Published by Cemetery Dance Publications on May 16, 2017
There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.
At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.
One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: "Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me."
On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat...
Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!
Please, let me tell you all about my friend Al. We've been good friends for less than a year, but we're so similar it's spooky! We are yet to find more than a few things that we don't have in common. Therefore, when she mentioned that she'd read this book and liked it, I knew I had to pick it up as well. And, as usual, she did not steer me wrong. But we both think King is a ruttin' genius so that may have had something to do with it.
King chose to go with a very conversational tone in this novella, which I think was a very wise choice. It draws you in and brings you into the mind of Gwendy at each different age as she grows older. Not only does this make her a very well-built and multi-dimensional character, it leaves the reader room for surprise as the story progresses.
Unlike many of King's other books, there is not much to be afraid of. There is DEFINITE suspense that kept me white knuckled and on the edge of my seat. I absolutely HAD to know what was going to happen next. There were parts that made me want to cry and scream and throw things at Stephen King, which I guess is only a testament to his amazing skills.
As with many books, there's always that one thing that you think could have been done better. In Gwendy's Button Box, that one thing was Mr. Farris. Who the heck is he? Why does his hat fly? Does he shrink down to an inch tall and fly around in his hat? How old is he? I'm dying to know all of these things! Grrr. King just leaves me wondering this time.
Overall, I loved this book. I will be rereading it when I'm looking for a short novella that I know will keep me entertained.