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Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by The Blackfish, May 2, 2017.
This is good timing considering where I am in The Dark Tower read. Looking forward to the refresher.
Hold on the library copy due back 5/8 but hoping it turns up sooner
Finishing up a book the next couple of days and then I'll get to this. Really excited.
Is this part of the Dark Tower series??
It is not in the series, however the majority of his books have tie-ins to The Dark Tower.
Should I read Salem's Lot before Dark Tower?
Doesn't really matter
There is a minor character in 'Salem's Lot that turns into a bigger character in Dark Tower, that's about the only crossover iirc
Through Chapter 3 also - HOLY FUCK THAT WAS A LONG CHAPTER
Also I have no clue what this book is about, or even the premise. YOLO
This chapter took me out of the book almost. I was getting into it the first 2. This one was mostly separate short stories that seemingly have no impact on the main story. Although I did enjoy the "four-eye queer boy" beating up the bully. This Straker dude is creepy
Dang RIP the Glick boys. Although Im sure the missing one will pop up somewhere down the line
Through Part 1 (Chapter 7)
Oh this is about some vampire shit
Michael came back to life and Matt had a heart attack!!! shit is getting real
I dont really have any crazy theories. As with most King books, I find myself getting a bit annoyed with the side stories because Im just eager to get back to the main plot. At the same time, those side stories usually come back into play and are like well written little novellas. \_(ツ)_/
Through part 2
Glad Mark got away. Dang Susan
i hadn't planned on rereading this but I think I may now
How you liking it Truman ? I'll be starting it sometime tonight or tomorrow.
Im about 80 % through. It's ok. Dont love it, but not like it's a slog to get through either.
Trying to speak as generally as I can, but so far it's pretty much a run of the mill style story for this genre. I don't think it's aged so well since the 70s - mostly because this genre has been done to death. Perhaps when it was written this was a new and interesting angle, but not now.
What keeps me engaged is just King being a good writer. Ive enjoyed the little side detours he takes to develop peripheral characters as much if not more than the main plot.
Considering it's King Im sure there's a huge twist coming, but so far it's just kind of average.
Very minor spoiler but just a comment on the story's originality. Only a spoiler if you know zilch about the story's premise (what sort of horror story it is).
Iirc 'Salem's Lot was pretty integral in reviving the vampire story. It hadn't really been done since Dracula. So it was very original in the 70s. Basically King's interpretation of vampires in the "modern" world.
So THANKS A LOT FOR TWILIGHT ASSHOLE.
Through Chapter 14, part 44
- Damn that booby trap the set up for Jimmy
- RIP Matt. At least you went out naturally
- Im going to be pretty bummed in Mark doesn't make it out alive. That kid is awesome. If it comes to it, Ben better sacrifice himself for Mark
Glad Mark Lived. woooo! No big twist. Pretty straight forward. Pretty much have the same feelings I laid out above about it being a run of the mill Dracula/vampire story. Although what Regiment said about him being the one to revive it makes sense.
I guess I wish I read this as a kid before I was inundated w vampire stories.
General reaction 6.5/10
82 pages/13% in
Not a whole lot to say as things are still being unpacked but I'm enjoying it thus far and intrigued to see where things go/what the ultimate bad is. I love early King chapters as he goes from scene to scene, place to place, to introduce you to the world. Looking forward to reading more after work tonight.
does this count as science fiction? because I am doing spring into sci-fi 17 and I can't justify any deviation
ARE YOU SURE
Well it is fiction, and although I dont recall it - Im sure science is mentioned somewhere in this 150k word novel.... so on second thought . YES IT'S TOTALLY SCIFI!
Finally got my hands on a copy today but should make good headway this week
Does King have a writer as a character in every book? So far every book of his I've read ( It, 11/22/63, Misery, The Shining, and now this book) prominently features a writer
Not every book but definitely a lot of them
Spoiler: Chapter 2
When Ben describes entering the house and seeing Hubert hanging, he justifies it with "there may be some truth in that idea that houses absorb the emotions that are spent in them, that they hold a kind of... dry charge"
Instantly thought of The Shining, I'm curious if this will veer towards a similar story about the house. But there has to be more at play given King titled it after the whole town.
Ben's recurring dreams seem to mimic the boy in the prologue.
Finished part 1 earlier today
I'm enjoying it, even as a lot of it is table setting. Always amazes me how much groundwork King can lay so quickly. Not really too much to add right now but I'm liking it and look forward to reading more this week.
Also a question about a character from the Dark Tower/Stand universe in the next spoiler
Is the baby named Randall the Randall Flagg? Thought it made sense with the shit mom and dad the baby version would have.
