Saturday, June 10, 2017

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar


The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told... until now.

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!

First I have to say I looked forward to the release of this book for what felt like forever. I preordered in advance the minute I knew of it's future existence. I couldn't wait to read it and yet when it finally arrived I had too much else going on to start it right away. I did take notice of reviews piling up, most of them positive.. Sometimes when books are hyped to high heaven the reality ends up being a let down because after building it up in your mind so much it can rarely measure up to the expectation. That is NOT the case here.
Gwendy Peterson is a likable 12 year old girl who one day encounters the man in black as she is doing her damnedest to lose some weight as well as rid herself of a nasty nickname before the start of the new school year. She is naturally wary of the stranger, and equally wary of accepting his offering of the mysterious button box, and the secrets and power it holds....
This was such a fun read!  If I have any complaints, they would be only some minor historical inaccuracies, and that I wish it had been longer. It spans an entire decade in Gwendy's life and could have been a full novel instead of novella length.

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