Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book review - In the tall grass

In The Tall Grass – Stephen King and Joe Hill


Stephen King writes in a voice that can’t be beaten in my eyes. The way he writes prose just feels so comfortable and easy that I am instantly lost in whatever tale he weaves. As a result every time I think of what book I want to read next, I am automatically drawn to one of his stories.

My experience of Joe Hill is limited. I read and enjoyed the “Heart-Shaped Box” but did not feel the urge to lavish it with praise as many others have done. This short story then, was the perfect way to give me my King fix and explore Joe Hill’s work further.

 The Blurb:

 In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they've lost one another. The boy's cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen King and Joe Hill can deliver.
At just over 62 pages it is difficult to review this short story without giving away spoilers. What I will say is that this is a classic example of how King comes up with his ideas for his stories I.e. what would happen if x happened to y.

In this instance the “x” is the tall grass that consumes whoever is lured into it and does not let them out and the “y” are the twin siblings Cal and Becky who have an almost disturbingly close relationship.

The concept is remarkably simple but the execution is superb. The plot is told from both siblings point of view which is brave considering the shortness of the story. It works however and King and Hill paint enough of a past for the characters to make them both interesting and for you to care about them.
There are many genuinely eerie moments in this story and a few of them are gross. One thing that King always succeeds with me, is to have me put the book down and reflect on what has happened. In “the Tall Grass” there were several moments where I actually thought, “What would I do in that situation?”

 The ending to the story is excellent. Enough of an explanation is given as to what is actually happening without having to go into any detail. As a short story the Tall Grass succeeds on every level. Highly recommended for £0.99.

My rating: 8.8

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