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Gunslinger Re-read

I forgot the face of my father…

It’s been three years since I first read The Gunslinger and it feels like it’s been too long. After reading a significant number of other King novels going back to The Dark Tower really makes you go ‘Wow… I’ve read something phenomenal’. I actually forgot how much I loved this saga. It’s so well written and is easily some of King’s finest work, as soon as I read the first page I had a rush of nostalgia and that’s it, I was on the path of the beam once more.

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. Just that first line is the perfect blurb for The Gunslinger. If you haven’t come across The Dark Tower before then it’s almost the perfect first novel in a fantasy epic. It’s not too long, just over 200 pages and can easily be read in an afternoon.

Upon re-read so many things in The Gunslinger had me just yearning to read the entire series again, I forgot how much affection I had for The Dark Tower and re-rereading was such a pleasure.

We’re introduced to Roland, The Gunslinger, as a surly, quiet man. He’s the last of his kind and he’s on a mission. The whole first part of the novel which is Roland recounting the events of Tull to Brown, a lonesome guy who lives in the desert is so brilliant. King sets the playing field perfectly and straight away you’re on board with Roland and his noble nature. As so as I got to the Way Station chapters I was so wrapped up in the story and king does a great job of introducing Jake. As a reader you feel for Jake as Roland does so coming back to these characters is so much fun and you really find yourself rooting for them.

If you haven’t read The Gunslinger, do so now. There’s no better time, especially if you’re not one for fantasy. I love this book so much and I just hope that one day Stephen King takes us back to Mid-World with another novel.

And if you have read The Dark Tower; make sure you download the Sombra Group app…

At the moment it’s a great time to be a Stephen King fan and it’s almost crazy to believe that a Dark Tower film is finally happening. With Idris Elba as Roland and Matthew Mcconaughey as The Man in Black, it’s going to be an amazing adaptation and February 2017 can’t come quick enough. There’s also a number of other Stephen King works in the process of being adapted: IT, The Stand, Revival, Mr Mercesdes and The Mist. My only hope is that they make The Dark Tower and The Stand as epic as the books are.

 

Long days and pleasant nights.

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What Begins at the Water Shall End There

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I know… I’ve been gone a fair while. Reading has not been my top priority the past six months and I haven’t been compelled by a novel in a very long time.

A month ago I needed a book that I could really get my teeth into. It was a rainy afternoon and a young lady had asked me to recommend a decent fantasy series, she wanted something long so obviously I gave her The Dark Tower and I had mentioned that I wasn’t reading anything currently and all of a sudden this girl started reeling off all this information about a book called ‘S’. I had heard about and seen copies of S but didn’t know anything about this novel by JJ Abrams & Doug Dorst. I ordered a copy of this £30 hardback and what turned up what as not what I expected at all.

This book is a down-right bloody beautiful. I didn’t want to break the seal but I needed to look inside this book instantly. From the off the amount of artistry and detail that had gone into the creation of this book is stunning and a book lovers dream!

S is strange creation of a book within a book wrapped in a mystery. S is a literary mystery surrounding the identity of the mysterious fictional author of ‘The Ship of Theseus’. The Ship of Theseus is the last novel from the unknown author V.M. Straka. A sailor who only goes by S is abducted and finds himself captive upon a nameless ship of mute shipmates, not knowing his purpose or who he is.

Passed back and forth between two university students who annotate the margins of the novel, leaving the notes, newspaper cuttings and maps throughout the pages. Every sentence of this novel is exciting, you’re essentially getting two great stories. One a literary political fuelled adventure and the other a slow burning mystery.

I won’t lie, S is not the easiest book to read. Each page is full of footnotes from the author’s equally enigmatic translator, in which are hidden codes between author and translator. Not to mention the conversations taking place in the margins but I found myself flying through the pages, every chapter was more intriguing than the next.

You see a friendship form primarily over the love of literature, fuelled by the love of a good mystery and it’s amazing to see that friendship develop over such a small space. There’s so little to say when it comes to the negative aspects of S apart from that sometimes one of the characters writes in a yellow pen which is a little hard to read in dim light. I loved S and the loose references to the Somerton man mystery is super exciting.

 

Read this book. READ IT!! P.S. There’s a code wheel in this book…. need I say more.

Something Happened

I was so excited about reading Revival, but there was no news on whether us Superfans would receive advanced copies or if we’d have to wait until the publication date. I had resigned myself to the fact that it would be the 11th November until I could get my paws on Revival when to my surprise a blue jiffy bag turned up with the words STEPHEN KING SUPER FAN printed on the front. I sort of didn’t want to open it. What if it was a bag of spiders? Or worse, another David Nicholls book!

Turns out it wasn’t a bag of spider but something event more terrifying… An advance copy of REVIVAL.

I had spent so long reading King’s Dark Tower works that I had pretty much forgotten how scary Stephen King’s writing could be.

Jamie Morton lives in a sleepy little all-American town. Not long after his 6th birthday a new reverend joins the community, taking Jamie under his wing and sharing with him his love for electricity. Straight away readers are hit by King’s biographical style of writing in Revival. It wasn’t what I executed and it was such a good changed of pace from some of his other books.

From the first introduction of Reverend Charles Jacobs we all know that something is a little off with this electricity fanatic. King draws his readers in with portraying Jacobs as a very pleasant small town priest.

