Like all of King's books, this one is about memory and the psychology of the subconscious. It's about getting inside the heads of the characters and seeing what rattles around. This is about a boy who losses his father and finds a new family in the men who had shared a secret with his dad. The decision to use multiple actors fits the style of the book perfectly, and makes the structure of the book easy to follow, even though it has multiple narrators and spans 25 years. To specifically address the complaint that the book doesn't go anywhere, maybe those folks missed one of the main points of the book; the repudiation of the "childish insistence that the story must have an ending, and that the ending must hold some kind of answer." As for lack of action, I disagree strongly. Most of the "action" in any Stephen King book is actually the tension around some event that he's already told you is coming, and he does a masterful job in this, as usual. He does an amazing job of keeping the tension building for long stretches of time, without any break or chance for release. The only reason that I can come up with for why some people didn't like this book is the fact that there are parts that made me truly uncomfortable. And this wasn't the supernatural "horror" stuff, it was some of the harsh realities of police work and life.
Stunningly bad. Amazingly bad. The narrator has made some extreme choices in giving voice to the characters; the majority of males come across as virtually drooling, brain damage victims, while other characters are inconceivably over-the-top and hackneyed stereotypes.
There is not a single likable character. Charlotte starts out appearing simply pathetic and weak, but ends up being pathetic and weak and devoid of character. The other main characters are all foul, distasteful people with no redeeming qualities.
I could not even begin to describe the agonizing pain of listening to this book. From the narrator who seemingly intentionally misinterpreted lines, intentions, and emotions, to the horrific repetition of completely unimportant and meaningless phrases and ideas in the text, to the never-ending use of deliberately obfuscated and ostentatious vocabulary. Try to count the number of times "insouciance" is used. It must be over 40. And, boy oh boy, you'll absolutely LOVE this book if you prefer to hear "optic chiasma" instead of "eye." It never occurred to me that you could write am entire book which frequently referred to visual organs, and only refer to them as "optic chiasma." Wow.
And, of course, maybe you'll love the part where Tom gets to show how charming he is by giving pages of different (but not really) definitions of certain four letter words. Ha ha! Your killing me... No, really.... Stop,... you're killing me.
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