Buick 8 – Stephen King

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Picking up “Buick 8” by Stephen King had me convinced I was about to experience the magic rebirth of another blood hungry car. First thought didn’t really result in the hit and instead of story about splattering blood everywhere I got story that mainly was kept as a conversation about the past and a car that just appeared in some lives out of nowhere.
Ned, a young man, sometimes acting more like an awkward teenage boy, loses his father in a car accident. His father, lieutenant Curtis Wilcox dies during his working hours, killed by a drunk driver. That sees Ned joining the D district where his father used to spend most of his life working as a policeman.
Ned, starts off by doing some cleaning duties, as he just isn’t ready to let go off his father presence. One day he discovers, a locked up in one of the barracks, unusual car and he asks the policemen working there to tell him more about it. So the gents starts spinning a yarn and the story moves back over twenty years ago…
At a patrol station, a perfectly kept Buick, appeared. Its driver asked the station worker to fill the car up, he then left the car, supposedly to use the toilet and… never came back and there doesn’t appear to be a reasonable explanation as to what had happened.
Ned slowly starts to be obsessed about the history of the car, almost identically like his father did. Every time the coppers try to tell the young man a story not related to the car they meet a wall of resistance from Ned. So the knowledge about the car that Ned possesses is filled in by the station captain and a long friend of his father, Sandy Dearborn.
Ned is constantly unsatisfied with any explanation he is given regarding the strange incident at the patrol station and slowly he starts coming to a conclusion that the drunken guy that knew his father and caused his death was not the only reason it occurred and that the case surrounding the mysterious Buick or the car itself had led his dad to a premature death…
“Buick 8” is a book about an attempt to find someone who left, in a completely different light to what our protagonist might had been used to. It is also great story about a secret and a mystery. What the car really was? Where it came from? Who drove it?
It is a great story with a slow build up of facts that makes a reader to go through the pages as quickly as possible in attempt of finding out the answers to the mystery. It serves as a great example of how pure interest can become an obsession and what consequences it might lead to.
For e-book fans, the Kindle version of “Buick 8” can be found here.

Dreamcatcher – Stephen King

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“Dreamcatcher” by Stephen King was a book I came towards to quite cautiously but it also was a book that grabbed my full attention nearly instantly. The book isn’t typical book in King’s bibliography but it still provides the murky atmosphere full of anxious expectations and scary awaiting for another dreadful thing to happen.
The story starts with headlines of newspapers carrying news of invasion of aliens so one quickly settles for the right circumstances. We meet Beaver, Henry, Jonesy and Pete; four friends from childhood times that have plenty of histories to share and among them there is one history when they saved mentally impaired boy, who, as it later turns out is a rather special person.
Duddits is his name and he posses incredible powers that enable him make things that are just nearly like miracles. He shares some of his powers with the boys thus creating a somewhat invisible bond between them all and since then the group becomes a close bunch of friends.
When the actions moves forward in time, we meet our four friends during their usual yearly meet-up in the woods, where the guys are meant to hunt, share some jokes with some booze, have some fun and rest from their usual city like lives.
They are in middle of woods in isolated shelter where they are enjoying peace and quiet. It naturally doesn’t last long as a stranger appears near their shelter. His name is McCarthy and he is obviously unwell, he asks the friends for help and the guys are somewhat reluctantly getting involved in story of their lives.
Our protagonists don’t know that inside of McCarthy is growing an alien entity, and he himself is unaware that this is what makes him so unwell. Soon, our friends find out that the whole area is under quarantine and the visitors from out of this world don’t have friendly intentions.
As the story evolves one finds out that the safety of the whole world is at stake and the army that is meant to resolve the situation is under the lead of sadistic soldier named, Kurtz. It all becomes quickly quite complicated and to some degree it looks like it all got out of the hands…
Only by reading “Dreamcatcher” one might find out what pearls of uniqueness had King hidden there and how great the whole story keeps on building one’s anticipation and dread…
I have also watched the movie which wasn’t actually as bad as I’d assume and it enhanced the experience I had with memories coming from book. The DVD can be found here and a for e-book readers, the Kindle copy if the book is here.

