A To Z Book Review: Fairy Tale by Stephen King


My letter “F” pick for this year’s A to Z Challenge was FAIRY TALE by Stephen King.

As usual, Stephen King has written a tome, and the writer in me stands in flabbergasted awe at the sheer extent of his imagination, his carefully crafted prose, his gift for creating captivating characters. Fairy Tale isn’t your usual Stephen King tale, yet it is absolutely, authentically his.

In the story, we get to know young Charlie Reade, an honest, if currently aimless young man who befriends the elderly and reclusive Mr. Bowditch and his beloved dog Radar. Through a heartfelt and interesting slow build that culminates in the death of the elderly curmudgeon, Charlie takes custody of Radar and inherits Mr. Bowditch’s house and belongings, including a literal pot of gold and the creepy, padlocked shed in the backyard (I’m not kidding when I say “slow build” – it’s nearly one hundred and fifty pages before something otherworldly happens).

Aided by a final audiotape tell-all by Mr. Bowditch, Charlie discovers the secret passage under the shed that leads to the magical land of Empis, where he encounters all sorts of fairytale characters and monstrous creatures, and becomes the hero who aides a princess in freeing her kingdom from a horrible curse/plague. That’s as much detail as I will go into because, guys – this is Stephen King. There are so many twists and turns and moving parts in this tale it would take me six separate blog posts to break it all down for you.

This isn’t a book report, and FAIRY TALE is no classic fairy tale. As always, Stephen King built a world I want to explore with a protagonist I want to be friends with, side characters that captivate, and monstrous things and situations that kept me awake at night. The narrative, despite its meandering pace, held my interest to the last page and beyond. It’s a solid five stars from me.

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