I am a hardcore King fan but had been a little disappointed with his last few books. This one is back on form. If you could go back in time and save Kennedy would you do it and what would the effect be?
He shows again his mastery of structure, slowly leading you down the impossible path with layers of detail and emotional resonance until you believe utterly in the reality of this story and then slowly amping up the pace until at the end you are racing towards the conclusion. It reminded me of 'Needful Things' in the use of pacing.
I knew almost nothing about the Kennedy assasination, nor the politics of the time. I actually learnt a lot and became very interested. You don't need to know a lot about it, but having the tour through Dallas in the late 50s and early 60s was fascinating.
Oh and for those interested in the King universe, check the little nods. For a start the protagonist spends a lot of time in Derry in the late 50s. This is definitely the universe of The Dark Tower.
I loved the narrator. He did a stirling job. Five star performance.
The only reason for this being 4 stars and not 5 is that the ending faltered for me. It felt like it ended a couple of times too many and with some little editing it could have been far more powerful. But the journey was more than worth it.
I thought the premise for this looked interesting enough to give it a go but I certainly wouldn't recommend it. I think it is a kind of extended essay on and around the idea of the labyrinth but would be better served in non-fiction. There are a few interesting ideas but because there is no real characterisation or even plot I found it tiresome. It gets one star because I thought the narration and production was really well done. I would give this a miss.
It's pretty hard to accept the Bates Motel as a great holiday destination after the impact of the film of Psycho. But even if you come to this after seeing the film this is a great listen. It's pulp horror but is surprisingly psychologically minded with well drawn characters, especially when you remember it was written in 1959. I always felt the main difference between the book and the film was in the casting of Anthony Perkins. Norman in the book is a lot less savoury. The narration is excellent and I really enjoyed this. It's also fun to listen to again when you know what's really going on. Highly recommended
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