An author can write a great tale, as Stephen King has done with "Dreamcatcher" but a an audible book relies on the narrator to bring the story to life. Mr. DeMunn has done a great job with this book. King is not always great; he is the epitomy of prolific. But this is a great story (ignore the movie) and made all the better for DeMunn's characterizations. At about 20 hours of listening, I thought it was too short!
I was once a huge fan of King's, but gave up on him several years ago. Thought I'd try again...what a mistake! I didn't even listen to the third part! Filled with redundant, hokey references to once-popular music/tv/popculture. If I heard one more snatch of song being referred to as going through someone's head, I thought I was going to scream. Also, lots of not-so-scary-as-much-as-just-plain-gross description, a cliched plot of two-dimensional "good guys" and "bad guys", complete with a rip-off, not even disguised, of Conrad's Kurtz. I've always believed that no one has more than 2 or 3 really good books in them, and King just proves my case. Save your money!
The first half of the book began with charming, interesting characters. When the worm-thing started happening, all I could think of was a child scared of something under his/her bed. Silly! No, I wasn't scared, just a little grossed-out and bored. No triumph in my judgment.
I have read many, many Stephen King books over the years and like them for various reasons. I often choose one of them over something more literary or nonfiction because they are so easy to get immersed in- whatever else you might say about King, he is a very engaging story teller. My work is stressful, and sometimes I just want to head into a completely different reality. This book is interesting enough to finish, but I had some issues with it that I have not had with others. In many of King's books, he spends more time on bodily functions and gross-out details than I would like. I'm not prudish and don't find it offensive, but I get gross-out pretty easily. I have usually set this down to the importance of such functions to boys and men compared with girls and women (forgive the stereotype), and have managed to get past it despite wanting to skip past a few scenes.
This book, however, has so many gross-out scenes that skipping past them would leave you with not enough novel to get what's going on. It's not that the disgusting things aren't necessary to the story- they are. It was, for me, an unpleasant experience to wince my way through it all to keep following the story.
My understanding is that this was the first book King wrote after his terrible injuries when he was hit by a car, and that he wrote it long-hand because he couldn't yet sit up and type. I imagine that he must have been in great pain, and focused heavily on his body, while he wrote this. Knowing this made it possible for me to see some of the more disturbing scenes as being symbolic of what the writer was going through, and that helped.
As with all King novels, I came to like and identify with most of the characters in the novel. The book was interesting because there were two antagonists with interests opposed to each other and to the protagonists. There was a lot going on in the story. Most of it worked pretty well, but there was definitely a feeling that the various threads of story didn't totally match up in tone. Also, various components felt borrowed from other King novels. The flashbacks with the children, the close-knit group of friends, and the magical qualities of Duddits felt like an abbreviated version of the kids in It. The crazy and out-of-control military character was very much like the similar character in Firestarter. (Another loose canon going rogue out of sheer insanity and malevolence- not nearly as three-dimensional as other characters.) The most original element is Mr. Gray, and while I am typically not interested in books about aliens, I thought King did a pretty good job of capturing a completely non-human point of view.
I can't say I exactly liked this novel and I would never read it again because of the gross-out factor, but I didn't hate it. For fans of King, it is worth reading. I would say if you are NOT a fan of either King or the horror genre, this is not the book to pick up.
If said friend was a Stephen King fan, such as myself, I would recommend it, if they are new to King, it wouldn't be the first of his I would recommend.
The recording was kind of muffled which irritated me.
I just liked the Beaver character, I liked his humor and vocabulary.
The movie was awful, but the book is great. I love the characters.
Hugely enjoyable to listen to with well written characters (both the goodies and the baddies), well paced plot and intriguing concepts to wrap your mind around. Stephen King's wicked sense of humor always amuses.
School teacher and consumer of mass quantities of books!
I'm a HUGE King fan, and this is not his normal awesome literary work! If you are looking for your first King novel don't chose this one. The Girl Who Love Tom Gordon, The Dark Tower Series, or Bag of Bones are all AWESOME!
I found the plot to be too long, his characterization of the Aliens who pass gas to be really silly, and not to mention it just wasn't scary! I'm still not sure where he was going with this story, it left me puzzled and not entertained in the least. I've read many horror novels and this was more like an author that was "trying" to write like King, but just couldn't do it!
Don't waste your time on this one unless you really get into flatulence!
I found this King novel slow and boring. No real interesting story, no surprises nor any elements of surprise. FWIF, if you like profanity or ?toilet humor? this story may be for you. Nowhere close to e.g. IT or other earlier King masterpieces.
The narration is excellent.
After nine surgeries on my brain and looking at a tenth, audio is the choice for me to feel whole again. I am myself in the world of books!
Mr. King is the master at the strange and familar being a mystery! He has an imagination that is out of this world. I enjoy all his books and this one is a winner too. You want to have fun being scared to death! Read Stephen King!