|Purchase: Amazon | Chapters|
Started: Aug. 28, 2011
Finished: Sept. 2, 2011 (6 days)
Where Found: Chapters-Indigo
Why Read: On my TBR list; a Stephen King classic I hadn't devoured yet
Read For: Stephen King challenge (5/6)
Summary: Dr. Creed and his family move into an old relic with an ancient burial ground that has eerie powers soon perpetuating a series of morbid events that get even more tragic as they close in on the Creeds and their old neighbour with unsettling past experiences.
This turned out to be better than I expected. Judging from the book's premise, I figured King had dug up his roots in horror writing with an homage of sorts to the B-movies and magazine serials of his youth with cornball storylines and unspeakable (due to fits of giggling) dialogue. Yup, he did. But it's still the intriguing pageturner that you wouldn't expect any less of from King.
The buildup is a tricky plot device in this novel: some people will be irritated by it; others (myself included) see the purpose in laying the plot out one brick at a time for nearly half the novel to give greater depth to the climax because from there on out, it's impossible to stop reading. The distance between instigating action and climax is rather lengthy, but boy does it hit you once it comes.
I've always been a big fan of King's supporting characters, often the most fascinating and/or horrifying people that steal the main characters' thunder (some of my favourites are Mrs. White in Carrie, Eduard Delacroix in The Green Mile, Mrs. Carmody in The Mist). In this book, it's Jud Crandall, who is a much more layered character than Louis Creed, with his age offering a plentitude of experiences that carry the weight of the novel. Granted, Louis is also likeable and ends up taking on his share of weighty experiences, but when it comes to the hero of the story, Jud is it.
I was surprised to find that I like this book as much as I do. King fans will recognize a different sense of the macabre than say Carrie or The Shining. I came away with the feeling that King created a quality story from a B-movie idea and infused the characters with likeability to the point that the only villain that exists is an invisible threat and, as horror stories tend to prove, a terror that we can't sense is the scariest of them all.
Rank: (A)- Excellent, Highly Recommend