks. “Do you know how cruel your God can be, David. How fantastically cruel?”
The plot revolves around this isolated town called Desperation which is located in Nevada, it seems deserted and the only inhabitant is the sheriff who patrols Highway 50 where a bunch of outsiders will, unfortunately, cross paths with the devil himself. Somehow, they get pulled over for some sort of technicality with the law and are brought to Desperation and all hell breaks loose.
My experience reading this polarizing, before starting this I read that the book was too heavy on the religiousness or “preachy” and I was still not put off by that because The Stand also drew some inspiration from the Bible and used that to explore the Good vs Evil trope it was done smartly and the characters didn’t feel like biblical prophets but when it came to this book it felt like I was literally being talked down at. The plot was steady and the suspense was incredible as one would expect with a King but the second half the religious ideologies overtook the storyline.
“In these silences, something may rise”
The characters had a similar effect with the plot, at the beginning each individual had such a strong presence but they slowly dwindled… The whole idea of free will in regards to religion was touched on but once the characters started losing their own personal belief and started making really dumb decisions my enjoyment level started plummeting.
Apart from all that the book is really fast paced, devouring the 700pages in a weeks time and the gore factor was top notch. Exploring addiction and alcoholism were well done as the subject hits close to home for Stephen King. I would definitely still recommend it for the sharp writing and atmosphere but it isn’t like my favorite King book, I have read better. Still, you sound check it out if the premise sounds interesting or if you are King addict.
I would definitely check out The Regulators to see how the narratives pair together.
Have you read it what are your thoughts on it?