Fairy Tale; Stephen King
Scribner and Simon & Schuster Audio - 9/6/2022
(Narrators: Seth Numrich and Stephen King)
(length - 24 hours)
In Stephen Kin's latest novel which releases on September 6th we meet Charlie Reade whose life hasn't been easy. His mom died when he was a young boy after being hit by a van. His dad tried to do the best he could but instead he drowned his grief in alcohol until he eventually found the help he needed to get sober. Charlie in turn for a number of years became the responsible one in the household. He was also a good student and talented athlete.
One day Charlie, now 17, is riding his bike by the home of a recluse named Howard Bowditch. The man's barking dog summoned Charlie to see that Mr.Bowditch had fallen off a ladder and couldn't get up. After Charlie calls for help and Mr, Bowditch is hospitalized for a fractured hip, it's clear the older man will require a lengthy period of rehab, home care and someone to feed Radar, his German Shepard while he is away from home. Charlie steps in and an unlikely bond of trust and respect is formed between Charlie, Mr. Bowditch and Radar. Things at Mr. Bowditch's home are a little retro to say the least but, the most mysterious of all are the contents of a safe and a mysterious backyard shed that leads to an alternate universe where those who enter will grapple with good versus evil.
After Mr. Bowditch dies and Charlie is left a cassette tape from Mr. Bowditch explaining several thing as well as inheriting the property and his elderly dog Radar, the reader will wonder whether Charlie and Radar have what it takes to survive the battle that they will be forced to face.
Best described as a dark fantasy kind of thriller, something I sometimes grapple with, this story pulled me in immediately. Charlie Reade was such a likable character, the kind of teen you would be proud to have for your son and mature beyond his years. Charlie had a heavy burden to carry sacrificing much to be of service to others. I loved Radar the senior dog and his bond with former master and then with Charlie was heartwarming. This book is very good and I never found it disturbing either. Once again it amazes me just how very wild and imaginative King's mind is. In this case he created several deeply complex and memorable characters, a unique and odd alternate universe complete with a beautiful palace, glass towers, and even a magical sundial that could turn time around. King fans will not be disappointed. The audio version was excellent.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars
(NOTE: An audio download was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.)