Stephen King

Carrie

10/10
I always root for the underdog. I abhor bullying and so I think the town of Chamberlain got its just desserts from Carrie White.
They tormented her. Bullied her mercilessly and Chris Hargensen got off lightly. Sue Snell? Well she should not have taunted Carrie in the showers. And, to find out what the heck is going on in one of King's finest books. You'll have to read it.


FireStarter

10/10
Again King at his finest. The tension erupts at the beginning and remains a trapeze wire throughout. 

Andy McGee and his sweetheart get paid 200 dollars to be test subjects to see if they have latent psychic abilities for a government agency called The Shop.

Fast forward a few years and Andy is on the run from The Shop with his daughter Charlie. Charlie, born of two parents who were both given Lot 6, has a latent ability to start fires. Charlie is pyrokinetic. The Shop and the government want to harness her power.

Agent John Rainbird catches Andy and Charlie and pretends to befriend the isolated child in order to be the one to kill her when the tests are completed. Evil has a face and this one wears an eye patch.


The Dead Zone

8/10
I was hooked all the way through but the end was a bit of a let down IMO.

John Smith is an ordinary guy, or so it seems to his girlfriend. Right up until he can't lose at the wheel of fortune. But! All that good luck comes with a price to pay and after an accident John remains in a coma so long his muscles atrophy.

When he wakes up, the precognition has taken on a life of its own. Now he can see everyone's futures. In most cases nothing good can come out of this curse.

To find out what happens you will need to read the book.


The Shining

10/10
Arguably King at his finest. The tension erupts at the beginning and remains a trapeze wire throughout. 

Jack Torrance broke his three year old son's arm.
Jack Torrance has got a job at The Overlook Hotel. He has to look after the hotel throughout the winter. The winters' get bad up here. Snowed in. No escape. Another caretaker got cabin fever. Killed his family. Jack already has a history of alcoholism, domestic abuse, grievous bodily harm. What does Wendy Torrance think she's doing taking their young son to stay with the man who broke his arm?

 

Danny Torrance is five years old. Danny shines. Dick Halloran shines too, but no one shines as bright as Danny. The shine makes the hotel want him. The hotel wants Danny to itself. It wants the power that makes Danny shine. For the hotel to shine like that? Danny has to die. The best way to get Danny is to get his weak ass*d father first. 

Jack wants a drink. The hotel is happy to supply, but there's a price he has to pay and it's not in cash. Jack has to give Danny to The Overlook.


The Stand

10/10

For an incredibly long book, King ticked all the boxes with this tome. It took the better of two weeks of a road trip to cover in audio but was well worth the listen.

The book opens where a biological weaponised form of influenza escapes a laboratory. For all the army's efforts, they can't contain the bug. (This sounds eerily familiar doesn't it? If he had called the book 2020 we could have given King the power of foresight.)
The book then follows the survivors of the flu. Those who are immune. But in King style, he pits good against evil in a fight for survival in a new world.
On the good side we have Mother Abigail. A one-hundred-year old woman who calls to the survivors in their dreams and asks them to come to her.
We follow their separate survival stories across the USA to meet with the fabled dream world conductress. During the journey we get to know our heroes pretty well. We follow Stu Redman, the guy the army hated as he escapes the testing compound. Nick Andros a deaf mute. Tom Cullen a simple but sweet man. Larry Underwood who had just hit fame when the virus struck, and pregnant Frannie Goldsmith, who becomes Stu's love interest.
On the bad side we have Randall Flagg. An evil entity that wants world domination and pulls some of the good guys over to the bad by calling to them in their dreams. Much the same as Mother Abigail.
When our heroes get to Boulder and Flagg's baddies get to Las Vegas, the real fight begins.
Flagg does everything in his power to destroy the good guys, but does he succeed?


Cujo

10/10

This is the book that broke my mould. I am the one who doesn't care who dies in a movie (or book) as long as it's not the dog. In this case I was praying for the dog to die. Cujo is a sweethearted St Bernard who gets scratched by a rabid bat. Not only does the reader watch the devastation this disease causes to others, but expreiences the rabies taking hold from the poor dog's point of view. And worse, he has a little boy hostage in a car who believes his daddy's monster words will save him. 

Gripping from start to finish.


Christine

10/10

Besides the fact that I laughed most of the way through, it is and will always be a 10.

When I was a young girl, sixteen maybe seventeen, I first came came across Christine. She scared the beejeebers out of me. I somehow did not comprehend that she was being driven by the ghost of her old owner. 

Many years later I got an inferno red Chrysler P.T. Cruiser and on the way home from the sale she played the charts from the nineteen sixties and yet the radio dash read 'No Signal'. I called her Christine and she sure lived up to her name, but that's another story.

Christine is told in the first person from the POV of Dennis Guilder, whose best friend Arnie Cunningham buys a clapped out old Chrysler Plymouth in cherry red and white frfom a psycho called LeBay.
The demon car goes around killing everyone who upsets her or Arnie. When Dennis his best and only friend falls for Arnie's girlfriend Leigh, the car sets its sights on them, but is it the car or is it LeBay and can anyone get away?

Read and find out.


Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption

10/10

It is rare that I see a movie first, in fact, it's rare that I watch movies at all, but who hasn't seen The Shawshank Redemption? I watched it because of my love of Morgan Freeman. 

The book is better.

Told from the viewpoint of Red, an inmate at Shawshank Jail, the story follows a fellow inmate who becomes just too darned useful to the prison heirarchy that when he has a chance to prove his innocence they throw him in solitary for his efforts. 

But, then there's always Rita Hayworth.

What do I mean?
Read and find out.


Apt Pupil

8/10

With everything that's going on at the moment Apt Pupil was an apt book to read.
Dennis thinks it's clever to blackmail a Nazi war criminal into telling him all the horrible things he did in Patin Concetration Camp, but the horror runs off him like water off a ducks back.

Tramps go missing in the town, and the Nazi isn't the only one on a killing spree.

The Nazi has a heart attack, but can he escape justice one final time?

Dennis gets a taste for murder, but how many can he kill before the authorities catch up with him?