Hearts in Atlantis – Stephen King

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“Hearts in Atlantis” by Stephen King was my first ‘adult’ book that I read in English so my take on it probably feels different as to what it’d feel if I read in Polish. It’s hard to describe the bilingualism really. Anyways…
Another book from our author is made of two novellas and three shirt stories all connected to each other by recurring characters and all roughly presented in the chronological way. It is really hard to say what this book is really about but it takes us for a confusing ride and it starts with ‘Low Men in Yellow Coats’.
We meet 12-years old Bobby who is a witness to traumatising events and who finds out a lot about past of his mother, a committed feminist, who not only appears to be greedy but also quite stupid- knowing that something horrible might happen to her, she insists on continuing with her plan.
Then the mother realises her mistakes but it is too late for Bobby, who as he grows older he stands up for one of his friends, Carol who was attacked by older boys, and beats one of them badly. And that is the beginning of ‘bad’ Bobby…
We move on and ‘Hearts in Atlantis’ takes us to a university in Maine where students protest against the war in Vietnam. That story narrated by Pete Riley slowly exposes us to threat and danger in moments of explosion of the rebel action.  Main character here is Carol who we met in first part whose boyfriend is Sad John who we met in first part as well.
‘Blind Willie’ sort of takes us back to first part when we meet one of the boys who attacked Carol. Titled Willie is shown to us in three parts, where first we see him as a grown man, living happily with his wife, then next we see his transformation into younger version of himself when he wants to redress the mistakes he made when he was younger and finally we meet Willie as ex soldier of Vietnam war, living on street as a beggar; a wreck of his younger self.
The story is happening through one day when we see how different versions of Willie try to make up for his previous mistakes, helplessly trying to change the past.
‘Why We’re in Vietnam’ presents us with a story of Sad John who met in the first part of the book. The same John who was Carol’s boyfriend… This time, John can’t escape all the thoughts and feelings the war in Vietnam brought to his soul. He nearly died there. His friend is haunted by thoughts of an old woman he killed while being in service. The killed lady accompanies John’s friend as a ghost through this surrealistic story where the end is quite strange.
Eventually the whole book ends with ‘Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling’ takes us to a time when Bobby comes back to his old home town after so many years to attend John’s funeral. He manages to find Carol who is so much changed by the experiences of life. Bobby explains he returned here as he received a copyrighted copy of a book, and despite the book coming from many years ago, the page being in pristine condition…
And that’s how we somehow arrive to this fairly confusing end of “Hearts in Atlantis”. As much as the beginning of reading was really involving and created the right, intriguing atmosphere, the closer to end I was, the more murky and complicated it was becoming, to some point slightly putting me off finishing the whole story.
I’m pretty sure many readers will find the whole five stories nicely connected and written in the right fashion but for me, something was missing there.
For those who are on Amazon Kindle and would like to grab an electronic copy they can find book here.

The Girl who loved Tom Gordon – Stephen King

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“The Girl who loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King was a book I had nearly never read as neither the title nor the book’s cover was appealing to me at the time when I came across in a library. The problem was, I had picked three books and I couldn’t find a fourth one to max out my allowance so I gave it a read and I’m glad I did.
Trisha, a nine years old girl is walking around the woods with her mum and older brother. Unfortunately the mum and the brother had recently been arguing a lot and that is the case now. The pair is rowing so badly that they don’t notice when little Trish is taking an off course path to have a wee-wee.
She went there and never came back. And from this point onward the mum or the brother become unimportant and we’re paying full attention to Trisha who has only her wits to rely on and a walkman she can use to listen to broadcast of Boston Red Sox game and the performances of her hero, Tom Gordon, a relief pitcher.
As she travels through the woods trying to find a way out the time is not stopping and what was a daylight, slowly turns into night. Trisha, who was bitten by bees, who is sore, tired and hungry starts to notice more and more things. When the walkman batteries dies she starts to imagine that Tom is next to her and the he’ll help her survive as there appears to be something scary and something dangerous out there, something that creeps up closer and closer as the daylight is fading away…
Trisha has to find strength to fight that something that appears blood hungry and seems to be merciless. She has to survive but with each passing hour, she loses a bit of hope here and a bit of strength there. She starts to lose a battle against her weaknesses and she feels hopeless and lost without a chance for someone to come and rescue her before she dies, or before this something out there comes close enough in order to…
Not everyone is afraid of ghosts, monsters or serial killers but we all are afraid of the unknown – the something that we so don’t want to experience or we don’t wish for this something to happen.
The Unknown… Waiting to attack at the first moment we least expect. And that’s what “The Girl who loved Tom Gordon” is really about. Its a book about the fear of the unexpected even if we expect it. It’s a well written, fairly short story about a girl lost in the woods. What we are afraid while we are reading it, is probably different to each of us. Pick your poison.
For those using Amazon Kindle, the book can be bought here.
Please enjoy responsibly.

