A Thousand Flappers and Hobbledehoys

My name is Doug Wykstra, and this is some of the stuff I've read and watched.

It: Review

The following is copied from my Goodreads review.

You know how there are certain movies or albums from the 1970s-80s that are known as “cocaine movies” or “cocaine albums” because the grandiosity of the concept and simultaneously frantic and aimless nature of the film/album suggests that the person in charge of the art was doing a lot of cocaine? Well, I don’t want to apply my understanding of Stephen King’s mental state in the mid-80s to this book too much, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking of this as a “cocaine novel.” Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, in this case–the massive abundance of plot, of character (seven fully-developed characters, all of whom have their childhoods and adulthoods and psychological issues described at length), of accounts-within-accounts, of kids or adults who get killed essentially because King thought of a good way to kill them, of themes about childhood friendship and how going back to your hometown turns you into a younger version of yourself and how the ghosts of America’s past continue to haunt it–a lot of this stuff is good, and some of it even holds together decently. But when you compare it to the other 1000-page King novels, particularly The Stand and Under the Dome, it just doesn’t measure up. It’s too loopy, too pop-psychology, too generous with its characters…just too much in every way. Oh, and the ending of the kids’ half of the novel probably gave King a reputation for bad endings singlehandedly, and it’s bad enough that it almost earns that. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who wasn’t a King superfan, but as a King superfan, I enjoyed it way more than I probably should have.

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This entry was posted on 12 September 2019 by in Elegant Extracts and tagged , , .
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