The Body – Stephen King

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.

Leave a Reply