Tuesday, April 27, 2010

8/25/09: The Library, Part Deux

I've mentioned previously the magical nature of my local library, as well as my habit to raid the fiction section and grab books at random. This incident was a repeat of that, loosely. Let me explain.

First, let it be known that I enjoy Stephen King. There. I said it. I like Stephen King. Very much. But please don't pen me as a fanboy, as in, someone who likes Stephen King because he's Stephen King, much in the way Bantam likes Dean Koontz. Sure, King is a good storyteller, with strong characterization and a nice, no-nonsense narrative that lets the story do its thing; but what draws me to him again and again is the humor laced throughout his writing. There's a charm to it, and that's something both unteachable and inimitable, and a barometer of true-to-the-heart writing, in my opinion.


I have eclectic reading tastes, but every few months or so, I'll get a hankering for some King, no different than a craving for salty foods. So, I've been working through the man's massive catalog that way, devouring a novel or two here and there in between exploring new authors. And near the end of August, I got one such hankering, so I hit up the library (it's not so much that I'm a cheap bastard -- which I am, admittedly -- but that Mr. King probably has enough folding-green to wipe the asses of a small nation). I browsed through their little contingency of King's work, and bemusedly chose Dolores Claiborne, its cover dominated by the cheery image of a morose woman staring down a well, presumably at you, mwahahaha. And though I knew I wanted some King, I chose this novel entirely at random, from about twenty possibles.

Here's a synopsis (and, again, my apologies for spoilers): The book is one big confessional from Ms. Claiborne, an underprivileged Mainer who justifiably murdered her husband during a solar eclipse. And now the part material to my incident: Tucked in the nitty, gritty, slang-ridden narrative, there's an incongruous scene in which Ms. Claiborne hears a woman's discarnate voice saying something or other, which is not explained in the novel.


I read the book, which was satisfying, what I'd come to expect when opening a King novel; and then returned it a couple days later. Upon doing so, however, I found my appetite was not yet satisfied (it was King-sized, you could say, and, yes, I really just said that), so I checked out a second selection, Gerald's Game, this one, too, pulled at random from a pool of twenty or so King novels I haven't read. I'll skip right to the point, here: In Gerald's Game, you find out the source of the bizarre voice Dolores Claiborne hears in her only-loosely connected novel.

And I happened to get the two of them, back to back, without any foreknowledge of King's little Easter Egg. Now, the odds weren't quite as high as the hit I outlined in my "Big Tits" post, but I think the "coincidence" at least bears mentioning.

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