|Purchase: Amazon | Chapters|
Published: 1998 (original version; I read the 10th anniversary edition)
Started: Dec. 1, 2011
Finished: Dec. 9, 2011 (9 days)
Where Found: Chapters-Indigo
Why Read: It's no secret that I love Stephen King books. This one was recommended by Two Bibliomaniacs. Thanks :)
Summary: A writer whose wife died suddenly 4 years ago returns to their summer retreat, Sara Laughs, where he encounters supernatural phenomena coinciding with the custodial struggle of a young mother with a precocious 3-year-old against the wealthy psychotic father of her dead husband.
If Daphne du Maurier and Ray Bradbury had a child who wrote a book, would your first guess to his/her identity be Stephen King? Me neither.
King enters vaguely familiar territory without veering too far from his background in horror fiction with the shocking backstory that is slowly unveiled as writer Mike Noonan (in a thinly disguised likeness of the author) tries to resolve a three-fold mystery: the bizarre nature of his wife's sudden, tragic death; the cause and source of eerie ghost-like behaviour in the house: a bell that rings on its own, refrigerator letter magnets that spell cryptic messages, thumping that responds to yes/no questions, and deathly screams he recognizes as those of his wife's, and the crotchety multi-millionnaire along with his skeletal crone of a constant companion seeking to ruin his widowed daughter-in-law through any means necessary to fight custody of his 3-year-old granddaughter who quickly forms a significant bond with Mike. Whew...
It takes time for the ball to get rolling and even then the writing is so absorbing that you don't tire of it at all, but in no time, it all comes barreling down the hill. Like a typically clever mystery, your suspicions are many, but your accuracies are few. When du Maurier rests and Bradbury reigns over King's brilliant duality of style, the mystery once a tough coconut to crack gets to the centre core and the result is certainly sweet...and a tad bitter.
No Stephen King fan should ignore this book and any dissuaders of his should take notice: I've never been more confident in reviewing a Stephen king book (and I've reviewed 16 of them), and neither should you in reading it.
Rank: (A+)- One of His Best, Must-Read