Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Stephen and Owen King

By Lynn Willoughby

Sleeping Beauties – Stephen and Owen King

I really like Stephen King’s writing. His way with words, the tension he is able to create building to utter suspense keep me thinking of how the book could possibly end – even while I am doing chores or driving somewhere. This book does all of this, but it is just too long.
It really is a retelling of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, but with a King spin. It happens in the present and builds suspense as women around the world fall asleep and become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. They are all still breathing, but if awakened they are rabid killing machines.
With all the men left to their own devices, they become more and more primal. And because the setting is in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains, where the largest employer is the state correctional facility for women, there is no shortage of women, or guns, ammo, dynamite etc.
The women go to “Our Place” – another time and dimension of their town. They find new talents and strengths and a sense of community. There are no men to control them, hurt and abuse them, or smash their dreams. Do they ever want to return to their old life in Dooling?
This book makes references to other books by King, and also themes he has used before. If you are a fan, you will recognize them, if not you will still enjoy this read. My only problem with the novel is that it is too long and it has too many characters. However, in typical King style, once a character is introduced he is so well defined you don’t forget him/her.
“…carrying a veiled message for this day and age about the poor treatment that women receive at the hands of men and perhaps too an eye-opening slap in the face for men.” This quote is an excellent summary for King’s latest novel.
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…………………and many more

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