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Review: Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties
By Stephen and Owen King
Print: Scribner Book Company, 9781501163401, September 2017, 720pp.
AudioMarin Ireland (Narrator), Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)

(Note: Review of both audio and print copies)

The Short of It:

After falling asleep, women around the world find themselves wrapped in a cocoon-like substance.  Alive, but for how long?

The Rest of It:

I read Sleeping Beauties as part of a read along (@sleepingbeautiesRAL).  Truth be told, I always look forward to King’s fall releases but this one was a little different. Mainly, because he wrote it with his son, Owen. However, the tone of the book was very different from what he’s written before.

Much of the story details how one particular town is overtaken by this “webbing” and how the male inhabitants, although baffled by it, are also terrified that their significant others, their daughters, mothers and sisters may never come out of this dream state. This is a real concern for them but for some, it begs the question, why? Why are they so concerned? Because their loved ones will never be the same? Or because they will now be forced to live without women taking care of the house? The kids?

Sleeping Beauties is a horror novel but not in the traditional King sense. It’s King’s way of burning a bra without owning one. It’s a poster-waving tribute to women’s rights but the agenda was too obvious and much of it felt scripted. There are no surprises here and truthfully, I felt a little depressed when I turned the last page.

Because some of you have asked, I could tell which sections King wrote and which sections his son wrote. All of the weird, quirky mannerisms and the setting of the stage, felt like Uncle Stevie to me. The progression of the story felt like Owen may have handled that part. Of course, I can’t know for sure but that is my guess.  It would be interesting to know their writing process for this one.

Audio & Print

I read this in print and listened to it on audio. I tried both formats because in print, the visuals were pretty stunning. King is so good at setting the stage. The audio copy was pretty respectable though. Read by Marin Ireland, I felt she did an admirable job of giving each of the many characters a true, authentic voice.  As you may know, King loves to includes lots of characters and this book was no exception.

In the end, the story left me wanting . I feel dissatisfied and a little angry. Perhaps, this is the point.

Nevertheless, she persisted.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven
By Ursula K. Le Guin
Scribner Book Company, 9781416556961,  May 2008, 184pp.

The Short of It:

Even though this book was originally published in 1971, it still possesses a futuristic feel.

The Rest of It:

In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes. — From the publisher.

This was a fascinating read even though I’m pretty sure some of it went right over my head. For a short book, it certainly packs a punch and gets right into George’s head. His dreams have the power to change reality, which is why he so desperately wants to stop dreaming, but once Dr. Haber realizes what’s in front of him he takes advantage of the situation. He implants dream “suggestions”  into George’s mind but to George, everything is very literal so the end result is not always what the doctor had in mind.

People die or cease to exist. They come back. Aliens can’t communicate. Then they can, but only after they become turtles. Check out that cover. Turtles!

This is a crazy book but I could easily read it again because there’s so much I missed the first time around. The book club I belong to discussed it last week and it was a good discussion. Apparently, it was also made into a movie. Has anyone read the book or seen the movie?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.