|Submitted by Aditya Bidikar |
(Feb 19, 2005)
I first read this book in 1998, and absolutely hated it. I had just finished reading Night Shift (reviewed later) and I wanted to read a novel by Stephen King, something that would blow my mind, and I was sorely disappointed. The desolateness of the book, the unknown references, and the sheer length got to me, and I decided I hated King.
Years later, in 2003 (2 days before sitting down to write this), now in love with the guy, after reading a highly favourable review of the book on another website (the reviewer rated it above The Green Mile, which I really liked), I decided to read the book again. This time, having read The Stand twice, I wasn't intimidated by the length (actually I think it is pretty short), and I also liked the desolation in it, and I had read enough King books to be confident that I would recognise most of the references to other books of his.
This time, I loved it. This book, about the confrontation between good and evil which takes place in a desert town called Desperation, goes at a pace that's faster than most King books written in the 90's (with the possible exception of Bag of Bones). I finished this book in three sittings, one of them continuing till 2 a.m., which, considering the recent slack in my reading, is amazing. The characters are well-drawn, especially Johnny Marinville, who reminded me a lot of an old writer I know. Unlike many of his books, in which he introduces the characters before the story starts, this one takes you smack dab in the middle of the story before slowing down a little to present the Dramatis personae, and that too not one after the other, but smoothly woven into the story.
The constant allusions to God do sometimes get on the nerve, but they should be excused because the book is about God.
Overall, the book's a good read, also not too preachy in spite of the subject, but sometimes you can't help thinking King was a little strained for story while writing this one, maybe because of the ending.
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