I knew that this year I won’t have much time for books. I set a reachable goal of 20 books for 2014, and I’m currently halfway there.Now, I don’t actually care if I finish the reading challenge or not. It’s just something to keep me focused on reading itself.
Another thing is that I tried reading different genres this year. In the past I’ve read mostly detective books (which are and always will be my favorite genre). This year I’ve tried romantic & comedy books, young adult and even horror (yet I still haven’t finished Carrie by Stephen King). And it seems that I’ve got stuck again on a particular type of genre: dystopian-or-post-apocalyptic fiction.
Even if both books are similar (kids in trouble in a very troublesome future), they do leave different impressions (in my case feelings). After reading The Long Walk I felt empty. I couldn’t touch another book for a couple of days. And even then I felt I was robbed of an ending. A different ending, anything that would’ve made things better. ATTENTION SPOILER: I didn’t want McVries to die. I wanted something, anything to save him.
Yet, with The Maze Runner it’s different. I just finished the first part and I didn’t felt much. I just started The Scorch Trials without even blinking. I guess I was (and still am) curious of what happens next. Besides curiosity there isn’t much. The Maze Runner is very similar to The Hunger Games in my opinion. But it doesn’t have the depth of The Long Walk.
I won’t make my mind yet regarding this trilogy. After all, I still have 2 books to read and things might change.
I am not a person that loves the horror genre. I said this before and I still feel the need to say it again.
For most, Stephen King is synonymous with the horror genre. I made the “mistake” a few years ago and picked up one of his books. I was left feeling sick and uneasy after only a few chapters. Since then I never really dared to read anything else written by him.
But this year I decided to give him another try, mostly because of “The Body” novella.
After finishing the first 3 novellas from “Different Seasons” I decided it was time to read “The Breathing Method“. The last of four novellas, The Breathing Method was probably the most slow paced, scary and for a young woman as myself pretty interesting considering the amount of information about childbirth that was given.
The story revolves around a strange club for gentlemen that get together and share different stories. The club itself is weird and not much is known about the original members or how it was founded. But, even so The Breathing Method is about the stories told in this weird club, and more exactly the story of a young unwed woman who gets pregnant and is determined to give birth to her baby at any cost.
After the story ended, I just sat on the sofa and it struck me how much this author knows about almost everything. Its amazing how Stephen King can take a subject and describe with so much ease and detail. These four novellas are so different in content and in style it is hard to believe they were written by just one person, and yet they are.
I was just ready to close my MP3 player (I have the audio version of the books) when a simple monologue started. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a continuation of The Breathing Method, but then I realized that the author was explaining how these four novellas ended up together in a single book called Different Seasons and how he ended up being branded as a horror author.
I sat there are listened to him (or to the voice of Frank Muller, who I am beginning to think of as the voice of Stephen King) and I felt cheery. That’s not the feeling one might have after listening to a story about a poor pregnant woman that gets decapitated in a car accident.
I was cheered up by Stephen King words and encouragement to “not take shit from anyone“. This all happened when I was still looking for a job and I was going through a rough time, worrying about different things. So, for me this came at the time I needed it the most.
I am still not sure how things like this happen, if they are by chance or they are meant to happen, but I am enjoying them nonetheless.
As for my reluctance to read any horror books, I don’t know if I might try to read other books by Stephen King but then again I don’t even know what I will eat tonight. So who knows, I might give his books more chances from now on.
The third novella from Different Seasons, The Body is probably going to be one of those books that I’ll always remember.
Why? Because you always remember your childhood friends and all those idiotic things you did as kids, even if you don’t keep touch anymore. And lets face it, we will never have friends like those we made in our childhood. This is how I feel about this novella, it’s like a childhood friend that I never lost.
The story revolves around 4 boys that go in search of the body of a young boy killed by a train. As they travel, they discover how cruel the world can be, but also how wondrous.
The boys are Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern Tessio. They all come from dysfunctional families (are there any other type?) and they try to come to terms with the harsh reality of growing up.
Gordie has to come over the fact that he is the invisible son and that he will never be as loved as his older brother who died in the war. Chris is beaten up everyday by his father and almost everyone in the small town they live expects him to become a delinquent like his older brothers. Teddy is almost blind and he can’t hear in his left year because his drunk veteran father burned it and Vern is just real slow when it comes to the brain department.
Yet, these four boys strike up a unique friendship as they head off to find the body of the young boy who was killed by a train.
As they walk along the railroad tracks toward the presumed location of the corpse Chris and Gordie have different discussions about their current situation and their futures. The sincerity of their discussions is really heartbreaking. While Gordie may have a difficult time coming to terms that he will get separated from his friends at the beginning of school (he will go to college classes while the rest will be in shop classes), Chris pushes him on even if it means for him to lose his best friend.
Chris really put it straight forward: “It’s asshole if your friends can drag you down“…”Your friends drag you down, Gordie. Don’t you know that?”
I won’t spoil the ending. This is a book that MUST be read in order for it to have a meaning.
“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless…”
It’s amazing that Stephen King wrote that considering he manages pretty well to transform emotions into words. And pretty well is an understatement.
This is a really sad story. The story of growing up and not knowing what the future lies ahead, who will be there for you, what decisions you must take in order for everything to be alright, if things will be alright.
I don’t know if Stephen King has written any more stories like this one, but I hope he hasn’t. This is so beautiful and so sincere that I doubt anything will be as meaningful.
You know, I might relate to this novella, my friends could also relate to it, but will future generations be able to relate to it? Do kids these days still strike up this kind of friendship?
