Oh, Uncle Stevie! Whenever I fall into one of your books, it feels like home. No, I don’t mean the scary-ass places you take me, but your voice, your humanity. It’s true, you had me cowering under the covers with a flashlight when I read Carrie for the first time back in the 70’s and noticed little else than the “high school really DOES suck” interwoven with the horror. You sucked me in with a premise I didn’t think I’d be interested in (11/22/63), mesmerized me with the peek into your mind and process with Lisey’s Story, made me laugh as much as I was frightened out of my wits with Joyland. I’ve read countless of your story collections and many of your novels and still my favorite thing is how you create characters that are so flesh and blood real, so heartbreakingly flawed and human, and for this I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You were one of the first writers who shaped me into the carry-a-book-or-three-everywhere-I-go reader I am today.
This novel was a quick and satisfying read, weaving some of Stephens own experience as a rhythm guitarist into the life of Jamie Morton. As a young boy, Jamie encounters the young new pastor of the church his family attends in a small Maine town and their lives become intertwined in ways both organic and supernatural over the years, to a denouement that is crackling with electricity (sorry, I couldn’t resist. Uncle Stevie like his lame puns, too). Throughout the book are call backs and shoutouts to the Kingverse, little gifts to his legions of fans. Count me as one of the tribe, glad that he hasn’t made good on his periodic threats to give up writing. I know he’s got many more stories to tell.