Scott Carey is mysteriously dropping weight. Despite no changes to his diet or lifestyle, the number on the scale is slowly decreasing. And what at first seemed like a good thing, despite the fact that his outward appearance isn’t changing to coincide with his weight loss, Scott is slowly becoming worried about what might happen if he continues to waste away.
But before he does, Scott has decided he’s going to accomplish a few things in the small town of Castle Rock. One of those is befriending and helping the lesbian couple that moved in a few doors down from his house and who recently opened a Mexican restaurant.
Stephen King’s novella Elevation doesn’t have King pulling any punches or hiding his feelings on the current day political climate in our country. Several digs at the current administration are present, making this reader wonder if and how well this story will age. Odds are it not age as well, which is a shame because when King isn’t scoring a few political points, Elevation is a taunt story that unfolds nicely over its 200 or so pages. It’s not vintage King and it’s not the best thing he’s published this year (that goes to The Outsider), but it’s still a story that explores one of King’s favorite themes — how do ordinary people act and react when extraordinary things happen to them.
Cultivated by Stephen King and Bev Vincent, this collection of seventeen stories about the horrors of flying is hit or miss.
The main selling point for the collection are new offerings from King and his son, Joe Hill. Reading the stories, the Hill story about a plane in the air when nuclear war erupts is chilling and utterly effective. It also sent shivers down my spine at how well it tied into my reading of Robert McCammon’s “Swan Song” around the same time. King’s offering is enjoyable enough but wasn’t one of my favorite stories from this collection. It’s a forgettable piece about the people on planes who are there to deal with turbulence. It’s an interesting little idea and a hook for the story, but it still doesn’t quite sent shivers up the spine like Hill’s does.
As for the rest of the collection, it’s also hit or miss. Of course, it’s really kind of unfair to the collection that it includes what many (including King) consider one of the definitive scary flying stories in Richard Matheson’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” Once you’ve read that one, it’s all downhill from there, but that could be my Matheson bias showing through. (He’s one of the best short story writers in this reviewer’s estimation).
But as with all good short story collections, the good news is if the story you’re reading or just read isn’t quite your style, there’s another one or two coming to try. And King’s introductions to each story are nicely done. I did find a couple of new authors that I may want to read more of in the near future. So, that can’t really be all that bad a thing, right?
Earlier this week, news broke that Amazon will be adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels as a multi-season television series. Hearing this news, I couldn’t help but wish that Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower series could get that epic treatment instead.
Lord of the Rings has a well-done, much-loved pop culture adaptation of the original source material*. The Dark Tower novels don’t. Even with this year’s long-awaited big-screen adaptation.
*And yes, I know they left out some of the most beloved characters and combined some character arcs. But honestly, I think the movies are better off for it! Continue reading
Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
- Finished a short story in Hugh Howley’s new collection, Machine Learning, in which a Roomba helps bring about the end of civilization as we know it. The story itself is pure and total genius and makes me wish I’d thought of it!
- In honor of Halloween, I’m listened to the new audio version of The Dead Zone. And reminded again of just how much I love Stephen King when he’s at the top of his game.
- Also reading Sleeping Beauties, King’s collaboration with his son Owen. I’m far enough into the book now that I am just enjoying the story and not looking for signs of who wrote which section.
- Free comic books on Saturday! Our library participates, so we plan to drop by with Shortcake Saturday morning.
- Was sad to hear of the death of Robert Guillaume earlier this week. I have fond memories of my dad letting me stay up with him to watch Benson on Tuesday nights when my mom went to choir practice. I watched all the way to the end and am still kind of sad we never found out how the final cliffhanger turned out. Benson was running against Governor Gatling to be the governor and just as the results came in, it said “To Be Continued.” Part of me always hoped we might get a reunion and find out someday. Guess that won’t be happening now.
- What does it say about me as a person that I judge all politicians by whether or not they measure up to Governor Gatling? He had a story for EVERY occasion.
- So, Tennessee’s best player on offense got busted for possession and is suspended for this weekend’s game against Kentucky. I foresee mocking texts from my cousins who pull for UK headed my way late Saturday evening.
- It’s getting to that point in the television season when I have to decide what stays in my watching rotation and what goes. I’ve got a couple of things stacking up on the DVR and trying to get to them isn’t always easy. That said, I’m catching up on The Good Place, which has been even better in season two (if you didn’t watch season one, go and watch it now while avoiding SPOILER) and I’m caught up on Star Trek: Discovery and Impractical Jokers.
- Can we talk about The Big Bang Theory for a minute? I still watch because my wife enjoys it, but I’ve got to say my enjoyment is rapidly dropping. I’ve noticed a pattern in long-running Chuck Lorre shows. The first few seasons have the characters digging at each other, but there’s still a heart to it and I feel like these people care about each other. Now, I just feel like it’s people yelling and being so hateful to each other that I question why they’d hang out at all any more. Anyone else feel like this or is it just me?
As we get over the mid-week hump, it’s time for Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine). This meme asks us which book on the horizon we’re looking forward to reading.
This week, it’s a collaboration between one of my favorite authors and his son. Continue reading
Gwendy’s Button Box feels like an homage to Richard Matheson’s superlative short-story “The Box” (which if you haven’t read yet, please add it to your summer reading list!).
Young Gwendy Patterson is running the town’s Suicide Stairs in the summer of 1974 in an attempt to leave her derogatory nickname behind when she enters middle school that fall. She meets a mysterious man in black who offers her a box with buttons. One button will give her a chocolate treat that will help curb her appetite. Another dispenses silver dollars and the others come with warnings that they shouldn’t be pushed except under extreme circumstances. Continue reading
Time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish). This week’s theme is a “summer freebie” so I’m going to make a list of the books I hope to read this summer. (We just signed up for our library’s summer reading program yesterday and I’m ready to go!)
- Lockdown by Laurie R. King
- The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
- Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
- Bad Girl Gone by Temple Matthews
- Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente
- Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by James Goss
- Vicious by V.E. Schwaub
- Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
- It by Stephen King (re-read)
- The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
That should keep me busy this summer! And, of course, there will be reading to Shortcake so she can get prizes too!