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!
I haven’t done many reviews lately of mainstream authors, choosing instead to help out indie authors gain exposure for their work. This book, however, was one worth telling my followers about.
Stephen King has done other collaborative works, most notably, The Talisman, with Peter Straub. In those other collaborative works, you can tell that two authors wrote seperately and then wove the writing together to form a single tale.
Gwendy’s Button Box, however, is truly a seamless effort. Having written a book with another author, I know how difficult this can be to do well. King and Chizmar have achieved this task very well. The story is compelling and hearkens back to classic King. It takes place in the legendary setting of Castle Rock and is a story, like many penned by King, that warns of the consequences of actions taken. The protagonist in this book, Gwendy, is a bit different in that she shows restraint and good judgement through most of her adventure and is apparently rewarded for it in the end.
We’re never sure if she achieves her greatness because of the supernatural forces from the device she is given, or if it’s more of a placebo affect that influences her to turn her life around. We should all have a button box in our lives that keeps us on the straight and narrow and encourages us to be the best that we can be.
This was an enjoyable, quick read.