The Storm of the Century – Stephen King

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“The Storm of the Century” by Stephen King didn’t come to life as a novel, it ended up being a screenplay for TV miniseries and then it was published as a book. Nevertheless, it is another quite atmospheric novel that keeps you turning pages as fast as you can read, until you can finally unravel the mysterious twist or a character’s intentions.
In this title that mysterious character is Andre Linoge who arrives to a small island of Little Tall, in Maine when the inhabitants are preparing themselves for the coming of winter storm that was branded by meteorologists as a storm of the century.
As the first snowflakes touch the ground, Andre arrives and brutally murders one of the oldest citizens of the town, Martha. He then calmly sits in an armchair, holding his walking stick, embroider with a silver head of a wolf, that is covered in blood…
Andre allows the town’s sheriff to arrest him but that doesn’t stop more and more dead bodies being reported as the town goes into a bit of panic, as some citizens brand Andre a pure evil, something from out of this world due to the latest victims appearing to be unexplained suicides blamed on the arrival of our antagonist.
Quickly it turns out that Andre knows everyone’s sins and secrets, eventually implying  that everyone will die in the end unless the people give the stranger what he had come here for…
What is it though and are the people happy to give it up? Will the people of Little Tall co-operate or will they try to face the now obvious evil force that came into their lives to reveal their secrets that were hidden deep underneath…?
I had not heard about “The Storm of the Century” until I actually came across the TV series. I wasn’t keen on watching it since I hadn’t read the story but eventually I decided to give it a watch and never really managed to finish. Instead I eventually read the book and I didn’t regret finding out the solution to the mystery this way.
Enjoy!

Regulators – Stephen King

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I didn’t really plan it out. It was more of an impulse that led me to revisiting “The Regulators” by Stephen King and sticking it here today. Since my last entry was about “Desperation” it looks like we end up having a double look at these two connected titles, that are meant to be happening in two parallel worlds and there’s is a character named Tak, linking both stories.
I reached out for ‘The Regulators’ with a bit of anticipation as there were some elements I liked in ‘Desperation’ so I expected a bit more of that strange atmosphere and I got something along the lines of tiny town (more of a single street really) in Ohio, Wentworth. The citizens of Wentworth are just like us. They work, moan at their neighbours, visit their friends, cheat behind their loved ones backs, get married, have children, get old and die… It easy to grasp the concept to that point. Matters do get complicated one feral day when the inhabitants start dying and these deaths are not of natural cause.
Wentworth is visited by MotoKops 2200 straight from TV screens and they start to sow fear and panic. The very friendly and sleepy street is surrounded by a total chaos and havoc. It’s an absolute nightmare that turned everything into a desert of desperation.
Seth, is an autistic boy who lives in one of the houses, he has a second personality that remains hidden, and will be known to those who read ‘Desperation’, and is named Tak. The boy is looked after by a very anxious aunt who suffers badly from mental health issues and she is the only one that knows the truth about Seth.
Will she be able, with a help from John, an old writer, to deal with the Regulators? Will the Regulators from parallel world to Desperation’s universe be destroyed and put away??? Well you gotta read it to find out.
And here the problem with “The Regulators” occurs. Somewhere along the story it all became a bit boring and really just not interesting that I was happy that it was supposed to be the last book written under pseudonym of Richard Bachman, as mostly the books written under this name were something that one could reflect upon finishing them and while ‘Desperation’ kept me interested, the last title really failed at that job and left me fairly cold.

