Fairy Tale

Hardcover, 608 pages

English language

Published Sept. 6, 2022 by Scribner.

ISBN:
978-1-6680-0217-9
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4 stars (44 reviews)

Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes deep into the well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for their world or ours.

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 …

4 editions

Not his usual standard

2 stars

Stephen King is one writer whose style I really admire: it's so transparent and frictionless; seemingly simple, it's very hard to do well, and even his less interesting books slip down easily. Sadly, Fairy Tale doesn't meet this (admittedly high!) standard. It's long, slow, and a slog; not scary nor particularly engaging. Fingers crossed it's a minor blip in an otherwise impeccable career!

reviewed Fairy Tale by Stephen King

A Movie in Waiting ...

3 stars

A big, sprawling quest book that takes ages to get going. It's full of little nuggets to keep the reader alert like subtle and not-so subtle references to characters and tropes from other folk tales. It was slow-going for me - not a page-turner as so many other King novels are. All it needs is scripting into a movie where the big set-pieces will shine.

L-o-n-g but Lovely

3 stars

Just finished the audiobook of FAIRY TALE by #StephenKing. Among his #Fantasy #Horror books it's far from the best, imho, and certainly can't touch the Dark Tower series.

Among other things, it is arguably too long, but there was at least one setup/payoff moment that was (for me), worth the journey. And I do love King's overall, hm, how to say..."ethical sensibility"?

Review of 'Fairy Tale' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I really struggled to rate this one. It feels like two books - I enjoyed the first part with Mr Bowditch and Radar a lot, but I felt it went off the rails in a way I didn't expect and that didn't move me. I found the last third of the book a real slog. Having loved Billy Summers a few months ago this one was a bit of a letdown.

Best Retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk for adults... and more!

5 stars

I think that King went out on a huge limb here... and boy am I glad he did. This story, like the Shining, It, and the Institute before it, show the magnificent theme of "kid power" that Stephen is so good at. charlie Reade was no exception. I think that if he were a real person, I would want to get to know him, and I would probably hang out with him on a regular basis. Either way, if you want a book that's emotional as it is rivetting, then King does it again. It does have some of his normal horror, but this one gives the reader a bit of a break from that, where we see the more fantastical side of this wonderful and legendary author.

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Subjects

  • Fantasy
  • Fiction

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