Finders Keepers tells the story of Morris Bellamy, a psychotic criminal obsessed with the writings of fictional literary author John Rothstein. Bellamy is creepy and dangerous, but he's never as convincing as Annie Wilkes and the apotheosizing of Rothstein's fictional fiction comes off as pretentious at times.
Still, as with most of King's work, Finders Keepers is a fun ride and hard to put down.
After the first hundred pages or so, the protagonists of Mr. Mercedes get involved and an epilogue sets up End of Watch (forthcoming), which adds a supernatural element that isn't really a part of the first two books in the series.
Revival tells the life story of a rock & roll musician named Jamie Morton from early childhood to his senior years. You get a strong feel for Jamie's first love, his aptitude for music, and his struggles with addiction. As a character study, Revival feels authentic but never really breaks new ground.
Jamie's childhood preacher Charles Jacobs wanders in and out of Jamie's story over the course of the novel. Reverend Jacobs loses faith early on in the story, but he never gives up his obsession with electricity, and each time Jamie meets up with Jacobs, he learns a little more about the mad scientist's latest experiments, non of which really ring true, despite King's huckstering and hand-waving.
And then there's the ending. The ending of Revival would have worked for a 30 minute episode of The Twilight Zone or Creepshow, but in a 400+ page novel, it feels ridiculous. If you really want to know what happens, this spoiler-filled customer review at Amazon sums it up nicely.
I "read" the audiobook, which is narrated by David Morse, who does a fantastic job. I enjoyed the storytelling, but I never felt any tension and I can't think about the ending without shaking my head.
Stephen King tries his hand at the detective genre. Like most of his novels, it's an engaging, breezy read.
A psychopath commits a mass murder. The lead cop on the case retires before catching him. Neither one of them can leave things alone.
Mr. King has announced two more books with the same characters.
The Shining by Stephen King
I re-read The Shining in preparation for Dr. Sleep. I may be the only person on the planet who does not like the book or the movie.
Dr. Sleep by Stephen King
Entertaining and engaging through and through, if not terribly scary. Made me want to give up my dream of becoming an alcoholic.
The Martian by Andy Weir
A futuristic Apollo 13-style astronaut thriller. Loved it.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
80s Geek Porn. Great fun!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I almost put it down because I found Amy to be so pretentious. I was glad I didn't after I realized that was part of the "plot." It's a great read, however... I had heard nothing good about the ending. My expectations were managed, but I still found it to be tremendously unsatisfying. Excited to see if Flynn & Fincher fix it for the film.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Poetic and captivating, but not really to my taste. Hard to be scared for the seven year old when he was narrating the story as a grown-up. Hard to be frightened for the Hemstocks because nothing was ever explained about their abilities.
Geoff Jones is the author of the sci-fi thriller