“A writer of excellence . . . King is one of the most fertile story-tellers of the modern novel . . . brilliantly done.”



Stephen King is the Master of horror or physic stories and yet this one isn’t a horror story as such. It revolves around three 11 year old kids, Bobby, Carol and Sully-John. An elderly man moves into the top floor apartment of the block Bobby and his mother live, and they meet him as he arrives. She takes an instant dislike to Ted, Bobby come to love him even if he does introduce Bobby to the ‘low men in yellow coats and with flash cars.’ The story of the three friends and their adventures over one summer is the base of the rest of the book which begins in 1960 and comes up to date to 1999 in five separate stories.

The overriding theme of the story which binds all four together is the Vietnam War, a true life horror if ever there was one! From college days, we are introduced to more characters although we see only one from each of the previous stories. Through backwards looking thoughts we find out what has happened in the past; we see the anti-war riots in the US as the death toll grows; we see some instances of the grunts life ‘in country’, or in the green as they called it; we see death and injuries, murder of innocents, accidental deaths. And through it all we see the way our three heroes live out their lives. Eventually, only two come see older bones though.

And so, after 619 pages we come to the end of another winner from Mr King. My copy came from a charity shop, sad really because King only gets one set of royalties from the original sale. First published in 1999, this is not a new one of course, but no matter when a book is published, if it’s worth a read, it’s worth a read at any time. So another hit joins my ever growing list of read books. A small list in maybe, but I’ve read far more than I now own … but that is another story … … …


Reviewed by:

Ron Clark

Added 29th December 2016

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Ron Clark