I’m fighting with my brain on this one because this is the first time in a while that I can appreciate a Stephen King book and it’s craft and storytelling, but not *love* the results. This is the kind of book that made me think for years that I didn’t like horror. I do like horror, as it turns out, and it’s a much more diverse genre than I previously thought. But this is the kind of book I’m never going to love, even though in addition to being a horror story, it’s also a really smart, emotional meditation on death and mortality. I don’t know if I can rate this!
I loved the first third of this book. A husband, wife, and two young kids move to a small Maine town (naturally), and everything seems great for a while. Our main character, Louis, grows close to his older neighbors, a retired married couple. Louis thinks of the man as the father he should have had. Then things go to hell. Bad decisions are made, repeatedly. Bad things happen. And they continue to just get worse.
I can see from the bird’s eye view here that this is an exceptional horror book, but in the same way that my body reflexively spits out raw fish, I have a reaction to the type of horror story where the narrative is a slow (or fast) descent into tragedy and despair. It’s just not a story that sits well with my taste and my preferences. You can look up spoilers if you want more than that.
I can’t say that I will never revisit this one, because tastes change, but for now, leaving this unrated and moving on.