The first real scare in the novel comes in the form of the graphic and downright distressing death of Pastor Jacobs young family. For days I was haunted by the imagery of the Jacobs family car crash.

Not even halfway through this felt like old school Stephen King, the storytelling in Revival reminded me of his early works like The Shining and Carrie. The further I ploughed on with Revival the engrossed I became.

Jamie’s teenage years and his drug fuelled young adulthood were so well written and for a short while I forgot that I was halfway through a horror novel and was encapsulated by this young mans story.

As I neared the end of Revival I became increasingly aware of how brilliant this story is. The ending of Revival had me stunned and I was completely thrown by what happened. The touches of Lovecraft mythology were genius.

The Summer of Stephen

This summer I was to trundle through as many SK books as possible. Who wouldn’t want to sit in the sun with a glass of Pimms and story that’ll leave you shaken.
I fear I’ve been away from the Stephen King horror novels for too long, having just finished King’s crime novel Mr Mercedes then being spirited away by David Mitchell’s upcoming novel The Bone Clocks.

I’m going to kick off with The Wolves of Calla, Roland and I have had our differences but it’s time I carry on with The Dark Tower books.

With the British summer time officially upon us here’s the titles I’ve picked to get through the heat. But I’d love to know if there’s one I’ve missed that’d be an awesome summer read?

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Bachman Returns

I desperately needed to get back into the swing of reading Stephen King. I’ve managed to kick off 2014 by reading such a great selection of fiction; The Farm, Dark Half and The Three, so I wanted something short that I could plough through.
Thinner just so happened be sitting atop one of my many stacks of Stephen King book mounds, so that was the main reason I selected this one to read next.
First off, I really don’t understand how he wasn’t putted as Richard Bachman earlier. His writing style is so tell-tale, not to mention referencing himself twice throughout the course of the story.

Thinner… Well the plot is in the title. Lawyer Billy Halleck is thinner. After running over an old gypsy woman Billy believes he’s been cursed by a rotting old gypsy man whispers in his ear “Thinner”.
Overweight Billy starts losing weight day after day. The real horror in this novel comes quiet early on. After the initial satisfaction of weight loss, Billy and his family consider that his sudden weight loss could be down to something more serious and the novel takes a more logical turn of Billy thinking he may be ill.
Unlike other King novels, the rational conclusion of illness is used to scare the reader into thinking of a more real terror. About 30 pages in Bachman uses the line “Cancer. Rhymes with dancer and you just shit your pants sir.”
The novel is littered with wit and paranoia. King writing as Bachman really keeps the reader on their toes.
However, the thing that let’s this novel down is it’s characters.
The main character, Billy, is difficult to sympathise with, he start off as a big fat lawyer (literally). Billy’s wife and daughter are super annoying and his associates I found irritating.
I did enjoy Thinner as it was quick and easy to read, I didn’t think the ending was especially spectacular but all the same I’d recommend this book.
Next up….
Lisey’s Story.

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Joyland

I can’t wait to read this!

Storytime with Buffy

This book was quite unlike Stephen King’s usual fare. I expected to be terrified but instead found something far different. This certainly isn’t a bad thing. Just not what I expected.

Nutshell blurb: Devin Jones recalls a summer in his youth where he worked at an amusement park in North Carolina called Joyland. A murder was committed years ago and the crime looms over the park and those who work there.

This story is a murder mystery with a heavy focus on the characters. The murder mystery isn’t the main point of the book, though. It focuses mainly on the protagonist and the things he’s going through in his life at that time. There isn’t a lot of action, but I found that to be ok because we really get into the main character’s head.

I know I’ve said this in previous posts, but Mr. King has a talent for…

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Readers-block

I’m currently coming out of a reading rut. The past month or so I’ve really struggled to get into any book. After reading The Running Man I started reading ‘Eyes of the Dragon’ for the second time. Again I couldn’t get into it so I put that down and started reading Cujo.
Now I could tell from page one that Cujo wasn’t a book for me. I love dogs more than I’ll ever any human being so the thought of reading about a crazed dog going on a rampage doesn’t tick all the boxes for me. I tried turning to another author, maybe I had over done it on Stephen King books. Had I reached my horror limit?
So I started reading Howl’s Moving Castle, even this amazing children’s book couldn’t get me out of my readers-block. I enjoyed Howl’s Moving Castle but it didn’t inspire me to crack on with more books.
So after a stressful month of work and being stuck in a book funk I turned to my favourite author; Haruki Murakami. I grabbed a copy of ‘After Dark’ one of Murakami’s shorter novels at only 201 pages After Dark was the perfect book.
From the first page this book made me feel like my old self. It was like coming home from a long trip and seeing all your old friends. After Dark felt different from the other Murakami novels I have read, the writing seemed to flow so well and some of the more descriptive parts felt like reading poetry.
After Dark is a short strange book that begins at a little before midnight and follows the events of a series of interlinked characters throughout the night.
Seeing as this book is shorter than his other works, Murakami doesn’t go too surreal or off the wall (it’s Murakami so of course there’s Jazz, cats and the odd mysterious event) but he focuses more the human relationships.
This book saved me from my rut and I thank it dearly. I’ve gone back to the faithful Dark Tower series, a reliably good read in King’s oeuvre.

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