Fairy Tale Length: 24 hours and 6 mins
Published by Scribner on September 6, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy, Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon
Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest 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 that 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. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.
Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.
King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle.
Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?”
“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”
Fairy Tale is the newest coming of Age Fantasy by Stephen King. I have read many novels by this writer, and he is most known for his horror novels, which are always specular if you are in the mood for that. I, for one, love his fantasy nightmare, dreamscapes, and, of course, the gunslinger novels. So when I heard he was dropping a new fantasy, I pre-ordered it on audible the man himself is one of the narrators. I hate to say this one is just the middle of the road for me.
The first half is a detailed tale about how a 17-year-old boy, a grumpy older man, and a dying dog become very close. The novel’s second half is after the older man dies, and the boy is left to discover what is in the old shed in the back of the property.
The second half felt out of sync with the first half; I kept mainly listening cause it was Stephen King. Where was he taking us? Stephen king took a mixture of fairy tale stories and his ideas and tied them to create another world with its problems that needed a savior, that savior being a 17-year-old boy and his ancient dog, now not so old. Maybe I needed to listen a second time to grasp what was playing out, but this one did not jive with me as much as I expected.