Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Shorts

Saturday shorts is a weekly meme where I post a review on short stories and Indy based novels that I have either read or heard about. Since this has the potential to increase my to-read pile, i may sometimes only post the synopsis of new releases. I hope you enjoy!!!

Today's review is from Stephen King's latest short story One for the Road.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the PS Publishing for review. The views expressed here are my honest opinions and were in no way influence by the publisher.

I could not find a synopsis for the book on Amazon or on other Book Sellers website so here’s one from Wikipedia This tale is narrated in the first person by Booth, an elderly resident of a small town that neighbors Jerusalem's Lot, Maine. The main part of the story is set a couple of years after the events of 'Salem's Lot. Booth describes a winter's night years ago, when he and his friend, a bar owner named Herb Tooklander (Tookey), attempted to rescue the family of a motorist named Gerard Lumley, whose vehicle had become stranded in a ferocious blizzard. At first mildly contemptuous of Lumley for driving in such weather, both men are horrified when they realize that Lumley's vehicle is stranded in Jerusalem's Lot. It is widely known that "the Lot" has gone bad, but they still decide to drive out in a snow plough and attempt to save Lumley's family. Instead, they barely manage to save themselves from the man's wife and daughter, who have been turned into vampires. The story ends with Booth warning the reader that if they ever find themselves on the road through Salem's Lot, they should keep on driving and not stop for any reason.

My Review 

How lucky was I to obtain a copy of Stephen King’s book to review! Whether it is a short story or a novel, Stephen King is one of the greatest authors in the fields of Horror and Thriller and I was really happy to review this book.  King has been known to write short stories from time to time and One for the Road is another addition to his literary resume. The story was originally written and published in 1978 as part of a collection of short stories called the Night Shift.  It has since been re-released by PS Publishing featuring 18 full page and full colour illustrations by James Hannah.

I like Stephen King’s work. Contrary to what people believe he’s not spooky or weird or demented.  He is very creative in how he constructs his story and I saw that a lot in One for the Road.  More importantly, I think that he knows exactly how to use horror to his advantage. He’s excellent at creating stories that forces us to use our imaginations.

While doing research on One for the Road I realized that the story connects two of Kings great stories Salem’s Lot as well as Jerusalem’s Lot. In fact some sources regard it as a sequel to one of King’s well known novels Salem Lot and it also serves as a prequel to Jerusalem’s Lot.  Having not being exposed to both (yeah! I was living under a rock), I thought that the One for the Road could have been an entirely separate story.

For a short story, I thoroughly enjoyed it and wished that it could have been longer. Although the storyline was not entirely new, it was developed really well. I really felt sorry for Lumby who was a victim throughout the story. His naivety made his demise really unfair.  Also Booth’s recollection of that night is just as haunting and chilling as it was to live it.  I could not imagine surviving an ordeal like that and living with the memories of it. I think that Herb got away in this regard. Added to the spookiness of the story is that the entire community knew about the disappearances at Salem’s Lot and Jerusalem’s Lot  and they all treat it like the elephant in the room.  It’s like the vampires never really exist, or they did but just in the corner of everyone’s mind.  Like any prequel or sequel, One for the Road makes me wonder what happens in Salem’s Lot and Jerusalem’s Lot.  More importantly the illustrations in the story were good but really, there were just aesthetics. The descriptions provided were vivid enough for your imagination to just run wild.

If you manage to get your hands on a copy of this limited edition book, do give it a read. You won't be disappointed.


Cozy in Texas said...

Thank you for the review. I have never read Stephen King for the reasons you mentioned, creepy being one of them. You've encouraged me to take a look.
Cozy In Texas
Less of Me

Aths said...

Wow.. an SK book for review! This one sounds good! Thanks for recommending it!

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