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FAIRYTALE by Stephen King 🎧

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. 

Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder. 

 Because within the shed is a portal to another world—one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the “Fair One.” And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time. 

 A story as old as myth, and as startling and iconic as the rest of King’s work, Fairy Tale is about an ordinary guy forced into the hero’s role by circumstance, and it is both spectacularly suspenseful and satisfying.

Title : Fairy Tale
Author : Stephen King
Narrator : Seth Numrich
Format : Audio
Page Count : 24 hours, 6 minutes
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : September 6, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★.5

Micky’s 3.5 star review

This book had phases
A sort-of many retellings
Radar was the star

This book reeled me in quick fast but the goodness promised in that first third didn’t pan out. This is a book with phases, the first third was completely contemporary fiction and surprisingly, that was my favourite part. Seeing Charlie and his struggles, meeting and getting to love the grumpy Mr Bowditch and all that wrapped up with the old fluff of Radar, had me connected.

I knew this story was going to get fantastical, after all, that title says it all. When it did delve into the other worldy place, it was interesting but suprisingly, not as engaging as the first part. However, I was still invested mostly for Radar.

When the book hit the final third, it went really slow. The pacing was off, the plot was unwieldy and my investment waned. The resolution was ultimately satisfying apart from Charlie’s relationships with the Empis people.

Narration wise, this was well narrated. Some of the dialogue had irritating moments but some voices were meant to be annoying.

Overall, if this had been shorter and had more later plot direction, I would have enjoyed it more. This was a bookclub read and a good one for upcoming discussion.


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