Tag Archives: Horror

Review: Lost Boys

Lost BoysLost Boys
By Orson Scott Card
(HarperTorch, Mass Market Paperback, 9780061091315, February 2005, 544pp.)
(Originally published in 1992)

The Short of It:

A touching, moving, all-around great read. A perfect package.

The Rest of It:

Set in the early 80’s, Step Fletcher and his wife DeAnne move to Steuben, North Carolina to begin his new job as a technical writer. With them, are their three kids, Stevie (7), Robbie (4) and their toddler sister Elizabeth. DeAnne and Step are expecting baby number four and life looks promising.  Except, that the job isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and Step’s real passion is designing video games. Having previously been self-employed, Step finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. You see, he’s been hired as a tech writer, yet his real job is to audit code behind his boss’ back which is really, an impossible situation to be in.

On the home front, DeAnne is trying to find her place in this new neighborhood, and since they are of the Mormon faith, they are immediately accepted into their new ward. However, that’s not as perfect as it sounds, as this particular ward has some colorful characters who set out to make things difficult for the Fletcher family. Stevie has an increasingly hard time in school and cannot seem to find his place. The house they live in is plagued by insects (no one knows why) and there is the quite a bit of debt hanging over them all, which forces Step to work in a place that he truly hates.

This novel is classified as a horror story, and I must say, it took quite a bit of time for the horror to sink in but when it did, it took my breath away. It’s not the type of horror that is obvious. It’s the slow realization that something is desperately wrong. While the Fletchers try to settle into their new life, little boys begin to disappear one by one and then it becomes obvious to both DeAnne and Step that Stevie is not quite right.

I loved this novel so much that I turned right around and listened to it on audio. The audio version is read by Stefan Rudnicki who is absolutely fabulous. I’ve never read anything by Orson Scott Card so I had no expectations while reading this book but I don’t think it could have been more perfect.

You must read or listen to this book and then tell me what you think of it. Since it was originally published in ’92, the references to computers and video games is quite dated, but since I work in technology, where everything becomes outdated in just three months’ time, I found this to be quite entertaining. Also, don’t let the religious undertones scare you away. The Mormon faith plays a big role in this novel, but it’s not preachy in any way.

Since I enjoyed Lost Boys so much, I’ve added all of Card’s other books to my “to-read” list. I can’t believe I’ve missed out on his work prior to this. I must have been living under a large rock. Oh, and Stefen Rudnicki on audio…I can’t say enough about him. I’m adding everything he’s done to my list too.

Source: Borrowed from the library.

Shop Indie Bookstores

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

The Stand: As Read By My 40-something Self

The Stand Book Cover When I read The Passage a few months back, I found myself comparing it to Stephen King’s The Stand. I mean, it’s hard not to given they are both epic novels dealing with similar themes.  There’s a virus, a clear good vs. evil theme, a mysterious black women to lead the good, and a dark, wickedly bad man to lead the corrupted.

Although I listed The Passage as one of my favorites for 2010, it didn’t hold the same place in my heart as The Stand did. You see, I read The Stand when I was 20 and as you can imagine, so much happens in your twenties. I was in college, working, trying to juggle it all on very little sleep and just trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be. During this time The Stand seemed larger than life to me.

So, when I mentioned how much The Passage reminded me of The Stand, a couple of other bloggers agreed. I then got it in my head that I had to re-read The Stand and Jill and Michele agreed to some along for the ride. Aren’t they nice?

What I had planned to do is post a comparison post to discuss the two books, but things don’t always go as planned. I was incredibly distracted by this re-read and had the hardest time getting through it. This time around, I decided to read the compKindlelete and uncut version which is nearly 1200 pages long.

The length of a novel does not scare me but I chose to read it on my Kindle and there was some cruel, joke being played on me. You see, there are no page numbers on a Kindle, so you gauge your progress via the progress bar at the bottom of the screen. Well, once I got to 65%, it stayed there…FOREVER! No joke. Michele and Jill sailed ahead of me, chapters at a time yet my progress bar was static. This had a huge effect on my enjoyment of the novel. I found myself irritated over every little thing. Yes, I could see the chapters going by, but with an epic of this size, you really need to see that progress bar move and for whatever reason it got stuck there for me.

So while the others wrapped-up their reading, I was STILL reading because let’s face it, I was dreading the experience. This disappointed me quite a bit, because the book that I loved in my 20’s was causing me great angst. I started to focus on the negatives. How on God’s green earth could these people have food for so long? No one seemed to be concerned about food or water and I know that would be a huge concern for me.

But, in a moment of frustration I downloaded new firmware and all of a sudden the progress bar started to work again. I can’t tell you how good it felt to see progress. In turn, my opinion of the book changed again. It was once again the book of my 20’s. The one thing that came rushing back to me, is that King has such a knack for bringing his characters to life. So many characters, yet each of them distinct.

Although I had planned for this to be an entirely different kind of post, in the end it’s just reassuring that the book that I had such high regard for n my twenties, is in fact still wonderful today. I wouldn’t say that either one, The Passage or The Stand is better than the other, or that they are exact replicas of each other (because they aren’t) but they are each great in their own way.

Scary Bday Cake Today happens to be Stephen King’s birthday!! Happy Birthday, Stephen! May you continue to impress twenty-somethings, and forty-somethings alike!