©1999 Stephen King; ©2009 Penguin Audiobooks
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
Mr. King has written a lot of stuff that I just cannot read. But, if it's not a horror story, and if Frank Muller is reading it, you can count on a really good time. Mr. Muller remains the best narrator who ever lived, and he shows us the adolescent lives of Mr. King's characters with depth and humor. I have heard it said that Mr. King wrote for Mr. Muller's voice: if this is true, this book is a good example of why he did so. It's a little bit dated by now, and teenagers don't grow up quite so quaintly (at least, not here in California). Nonetheless, Mr. Muller is so convincing that the reader happily suspends disbelief and gets washed along with the boys. I can't imagine an audiobook lover not loving this book.
watching and listening to some twelve-year-old boys. But the ending was a downer.
This novella was first published in the anthology “Different Seasons.” It is available individually as an audiobook, which is how I heard it. This review is solely for The Body, not the others in the anthology. The Body was also made into the movie “Stand By Me.”
This is a novella, but it didn’t feel like a short story. The characters were wonderfully developed. I was frequently smiling as I listened to these four twelve-year-old boys hanging out and taking a sixteen hour walk. This book is alive. You feel like you’re right there with them. I loved the dialogue. Things they liked they called “boss.” No one wanted to be a pu*** (wimp). They did stupid things. They did heroic things (that also were stupid). They were brave. They cried. They were loyal to each other. One of them was slow mentally. All of them came from troubled homes. Gordon’s parents weren’t physically abusive, but they were emotionally gone. Chris’ alcoholic father beat him frequently and severely. The abuse parts were not the main story, but it’s behind things. The best part was the kids’ friendship, interaction, and doing things together. Some events were a cheating grocery store owner, a junkyard dog and his owner, crossing a railroad trestle, swimming in a pond, and a pie eating contest.
The only reason I did not give this 5 stars was because the ending was depressing in two ways. Something bad happened to the boys at the end of their journey, although they survived. The second was Gordon ends up having a good life as an adult, but the other three don’t. What happened to one of them was depressing. I was walking around in a funk. I want to be entertained and feel good, which I was during most of the book, but the ending took me down. I was reminded of a comment in another S. King book “God doesn’t care.” But, I’m still glad I read it.
Note on stupidity. I frequently dislike characters doing stupid things for the sake of the plot - when the stupidity does not fit the character - for example an intelligent adult. That does not apply here. The kids’ stupidity fits them and is natural. And it’s funny.
Chris was innately smart but frequently missed school, never applied himself, and was a poor student in grades 1 to 7. Starting in 8th grade, he decides to apply himself to go to college to have a life. His father continues beating him and is against it. The teachers don’t like him and resent his presence. He has a lot of catching up to do since he didn’t learn English and Math the way he should have during the first seven years of school. But he stays with it against all these odds, and he does it. He ends up going to college. What a heroic thing. I was proud of him. I wish the author would have stayed with that and given me a happy ending for Chris. Instead the author slams us with another of life’s unfortunate events - God doesn’t care.
The narrator Frank Muller was excellent - as always.
Genre: relationships fiction, friendship.
Ending: Happy for one, depressing for others.
A great story read by a great narrator. I watched the film "Stand By Me" after listening to this and was quite amazed how much of the book made it into the film. The book has a bit of extra depth in its story though. At the moment I'm going through a lot of Stephen King's work on Audible. I decided to give this book 4 stars instead of 5 simply because I enjoyed a few of his other works more than this one. Yet, "The Body" is a fantastic audio book and worth listening to.
This is the first Stephen King book I've read or downloaded and I loved it. Saw the movie "Stand By Me" and discovered it was based on this book, so I found it here at audible and downloaded it. Now I'm searching for more Stephen King books.
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
I think I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if I had once been a 12-year old boy. Stephen King's obsession with bodily fluids (which I can generally tolerate in most other Stephen King books despite the fact that it is ever-present) was particularly noticeable in this book. Again - if I had once been a 12-year old boy, those references (and maybe even Stephen King's obsession with bodily fluids) would probably go unnoticed. Not one of my favorites by King.
I've never gotten through a Stephen King novel before, they always struck me more like he was getting paid by the word and the stories dragged as a result. I understand that this is not a complete novel but when this novella was over I wished for more. It is a great story and the movie wasn't too far off the mark either.
I didn't read the print version.
If you liked Apt Pupil, you'll like, The Body.
This is one of Frank Muller's better recordings, and that says a lot because I consider him to be the gold standard of narrators.
The way it ended--I did not see that 'solution' coming. It left me with more questions!
when the lightening flashed and they saw the hand.
Probably the dump guy. He was too much!
ANY Stephen King book is good! This one, though short, is great!
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