Fairy Tale by Stephen King

EXCERPT: In the fall and spring, I rode my bike because we live in a hilly town and biking was a good way to build up muscle strength in my legs and backside. It also gave me time to think and be alone, which I liked. Heading home from HHS it was Plain Street to Goff Avenue, then Willow Street to Pine. Pine Street intersected with Sycamore at the top of the hill that led down to the goddam bridge. And on the corner of Pine and Sycamore was the Psycho House, so named by Bertie Bird when we were only ten or eleven.
It was actually the Bowditch house, the name was right on the mailbox, faded but still legible, if you squinted. Still, Bertie had a point. We had all seen that movie (along with other such required eleven-year-old viewing as The Exorcist and The Thing), and it did look sort of like the house where Norman Bates lived with his stuffed mother. It wasn’t like any of the other neat little duplexes and ranchers on Sycamore and in the rest of our neighbourhood. The psycho-house was a rambling slump-roofed Victorian, once probably white but now faded to a shade I’d call Feral Barncat Gray. There was an ancient picket fence running the length of the property, leaning forward in places and sagging back in others. A rusty waist-high gate barred the broken paving of the walk. The grass was mostly weeds that had run rampant. The porch looked like it was slowly becoming detached from the house to which it belonged. All the shades were drawn, which Andy Chen said was pointless, since the windows were too dirty to see through anyway. Half-buried in the tall grass was a NO TRESPASSING sign. On the gate was a bigger sign reading BEWARE OF DOG.

ABOUT ‘FAIRY TALE’: Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder.

Because within the shed is a portal to another world—one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the “Fair One.” And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time.

A story as old as myth, and as startling and iconic as the rest of King’s work, Fairy Tale is about an ordinary guy forced into the hero’s role by circumstance.

MY THOUGHTS: Once upon a time lived a man who dreamt up fascinating and fearful tales . . .

This is the best Stephen King book I have read in some time. It’s vintage King – satisfying and scary – a frightening mix of fantasy and reality.

Charlie’s a teenager struggling with grief and guilt. He made a bargain with God, and now it seems that God is calling in the debt and Charlie is more than happy to settle.

Charlie has been through a lot for a boy of his age. He has a sense of honour, and a compassionate heart. But there is also a dark side to him, one he can’t always control.

Mr Bowditch is a wonderfully crafted character. He loves his old German Shepherd, Radar, and is more concerned with Radars wellbeing than his own. Both man and dog are old. Mr Bowditch is not long for this world and knows it. Once Charlie has earned his grudging trust, Mr. Bowditch charges Charlie with a dangerous task.

There are many references to the darker versions of the sanitised fairytales we all grew up with – Hansel and Gretel, and Rumplestiltskin immediately spring to mind. There’s an ogre (or something resembling one), and a Princess who needs help; but does Charlie have the strength and cunning needed to ensure a ‘happy ever after’ or something resembling it?

All the stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I: @stephenkingofficialpage @hodderstoughton

T: @ClubSTEPHENKING @HodderBooks

#contemporaryfiction #fantasy #friendship #horror

THE AUTHOR: Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1971, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers. King is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the American Letters and the 2014 National Medal of Arts.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of Fairy Tale by Stephen King. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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