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Publisher's Summary

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine, has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told...until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974, 12-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zigzag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day a stranger calls to Gwendy: "Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me."

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small, neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat....

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, best-selling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!

INCLUDES A CONVERSATION BETWEEN STEPHEN KING & RICHARD CHIZMAR!

©2017 Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. All rights reserved. "The Music Room" copyright 2016 Stephen King. All rights reserved. (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Maggie Siff narrates with touches of nostalgia, wonder, and insecurity that beautifully capture Gwendy's adolescence. Though the horror elements are effective, it's Gwendy's coming-of-age that truly resonates. Siff characterizes Farris as blandly likable but with intangible menace - listeners, like Gwendy, will be both wary and intrigued. In the bonus short story, 'The Music Room,' Siff's highfalutin accents perfectly complement the story's mix of black humor and wickedness." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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THE PEOPLE SEE A LEVER, THEY WANT TO PULL IT

THEY SEE A BUTTON, THEY WANT TO PUSH IT.
Let me start by saying this is good, not great, but still worth five stars. Like most King stories it is character driven and that is what makes the story worth listening to. The most unrealistic part of the story was a guy named Harry. My dad who was born in 1935 and was named Harry, but I am pretty sure with the exception of England, it is rarely used in America since the 30's. We also know that Chizmar wrote the ending to this book, because no aliens were involved.

Richard Matheson
King has said in the past that Matheson was an inspiration to him. Matheson wrote a very popular short story called THE BOX, in which you can push a button on it and you get your wish, but in return someone will die. If King credited Matheson for this story, I missed it and apologize, but the stories are very similar.

PEOPLE IN ALBANY GET WHAT THEY GOT COMING
The last story, THE MUSIC BOX, is very short and similar to a Twilight Zone episode. I was not very impressed with the story, worth three stars, but it is so short, that I did not take it into account for the overall rating.

128 of 145 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus
  • SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States
  • 06-01-17

A great collaboration

Per the interview at the end of this production, Gwendy's story was one that King started but couldn't finish. He sent it to Chizmar and was pleased with what he got back. So was I.

Listening, you can sort of feel the melding of two minds, but it's never distracting. I can definitely feel King in the beginning with his character descriptions and dialogue. Per usual a world is created that you enjoy "living" in -- making it just as much about the journey as the destination.

I've never read anything by Chizmar, but in parts of the story I felt something that wasn't King, but was still quite enjoyable. I felt like the ending was something King wouldn't have written as he tends to be a bit more complex, but I felt it closed out the tale quite well and I left the story satisfied.

There's a short story after Gwendy's Button Box that was a bit psychotic, but still enjoyable for what it was.

Always a King fan, but will be looking up Chizmar as well after this.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Two winners!


Gwendy's Button Box is a story that, according to the chat at the end, Stephen King couldn't finish, so sent to Richard Chizmar to "do what he wanted with it".

What emerged is a fascinating piece filled, like life, with "love, and horror". In fact, I wonder if Gwendy isn't a mirror of King, himself: a tenacious person who worked extremely hard, earned extreme rewards, is the envy of all, but continues to strive, with principles intact. How much is talent, how much is luck, and how much is the button box? Listen to this story, and think about the lives of people around you, and your own, with a new perspective.

Then read The Music Room, and chuckle, all the while thinking, "This isn't funny."

Thanks to Chizmar and King snd the great Maggie Siff for a delightful couple of hours!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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loved it!

i loved it but I just wish it were longer! The bonus conversation at the end was a nice treat.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great, as to be expected!

A short, sweet, and scary at times, little snippet of a wonder that is the imagination of Richard Chizmar and Stephen King. This story (brought to life by Maggie Siff) is set in the familiar small town we've known, Castle Rock, and while we don't get to see a lot of it, its presence is an interesting piece in the book's narrative. This audiobook gets you thinking for most of its entirety. You ask yourself questions like, what would I do in this situation? What what I do differently? Again, a great book, I recommend to all who enjoy Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, and listening to good stories!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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In name only...

I can't pinpoint the specific reason I disliked this novella. The writing was engaging enough and the narration was average. Maybe it's because when you hear "Stephen King" you expect greatness. But honestly if King hadn't verbally admitted to writing half the story I would think it was one of those books that just stuck his name on it to push sales. Though the character was deep, the story itself just dragged along until suddenly it was over. I kept waiting for something, anything, to happen. Definitely not worth a full credit in my opinion, but to each his own.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Good, but too short

I rarely find that stories are too short, but in this case, I believe that longer would have been better. It lacked emotional impact because the characters, especially Gwendy, weren't well developed. It was kinda fun to try to figure out who wrote what sections while listening. The narration was good. I was just left feeling that there wasn't enough to the story.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Bravo!

Short little book but packs a powerful punch. The narrator did a beautiful, believable job. Loved it!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Very good enjoyable book

The story was good. Stephen King working with Richard Chizmar made this story a great one.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Constant Reader

Typical King story with bits of horror, intrigue, and psychological probing of the mind. Quite enjoyable well read.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful