Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Featuring Emma Donahue and Stephen King

By Lynn Willoughby

This is the most interesting concept for short stories I have ever read.  Each is only 4 or 5 pages long and at the end is the newspaper story that inspired Donahue to write the fictional story that lead to the headline.  Brilliant!!
Each character from the pages have gone astray in some sense, other wise they have no connection.  Some have happy consequences, some funny, some sad.  The stories cross centuries and countries.  They are about counterfeiters, sculptors, con artists, drifters or slaves.  They cross the borders  of laws, race and sanity.
Spanning three centuries and two continents the stories are marvelously diverse.  Without spoilers I am unable to say much more other than the historical details that situate each story are terrific,  the newspaper accounts are varied, bizarre and wonderful.  As always, Donahue’s writing is well crafted.  I LOVED it.
– Frog Music
– Room
and many others
This is a book of short stories by one of my favourite authors.  What is especially interesting is the preface of each novella, of very personal glimpses of King, and how and why he came to write each story.  Also at the conclusion of each is a dedication, again some personal touch of King.
There is a connection between stories – themes of morality, guilt, or what we would do differently.  Many of the stories depict characters at the end of life…”when death tips us into the realm of the paranormal, the mood is closer to philosophy than horror”…
King’s skill is such that even folksy, easy tales about the all American sport of baseball can be given a twist of viciousness and paranoia in “Blockade Billy.”
Like all of King’s writing these stories are “Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories confirm one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader.”
If you are a fan, read this book!  “Quality control has never been one of King’s strong suits – for every book that grips you until dawn, another will be chucked half finished under the bed.”  Be prepared to be up until dawn!
– Dolores Claiborne
– Misery
and so many more
Who Knew?
Because the position of catcher requires a comprehensive understanding of baseball’s strategies, the pool of former catchers yields a disproportionate number of managers in both Major and Minor Leagues.

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