Desperation – Stephen King

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I wasn’t convinced when I saw “Desperation” by Stephen King on a shelf in one of libraries I used to go. There was something about the book cover that just didn’t seem right, but as they say ‘Never judge book by its cover’ I grabbed it. Plus it was another of King’s babies so I had no choice really.
The book starts somewhere in US on Route 50, the least travelled, almost abandoned road in the States. Travellers who are forced to take this route are welcomed by shocking emptiness. There’s nothing but sand, more sand and a bit more of sand and plenitude of unbearable heat falling down from the skies on anyone who finds themselves unlucky to be alive here.
In these circumstances one meets Mary and Peter Jackson, which are stopped in the middle of nowhere by a policeman named, Collie Entragian. The couple is shocked by lack of reason for the stoppage as well as the size of the copper as he is enormous. He is incredibly tall and also incredibly strange as soon enough he starts to display signs of slight madness by shouting something in incomprehensible language.
Eventually the couple is accused of possession of weed, they are packed into back of the police car and taken to the nearest town that is named, Desperation.
Peter and Mary are watching in horror what is happening in front of their eyes and they are terrified by the look of the town that appears completely abandoned. The silence around it nearly screams into their ears. Its the type of silence one wants to run away from not to be invited into.
The marriage notices a mining infrastructure not far in distance but sadly they are unable to spot any signs of any kind of activity there. Everything is dark and bleak and it’s an atmosphere that our couple really don’t like. When they finally arrive at the destination, they realise that they weren’t Collie’s first prisoners…
As the story evolves we realise that some dark powers took over the town and the policeman had became a tool of the evil that is meant to destroy anything that comes close enough to town’s vicinity…
Eventually the little group of people that were once arrested by Collie and a couple of survivors from the town must make a firm decision and face the evil. Since they all appear powerless and without strong will that is caused by overpowering fear, the story really starts taking on a dramatic turn…
“Desperation” is a bit different than most of King’s books and it took me a while to get sunk into the action but once I was caught I felt like a greedy fish that chased after a wrong worm and get caught by a very hungry fisherman…

Different Seasons – Stephen King

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“Different Seasons” by Stephen King is a book consisting of four stories, three of which ended up being inspiration for movies, including the quite famous “Shawshank Redemption” film that won many Oscars.
The four novels are tied together by use of subtitles that relate to each of the four seasons. And hence we get Hope Springs Eternal bringing us ‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption’ where we are entangled into a long story narrated by Ellis Boyd Redding who is telling us a story of a man, who then became his friend, Andy.
The story told by Ellis shows us what life in the prison Shawshank is like and how the cruelty and hard reality can change a man and make him do quite astonishing things. The story is so much better than the movie, that was probably seen by majority of people.
In Summer of Corruption we are welcomed with story titled ‘Apt Pupil’ which welcomes us into the world of a very bright young boy. The boy who discovered the true identity of his old neighbour gets absolutely fascinated by the old gentleman.
It sounds a bit boring but as soon as one realises that this charming old gent was in charge of concentration camp during the World War II and he did things that are even too scary for horror books, the whole story takes a different direction. Especially when we find out that the boy isn’t really interested in history but he really wants to know all the details of the brutal acts that happened in the camp. The action really gets going and from quite an innocent intro one ends up with a terrifying and shocking piece.
Fall from Innocence welcomes us with ‘The Body’ where we follow four teenage boys that like to hang around together being boys. One of the boys hears a story about a body of boy which had been searched for a long time by many people and realises it could provide a basis for a great adventure.
He shares his finding with the others who agree about the idea being a brilliant one. The twist is here in the person of narrator of the story who tells us how mistaken the boys were, thinking they’d have great time together…
And the book finishes off with A Winter’s Tale that gives us the only story that was not adapted for the screen ‘The Breathing Method’ in which we meet Mr Adley, an old man who gets invited to a certain club by his boss. Every now and again the gents there, tell themselves different stories, leaving a story of Emlyn McCarron for the Christmas Eve. The story takes us back to working years of Emlyn who was a doctor. One day he was visited by a woman who came to him for an advice. The woman stood firmly on the ground, she knew what she wanted and we get to know what she felt, as well as we find out a bit more about Emlyn.
One night the young woman dies and she’ll never be able to see her child who she bore. She dies instantly in an accident just outside of hospital but what happened to the baby? Survived? Died?
Stephen King rarely disappoints and “Different Seasons” are not the title that would disappoint as the stories grab your attention quickly and transfer you into their separate worlds that are a bit out of the world…