Oh yeah. I would also like to know who the character is in Dark Tower The Blackfish
Father Callahan, minor character in this novel, turns into a pretty big character in the later Dark Tower books
Truman I edited the my post around he same time you liked it
He was aight. Nothing stood out too much to me.
I'll eventually get to Dark Tower series, but Father Callahan doesn't make that any more urgent. My guess was Mark. Would be cool if he was reintroduced as an adult in a different book.
However you said it was a minor character, so I wasn't too confident in that guess
Spoiler: Through Chapter 7
Enjoying it so far. I just keep drawing the connections to It and The Shining.
Stuff like Hubert's sister feeling psychically when he murdered someone are an easy connection with The Shining.
The plot so far of writer back into town, kids are disappearing, there's evil tied to to the house/land are just huge parallels to It and the town of Derry.
Finished part 2 yesterday, ~70% in or so
Not too much to add other than I am enjoying it more as the book has gone on. Susan getting got was unexpected and makes the final part of the book really interesting to me to see how the other characters play off it. Damn near entire town seems to be turning at this point.
Not my favorite King book by any means but I'm invested and look forward to finishing it. Hopefully will early this week.
Spoiler: Response to your comment but not any Spoilers beyond Part 2
For some reason Susan gettin' got didn't really affect me. I think King is great at building characters but I really have not been as invested as I thought in most of them.
The Susan love storyline was ok but he didn't drill into Ben Mears or Susan enough to make me particularly care. If anything the boy Mark is a bigger character to me, and he's only been developed in a few excerpts.
Good read so far though, I'm only a bit further than you into Part 3 and looking forward to the ending. It keeps picking up.
I enjoyed it, although definitely not my favorite book. A few thoughts:
The booby trap for Jimmy stepped things up a bit, but killing Barlow at the end was anticlimactic. Mark's escape sequence into killing Straker definitely was a better build up and action.
I wish they had revealed Barlow earlier in the book so they had more time to develop this "chess match" game between him and the characters. However, I get that the slow burn buildup is what gets you invested in the characters more and builds tension before the whirlwind two days of rapidly spreading vampires.
Mark was definitely the best character
NOTE: minor spoilers to It ahead, but nothing beyond the major premise of the book:
I just kept drawing ties to his book It, but It was a more enjoyable and developed piece. I cared about the kids in It more, the villain in It was more developed evil and involved, even the town of Derry was a much better backdrop than Salem's Lot. But considering Salems Lot was King's second novel and It came further down the line, maybe I would enjoy this more if I read it as a precursor to It rather than going head-to-head
Spoiler: Interesting excerpt from The Guardian
"King likes writing writers. It's easy to dismiss this as him writing what he knows, but I think it's something else. I think he knows that a writer – or, at least, his type of writer – can imagine the things King's small-town sheriffs and doctors can't (or won't). They can take leaps of logic, bounding alongside the narrative. They can be ciphers for King himself in the novel. They don't need to explain why they know something: they just know it. This was simply the first example of his life-long obsession with writers, why they write, and how the action of writing serves the story being told; an obsession that would, I think, culminate in the best book about writing ever written, On Writing." -https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/11/rereading-stephen-king-salems-lot
Overall 7/10, looking forward to reading King's 11/23/63 after I finish Gang Leader for a Day
Gang Leader for a Day is a great book. So is 11/23/63
Little over 100 pages left, will probably finish tonight
I think it's really starting to pick up. Kind of laughed when the characters split up into two groups, thus hurting their chances. And them coming to the realization of "oh shit, this is bad" when they almost split up into three groups. As Truman said itt earlier, the genre has been done to death. So something like this has been made fun of essentially since Scream. And that was 20 years ago. This book came out in 1975. So I get it. Still chuckled.
I'm interested to see how all of this comes to a head. Because Ben and Mark were gone to start the book, which was set in the future. So they have to leave and then come back. Why? Looking forward to finding out.
Agree with Oshie about the showdown with Barlow was anticlimactic. As I was getting closer to the end, I kept thinking there aren't enough pages to flesh this thing out and get it finished properly. And that ended up being the case.
The comparisons to IT are perfect. Really is a poor man's version of that story in nearly every regard. But, this one was his second book, and that one came down the road. This is definitely one I wish I could have read before his other books. I think I would have liked it more. But I can't go back in time, so I'll settle for a 6/10 with this one. Good moments. Good premise. Decent characters. Missing the *it* (pun intended) factor.
This was my first King book so I would agree with you. I seemed to have liked it better than you all did, but I hadn't read his other novels yet.
You have never read any other Stephen King book???
When I read 'Salem's Lot, no.
That was over a year ago, though.
Yeah I thought you had been reading Dark Tower
I am. I've read 7-8 King books since then.