As for being a great horror writer -- that he is, but Stephen King is just a great writer overall. 11-22-63 really is not the usual King horror fest with weird creatures and impending doom. It speaks of the idea of changing history, but will changing history result in something better or far worse? The past is obdurate and does not change without putting up a fight. Perhaps it does choose the better alternatives on its own -- maybe mother nature does know best.
Aside from the absolute skill King brings to telling this story, there is, within its pages a beautiful love story and it all ends on one of the most poignant notes I've ever encountered. The ending is really quite beautiful and rather sad.
One of the most surprising and pleasurable experiences I had with this book was listening to Craig Wasson's reading. There are a multitude number of voices and accents that Craig brings to this reading -- I had to keep reminding myself this is ONE person doing all of this! So far, 11-22-63 is now my favorite King novel. Stephen King just gets better and better.
Clive Cussler's solo entry (without a co-author) into the Bell series is fraught with peril, the badest of the bad guys, a lovely heroine and evil woman and Scott Brick brings it all together. Some say Brick's delivery is "over the top," -- for something like this, not in the least. His delivery is spot-on with accents, wonderful women impersonations without going into faux castrati falsettos. Because I so like Scott Bricks work, I'll tend to simply purchase an audio book if he's the reader. An audio book can be made or broken by the reader and so far, I have never been disappointed by Scott Brick's readings.
Some books are 1000 page novels (Stephen King), some are 500 pages with 150 chapters (James Patterson) and then there are writers like Michael Connelly who write a story to be the right length. Maybe it's his newspaper background, but The Overlook, though shorter than the other Harry Bosch books, is just the right length. Nothing rushed, no cutting story to save paper Michael Connelly has Harry in a situation that is exciting, moves forward and comes to a startling conclusion. And, compliments to Len Cariou for his excellent job in reading -- he lends so much to the atmosphere.
I like Ken Follett's books -- easy reads, engaging and somewhat forgettable. He seems to write historical potboilers with cutout characters and predictable plots. Ken writes novelistic soap operas. But for this one reason, I probably would pass Follett's books, and that reason is John Lee. I think John Lee could read a phone book and make it interesting. His ability with accents, and shading of those accents is simply increadable. I have bought Pillars of the Earth, World Without End and now Fall of Giants, NOT for Ken Follett, but to hear John Lee.
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