©1998 Stephen King; (P)2009 Penguin Audiobooks
Member since 2000
13 year old Todd Bowden is a normal and very bright high school student-at the start of this creepy tale. Then he discovers is elderly neighbor was the commandant of a concentration camp during WW2 in Russia. And an evil one at that. Todd blackmails his neighbor into telling him all the gritty details. Todd is so mesmerized by the tales of horror that his formerly high grades plummet. As time passes Todd starts doing horrible things(no spoiler). That is all I can tell you without ruining the story for you. This is a tale of human depravity and madness. I found this book to be one of kings more original. It is also scary in a different way than his other works. I listened to the entire story today, at work, getting no work done. Very few audio books draw me in like that. With the late, legendary Frank Muller narrating, this is one audio book worth using a credit on or buying.
I bought this as a commuting gift to myself. It is a highly disturbing book, but INCREDIBLY entertaining. I won't summarize the plot, because the product description takes care of it. I will say that the manner in which Todd and Mr. Dussander's lives encircle each other is like watching two trains play chicken. It was facinating, disturbing, haunting, revolting, difficult to palate, but impossible not to be entertained.
And Frank Muller, the narrator. A narrator can only be as good as the underlying story. In this case, we have an incredibly well written and interesting story, and a superb performance by Mr. Muller as well. And by superb, I mean great enough to merit a paragraph singing him praises. He had a head start because he is working with good material, but the way he brings the characters to life...I don't know if the voice of my imagination could have come close to Mr. Muller's performance. This is one book I'm glad to have heard and not read. If the last two hours of the audiobook don't have you bite your nails, you have no soul.
This one is more like classic King: create a monster out of a normal person or thing. In a Stephen King story, anything can become a monster: a car, a dog, a hotel, and in this case, a teenage boy.
It's interesting to see this evil, symbiotic relationship develop between this demented young man and a nazi war criminal. It's much more interesting than other "tame" books that King has written recently, like Duma Key (which I hated).
King hasn't written many true horror stories since the early 90's, but this one comes pretty close. Not his best, but worth a listen.
And Frank Muller narrates it very well.
I've always wanted to read this story, having read several of the other stories in this collection, but this one exceeded my expectations. The reader does a great job with his characterizations between all of the characters. He makes the whole story come alive. Highly recommended.
I am a consumate fan of Stephen King and thought I had them all. I ran across this one and I was not dissapointed.
A nice mix of fiction and actual historical fact.
I just achieved App Master!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
The war stories, and what Todd thought in his head.
And then he took his 30-30 and five and a half hours it was over!!!! Wow
Yes I finished it in one day.
The best book I've listened to so far!!!!
I got this book because Frank Muller was the reader and he always makes a book worth listening to. I had never heard of this particular Stephen King novel, and I think its appeal will remain limited. A suburban kid, seemingly straight but soon creepy, becomes attached to a former Nazi prison camp commander and their lives merge in California. Muller is very good with the accents and inflections as usual, and I got engrossed in the book, but I don't really feel edified by it. Kind of creepy, as the author tells you at the end.
Like a few of Stephen King novels this book is pretty long but it tends to keep the listener interested, not wanting to skip chapters for fear of loosing their place in the story. It helps that it is narrated by the talented Frank Muller who gives the story his own special rendering. I would whole heartily recommend this one whether they are a fan King or not.
The last 30 minutes of the book felt very rushed and relied too much on coincidence to wrap up the story. I don't want to give away anything with spoilers, so suffice it to say I find it hard to suspend my disbelief when multiple random occurrences (with a probability of occurring in real life maybe 10,000 to 1 or 100,000 to 1) conveniently wrap up a story. Just seems rushed or lazy.
There are better stories by Stephen King, but this was certainly entertaining.
Frank Muller's performance was fantastic. His reading of Lydia was very funny.
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