Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Other Worlds

Artwork by luke314pi 
Go then. There are other worlds than these.

It's been a while since I've done a review, but not for lack of reading... or - more truthfully - listening. I just haven't had time to curl up with a book lately, so my audible account (read wallet) has been getting a workout. I don't always do reviews on the mainstream books I read, they don't need them like us indie's need them, but I'd still like to talk about what I've been reading.

I've been on a huge Stephen King kick lately, as you may have guessed by the epic quote above. If you don't know what's its from, it first appeared in The Gunslinger, the first book in The Dark Tower series, and became a running theme throughout the books.

The Dark Tower series aren't the only books I've been listening too lately. I started with 11/22/63, a novel dealing with a worm hole that spit the main character out around the time of JFK's assassination, introducing the main conflict of the book. 11/22/63 was the first King book I've read in a long while. I think the one before that was Carrie a couple years back and then Rose Madder probably at least ten years ago. A very long stretch to go without reading a book from one of my 'favorite' authors.

Anyway, back to 11/22/63. I actually picked up this book at the same time a friend began her re-read, and as soon as I cracked it open (loaded it up on audible), I was drawn back in time. It was just so familiar. My friend said it best when she said, "It's like talking to an old friend."

This book really has a bold line drawn down the middle, separating it into two very distinct halves. The first half had me captivated, and I found I was listening to it every chance I could get as it built to its crescendo. It was a wild ride and gave me the story I craved. Once it was over, I still had the bulk of the book left to go and was wondering, where the hell do we go from here?

And the book changed... I lost interest for a while and didn't pick it back up for a few weeks. Final verdict, I would recommend this book for any King fan, along with those that like a good, gritty horror story thrown in with a solid time-travel backdrop... on the first half alone. It was excellent.

But here's the trap I fell into. The main character makes a visit to Derry in the last 1950s. All King fans should know what happened in Derry back in the late 1950s.

Pennywise...

So that's when I totally got sucked back into King's universe. The main character Jake actually meets a young Beverly Marsh and *beep beep* Richie Tozier. Anyone else visualizing a young Seth Green right now?

Artwork by raulman
King wasn't done blurring the lines yet. The main character actually has a run in with Pennywise's essence. It tries to bait him into the old ironworks, but Jake is having nothing of it. He nopes right the hell out of there, but the damage was already done. King had opened the closest doors inside my mind, and I was faced with my deep-seated psychological fears I thought buried long ago.

Kiddos, Stephen King corrupted an entire generation, leaving so many of us terrified of white-faced clowns. Slenderman doesn't hold a candle to Pennywise.

And then I purchased It on audible and began to listen. I had no idea how deep those claw marks in my psyche went, but after looking up old It movie clips on YouTube and reliving Georgie's excruciating death again, I was reminded why I stopped reading King. Because he friggen terrified me. Thus I was reminded why King is still one of my favorite authors. He is the master. 'Nuff said.

It segued into The Dark Tower, because this one I had left unfinished. Wasteland was the last that was published the first time I started reading the series, and many know there was a long hiatus between this book and the fourth book, Wizard and Glass, that wasn't published until six years later. I was off King by then, so never picked it back up until now.

I am thoroughly enjoying this read. I just finished up Wasteland and have finally started on Wizard and Glass and I finally know what happened with that damn train!! Ugh, talk about a cliffhanger. I was hanging for YEARS. I am aware of The Turtle mention in 11/22/63 as well as the references (origin?) of Pennywise in this series. I can't wait to get there!

And that is a very long update on my reading life right now, and a small tribute for this man that has created an entire universe that has webbed through all of his books and so many of his readers lives. It's awe inspiring. Words just can't describe the admiration I have for this man and his ability to put all his stories on paper.

Cheers, Mr King! Your story telling is truly exceptional and I am so thankful you have shared it with the world.