I tried to read this book when it came out in 1991 and quit after 50 pages.
A few years later I tried to read the book again and made it around 200 pages and quit again. I couldn't get into the story.
Fast forward to 2013 and purchased the book when I saw Stephen King was narrating. I did not want to stop listening. I have always enjoyed Stephen King audiobooks more when he is reading them. He is so engrossing to listen to. I listened to the last seven hours in one day. I even followed along with the novel for the last 50 pages. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
I would have to say I liked actually reading the book vs audio. I love when King narrates his books and using music is a common prop during his readings BUT... the music was loud at times, (which wasn't the main reason for not liking it) and corny??? That is the word that comes to mind when it was played. Almost out of place. Maybe that only makes sense to me??? lol Either way the few issues I had with the music wouldn't stop me from listening again. Like most King books its kind of slow to start but thats why we love King right??? all the details and time he invests in setting up every character. I often wonder what 1 day in his head feels like. Kudos S.K.!
Worth the credit
This is a typical Stephen King book, and I don't mean that in a bad way. If you enjoy his other books, you will (most likely) enjoy this one. The plot is good, good characters and Mr. King is the narrater (and does a great job). Really good except for one thing, the music / sound effects.
I always read reviews before purchasing and quite honestly, I was irritated at all the complaining about the music. Really, how bad could it be? The answer is pretty bad. It is of poor quality, does not fit what is happening in the book, is too loud and many times goes on too long.
When I started listening to the book (remember I had in my mind this one issue was overblown), I was thinking about the review I would write slamming all the people complaining about the music. For awhile, it was not that bad, it could just as easily not have been there, but was not much of a distraction. But as the book progressed, there were times it went on and on, and at a volume that made it difficult to understand Mr. King. The producer was like a kid in a candy store with a pocket full of money, not realizing that just because he could put in the extras, does not mean they should.
Still, I enjoyed the book and the narration. I would recommend this book, even with it's production flaws.
I'm a long-time fan of horror, murder mysteries, and period pieces
Any fan of classic King will enjoy this audio book
haven't listened to his other performances but definitely will listen to another based on this performance
I;m surprised that so many people like this novel in the reviews. I have put it down so many times and don't think I'll make it to the end. I like Stephen King reading but that's about all I like about this novel.
The story. It was an interesting idea, but there was nothing that hooked me. King is so good at creating characters you root for and scenes with value. So much is the struggle between good and evil. Even though the situations are fanciful the people seem so real and I have always loved the interactions between characters. In this book everyone was so depressed and the relationships were not well developed. To be honest, I didn't finish this book, so maybe it got better. It was making me depressed so I stopped listening about 1/3 of the way through. This was the first time I haven't finished a King novel.
Better character relationships and more interactions. Less depression!
His narration was fantastic. He knows best how the characters sound so I would of missed that.
The corkscrew and dog scene. That's when I stopped listening!
I've never asked for a credit back, but I think I will on this one. If you're new to King start with The Stand, Joyland, Bag of Bones, 11-22-63, The Green Mile, IT, or The Body. All excellent books. There are more I would recommend but these came to mind first.
I really liked this book... although I didn't love it. I would definitely recommend it for King fans, though. It's a battle between good and evil and greed and selfishness.
I like the fact that deep down, we all want something and most people will do anything to get it. King took this story and weaved a web of greed that cuts deep.
Not knowing what was going to happen to each character and the price they had to pay kept me wanting more.
The emotion of the characters as the author sees them.
The sheriff. The one man that held on to his soul. He stood his ground and tried to save his people and his town. The hero.
I know some people complain about King's narration in this. I forgot it -was- King most of the time. I've always enjoyed King's narration. He is good enough at doing different voices for different characters that I'm never confused, and I appreciate that he doesn't 'over act' either. He's reading you a book, not putting on a show. My only complaint about his narration is that he does a hilariously bad job with Rev. Willy. He's trying to do a sort evangelical televangelist cadence... and it comes out like a really hysterically bad Italian accent. Maybe that's what that sort of Reverend would really sound like in Maine, I don't know. Luckily we only have to listen to ten or fifteen minutes of it during the whole book. Other then that, I have no complaints about his narration.
If you really like King's small town drama/suspense type books, you'll really enjoy this. The interconnections of the characters and the fabric of small town life is really rich. One of the main characters, Allen (the sheriff) had me vested in him from almost the moment he was on the page. This book has a few gross out moments that seem to be common of his earlier work, but they pass quickly, and after all, this is Stephen King. I assume you're not expecting kittens and rainbows. I stop short of giving this five stars, because everything wraps up in sort of a rush. Everything's tied up well enough, but it feels a little lazy after everything we've gone through with the characters to get to that point. On the other hand, maybe that's what we're supposed to take away from this, the utter chaos left in the wake of something that has little meaning and context. In any case, its a great ride. I've listened to it several times and am sure I'll listen to it several times more.
This is one of my favorite stories by Stephen King. At first I thought him reading his own book was going to be hard to listen to, but I found King delightful to listen to. After all he knew how he wanted his reader to imagine it while they read it and he read it that way. So, many places in the novel that made me laugh because King has a great sense of humor. Some of the parts were shocking and scary and King read those parts beautifully. A long time ago when he first published this novel I read it. I loved this story back then. I love it even more with King as the performer.
I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a great story with a little fun, a little mystery, a little love story, a little naughtiness (hehe) and just a great way to spend some driving time or traveling time.
I found the music appropriate. At times it was used to build up the suspense. I did not mind it all. Made it seem more like I was listening to a movie or a play. The tickling of the little silver bell when someone opens the door to the strange shop, puts you the listener walking into that shop yourself.