©1999 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved, (P)1999 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved
"We now know what Stephen King, the master of horror, is afraid of. The Vietnam War...scares him so bad he won't let his hero act imprudently." (The New York Times)
"...Hurt skillfully evokes pathos from the story's fine detailing...." (Publishers Weekly)
William Hurt reads the short story so well. It's one of my favorite narrations. The book comes together so awesome with all the short stories. Stephen King is just so amazing. I like how there's hints of his other books in some of the stories.
If you're considering this book to get another look into the court of the Crimson King you may be better served by grabbing it from a library or used book store. Only the first story (Low Men in Yellow Coats) really matters if you have Midworld on your mind and the rest of the book is kind of meh.
Narration is interesting. I was worried, after listening to most of the Dark Tower all the way through, that William Hurt was going to take me out of the story due to his extremely recognizable voice. It wan't a problem thanks to Hurt's skill. He didn't need to do accents or voices, he just needed to act, and he did a great job.
Then there's Steve. I'm pretty sure I remember the original audio version of The Gunslinger being read by him and thinking he did a substandard job. King reads the middle 2 stories which, to me, were by far the least interesting anyway, and the problem is that's all he does. He reads. It's not great.
And the music. What maniac was responsible for a. Deciding this book needed music splattered all through it and b. Hired a band and composer to produce it? It's terrible, it has no place in an audio book, it doesn't even fit with the era or mood or time of day or anything. Before listening to the info at the end of the book I assumed they grabbed a bunch of royalty-free 50s and 60sish music and slammed it into the chapter breaks.
Pass on this if you're on a journey to the Dark Tower in favor of some other format.
This was a well thought out book in the sense that it told many stories that sometimes got me wondering what was exactly going on, but then you'd realize what the focus was and how it was coming full circle. A way to describe this book was a quilt of circles. Many stories blurred into one another coming to a final crescendo at the end - enough to make me tear up walking down 42nd street during rush hour in NYC. It is a memorable journey I am glad I experienced.
Yes, I am a Stephen King fan. I bought this audio book on cassette when it first came out years ago. I loved it then, and I loved it again now when I listened to it, years later. I love the melancholy feel of the stories, and I think William Hurt delivers the perfect tone to fit the bitter sweet emotion running through them. This is a story that will make you want to cry in places, laugh like a child in places, and have you empathizing with the characters all the way through. I recommend it to hardcore King fans as well as those who have never opened one of his books.
Not a horror story like so many of Kings books although there were plenty of horrible things that happened... A story of coming of age in a turbulent time.
Too hard to pick a favorite
I was unprepared for the impact of this novel. Some of the details of childhood weren't familiar except in a very general way, but King's account of the era resonated in my heart as no other author's has. And so, to my children's generation, I say: read this book. This is how it was when I was young and impressionable. It explains some things, why it saddens me to remember my friends who were newly returned VietNam vets, most as thoroughly screwed up as Sully, why It depresses me that the idealism of the civil rights, anti-war, and environmentalist movements produced so little lasting change.
Yes, this book is very personal for me and really captures the coming of age stages of growing up quite well.
The closest thing I could think of is the movie "Stand by me"
The first segment of the book through the point of view of 11 year old Bobby Garfield
The end when an important character told another how brave they were in living their life.
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