“The town kept its secrets, and the Marsten House brooded over it like a ruined king.”
The Marsten house called to me, invited me in and would not let me leave. In a record for me and the King, I read this in a couple of days. I loved every single page. A quirky little prodding of my subconscious (and probably a little nudge from my husband) had me picking up this book up after "The Haunting of Hill House" - a delicious decision given Jackson's inspiration to King.
One of my biggest difficulties with the other Stephen King books I've read is that he details a scene or action so finely that ten minutes of narrative turns into a hundred pages. I think there were the beginning hallmarks of this style in 'Salem's Lot (just open the door, Ben! I don't want to know about the one other time you were this scared right now.), those moments were sparse. He kept to the action, the story clipped along at a nice pace.
I don't really want to detail anything about the book here because if anything is worth a blind read, it's this book. I don't even know if that is possible in this day with it's popularity and age. But I will say that this, this is the third (fourth?) King book I've read in which the heroes stand hand in hand against evil in the end. He has consistently shown me that he believes in a battle with the monsters, love may not get you through each fight unscathed, but that it will win the war. I don't think there is much more that I want in a book than that.
(Just in case that sounds too sweet and endearing... remember, this is a book of horror that absolutely plays on every fear you've ever had:
“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym…”
“The basis of all human fears, he thought. A closed door, slightly ajar.”
“At three in the morning the blood runs slow and thick, and slumber is heavy. The soul either sleeps in blessed ignorance of such an hour or gazes about itself in utter despair. There is no middle ground.”