Bag of Bones – Stephen King

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The cover of the edition of “Bag of Bones” by Stephen King caught my eye straight away and there was something about it that was promising a good reading session. How mistaken I was… The reading was spectacular and to this point in my life, when I think of the book, I can not decide whether it made me more scared or more sad. I know I felt both, scared and incredibly sad but there were times that I felt really scared and there were times when the sadness was taking over every heart beat in my body…
Michael Noonan is a well known and very popular book writer. One day he is faced with a huge and surprising tragedy. His wife suddenly dies leaving Michael devastated and absolutely shattered emotionally that eventually leads him to struggle with his writing skills and facing nights full of nightmares.
As Michael becomes tired of hiding his true feelings and ensuring everyone around he is fine he decides to visit his and his wife, Jo, summer house named “Sarah’s Laugh”, given the fact some of the nightmares are about the lake house he feels it is the best way to try to shake of the nightmares of his recent tragedy.
After arrival he quickly meets Mattie and Mattie’s daughter Kyra. They both are troubled by Kyra’s grandad, Max, a multimillionaire who tries take the full custody of Kyra since Mattie became a widow. Michael tries to help them but it doesn’t appear easy as the whole neighbourhood seems to be bothered by some supernatural occurrences that are looking like these are linked to Michael, Mattie, Max and rest of the inhabitants of the little town.
Michael is driven to start investigating this whole strange happenings and soon he finds out that relatives of people of the town from a century ago, were involved in some brutal murder that caused the paranormal activity and as it appears it could also have an influence on his wife’s death.
Michael will be faced with a huge task of trying to help the living and the dead inhabitants of that small town to avoid a horrible and scary face off with some powerful and terrifying forces that slowly are poisoning the minds of the people.
In “Bag of Bones” Stephen King really takes his time to build up an element of dread and fear and it takes nearly a whole story for it to peak, but once all the cards are on the table one is glad they stuck with the slow developing story and quite surprised at the outcome of the action.
As I mentioned earlier I can’t decided whether there is more sadness factor in the story or a horror one but the book definitely doesn’t leave fans of horrors disappointed.

Night Shift – Stephen King

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When I saw “Night Shift” by Stephen King on a shelf of one of my usual libraries I used to go I just grabbed it and was immediately excited as the title and the cover was just basically shouting at me to get it. I felt disappointed when I realised it is a book with loads of short stories included, as then I didn’t really appreciate the shorter form of reading but that book opened doors to a completely new world to me.
And here we get “Graveyard Shift”, a story about a group of people who work night shift in a factory’s basement, cleaning it. The dark corners of the factory might have some furry creatures in there with long tail and bright eyes… Would you like to be around these dark corners?
If you don’t mind, then perhaps reading “The Boogeyman” will cause you a case of goosebumps as you meet Leslie who tells his doctor that he murdered his three children. Very dark and a terrifying story.
In “Trucks” you get to experience the world where the machines rebel against the humans. Once committed to serving the people now they are hunting for their blood and lives. Who is going to win that battle?
“Quitters” is not a story for the smokers. It really isn’t. Our protagonist tries to quit smoking but the habit is stronger than him despite trying a variety of methods. He finally gets a company card from his friend that advertise ‘Quitters, Inc’ as the people who will help him fight the horrid habit. He’ll soon find out how they will go about it. He we will wish he never started smoking in first place.
Everyone loves children, don’t they…? “Children of the Corn”  might creep you out and change forever the way you see groups of young children as Vicky and Burt find out what children are capable of in the story which starts from our couple running over a child when they drive. It turns out the child had it throat cut so the duo takes the body to the nearest town. The town is called Gatlin and surprisingly there are no adults around. Just kids… and something else perhaps…?
If you enjoyed “The Stand” you will definitely like “Night Surf” where the world is faced with the coming end as the deadly virus spreads through the humanity. A small group of people survives and starts to wander aimlessly. How are they going to face the catastrophe? How are they face the loneliness? Will they be able to rescue the remains of humanity outside and within themselves?
There is no pretty long intros into each story in the “Night Stand” and some stories are gore and brutal but they still have that specific character we all like in Stephen King’s writing. As I said easier this title opened the world of short stories for me and even though that I wished some of the stories included in this book were longer I really enjoyed going through one set of circumstances to another one, bravely jumping into what was in front of me.