I was thinking that without my friends, my childhood would’ve been really horrible and I doubt I will still be the me I am today. Believe it or not, I to had a “Chris” that pushed me forward whenever I needed some pushing. In fact, unlike the “Chris” in the novella, my “Chris” is still around nagging me to do certain things that I would probably not do on my own.
From all the friends I had as a child, at least I still have one.
Bibliophile – n. lover of books; one who loves to read, admire and collect books.
Whenever I don’t get things done I blame my lack of free time. But I have a lot of free time whenever I don’t have to work over hours, I just seem to waste it by watching Futurama or Family Guy, or doing something silly on the Internet.
“Procrastination is like masturbation. At first it feels good, but in the end you’re only screwing yourself.”
This is a sad truth. Yup, I’ve fallen of the wagon once again and I need to get back on track. From my notebook I’ve picked 10 books that I really want to read:
“The Body” – Stephen King
“The Breathing Method” – Stephen King
“The Hunger Games” – Suzanne Collins
“Catching Fire” – Suzanne Collins
“Mockingjay” – Suzanne Collins
“The Hobbit” – J. R. R. Tolkien
“The Fellowship of the Ring” – J. R. R. Tolkien
“The Two Towers” – J. R. R. Tolkien
“The Return of the King” – J. R. R. Tolkien
“Moulin Rouge” – Pierre La Mure
“Peril at the end house” – Agatha Christie
“Thirteen at Dinner (aka Lord Edgware Dies)” – Agatha Christie
“Murder on the Orient Express” – Agatha Christie
“Three Act Tragedy” – Agatha Christie
“Death in the Air (aka Death in the Clouds)” – Agatha Christie
“The ABC Murders (aka The Alphabet Murders)” – Agatha Christie
“Murder in Mesopotamia” – Agatha Christie
“The Mysterious Affair at Style” – Agatha Christie
“Poirot Investigates” – Agatha Christie
“The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” – Agatha Christie
“The Big Four” – Agatha Christie
“Cards on the Table” – Agatha Christie
“Stardust” – Neil Gaiman
“Eat, Pray, Love” – Elizabeth Gilbert
And yes that’s the order that I’m going to read them. I know that I’ve kinda jumped in the “Hunger Games” wagon with all the media that is going on, but what’s wrong with that? Truthfully, I’ve read many articles on the Internet and not only did I got interested in the Hunger Games but I also want to read “Battle Royale” by Koushun Takami and “The Long Walk” by Stephen King.
Now all I have to do is upload the said books on my MP3 player/iPod and just get started. I also have a feeling that my stitching will see an increase in productivity.
My first novel for the year 2012 is Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. This novel is the first of four who make up a single book called Different Seasons.
I like how that sounds, Different Seasons.
It makes me melancholic.
I usually stay away from Stephen King books because his main genre is horror and suspense. While I can handle suspense on its own, the combination of horror and suspense written by Stephen King is too much for me. I remember starting reading one of his more recent books and I just gave up after the first chapters because I started feeling sick.
I thought that the movies based on his books were bad, but the books are even worse. And I don’t mean that they are bad in quality. I mean the way they make you feel if you’re not a fan of the genre.
I really can’t handle horror books or movies. I blame my wild imagination and being a coward. I flinch at the first weird noise I hear especially if I’m home alone. Should I even go into details about the invisible guy in my room that breaths heavily? Either I have a perverted ghost or I can hear the next door neighbors breathing.
I wanted to read Different Seasons, especially The Body novel.
I said it makes me feel melancholic. Well, it does. When I was little the first real movie that just made me stay glued to the screen was “Stand by me” (1986). The movie was based on The Body novel. And I also saw “The Shawshank Redemption” with my family on a summer weekend. So this feeling that I have is probably because I really do miss those days.
Things were really different back then.
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the first novel of four, is narrated by Red an inmate from Shawshank Prison.
He starts by explaining why he’s in prison (on the charge of murdering his wife, a friend and her child) and how he manages to stay on the good side of everyone while he’s serving his sentence. Red is an expert in contraband aka he can get anything for the right price. This in prison makes one person pretty important and this is also how he meets and eventually becomes a good friend of Andy Dufresne.
Andy Dufresne is a very intelligent accountant (but very quiet, calm and composed) that ends up in jail on a false charge of murdering his wife and her lover.
Most of the story focuses on Andy and his prison experience.
Red: [narrating] I wish I could tell you that Andy fought the good fight, and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that – but prison is no fairy-tale world. He never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile – prison life consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, Andy would show up with fresh bruises. The Sisters kept at him – sometimes he was able to fight ’em off, sometimes not. And that’s how it went for Andy – that was his routine. I do believe those first two years were the worst for him, and I also believe that if things had gone on that way, this place would have got the best of him.
But as Red puts it, he might’ve talked more about Andy but the story is about the impact that Andy makes on the people around him. It’s about the impact that Andy makes on Red.
It’s about not giving up, using your time, having patience and getting your sense of freedom. A good combination if you want to achieve something in life, no matter what.
You know, Stephen King is really something. After reading this novel I got the feeling that prison isn’t just a place for people that commit serious offences, but it’s more of a feeling that most of us get in our lifetime.
I got the feeling that my life is a prison. That my daily routine (work-home-repeat) is made up by others that dictate how things should be. It’s like Red said:
Prison life consists of routine, and then more routine.
Routine does kill everything! Change isn’t hard, we just make it hard because we are so used with what we got that anything else seems too dangerous and risky. Mental boundaries are harder to break than stone walls.
Am I the only that feels this way? I can’t be! There are so many people in this world and I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way. You know, I said this year will be all about change. I’m starting to think that not only the things and people around me are changing, but I’m changing as well. I’m starting to think that the first step of change is realizing.
This was a good novel, perfect for my current state of mind.