a fair book with some good parts Aug 29, 2007
While I do not generally look to Stephen King for eloquent writing, he can create and describe a mind-bending nightmare world as no one else. This novel, which follows the previous Straub-King effort, is very engaging. Many of the scenes and characters are nearly cliché and predictable. The twisted aspects of the plot and the bizarre nature of the crisis go far in making up for this. An old geezer wearing a dressing gown and shifting between alternate realities while wreaking havoc is a novel idea. The pace of the novel is fast. The writing is a bit more polished and comprehensible than most King work, due most likely to the Straub collaboration. This book is self-contained; it is not necessary to read Talisman first. King does provide a unique point of view and periodically makes a comment or an observation that is immensely real, capturing the essence of the situation. The bikers and their dialogue are shallow, but the queen in the asylum and the dream connection with Jack are very good. The notes from the Fisherman, signed “your fiend” and the snatching of a kid leaving a sneaker are haunting. I enjoyed the book, but King’s real talent is writing short stories. His ideas have a variety and range that are practically unmatched.