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Dreamcatcher by Stephen King – Book Review

dreamcatcher by stephen kingI was so excited to read Dreamcatcher, especially after about the first 20 pages. It had a great, great beginning. But unlike the superb beginnings King books like the final Dark Tower book, or the first 50 pages of cell, the rest of the book was not good. And I say this as one of the most passionate Stephen King fans I know. I wanted to like it so badly, but I just couldn’t–after the beginning was over. But let’s see, what can I tell you that will sum it up, but keep it spoiler-free if you’re determined to read it…

Plot summary of Dreamcatcher

Four childhood friends–it’s often this way in King’s novels, isn’t it?–have all gone their separate ways as adults, but they get together each year and camp at a lodge in some woods in Maine. They get together to laugh, curse, and participate in exchanges of extremely silly dialogue at times. This is one I should probably try on audio, just to get some voice actor’s inspired take on the things these guys say. Also: in their past is a boy with some severe mental disabilities. They rescued him from some bullied and he returned the favor by…no, I can’t. I thought I could, but I can’t. You’ll have to read it if you want to learn that part.

The stuff in the woods in the beginning of the novel is fantastic. There is a truly creepy scene where a bunch of animals stampede through a snowstorm as the men watch from their cabin. Things really start to get wild when one of the finds a loony of a man wandering around in the snow, all alone, and with a bad case of the crazy mumble. He has a lot to say about something he saw in the sky which turns out to…no, I can’t.

After that guy dies, the camping trip truly falls apart. Before long we’re dealing with a bunch of nasty creatures. Some of them are human–like the crazy military man who comes in to clean up the mess. The nods to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness made me smile, but this guy is no Colonel Kurtz. He actually reminded me of the crazy military guy from Dean Koontz‘ book Strangers, but I usually think of Koontz as Stephen King lite, not the other way around.

And there are also plenty of monsters to fight. And a memory palace. And something about Scooby Doo. And yes, there is something going on with a Dreamcatcher, but I just can’t bring myself to talk about it. I read the entire book, and while I didn’t hate it, wow–I just could not find very many good things to say about it, besides the fact that it was written by an author I absolutely adore, and probably always will.

Wait, I did think of something good to say. Dreamcatcher the book is 100 times better than Dreamcatcher the movie, which really got out of control when…no, I can’t.

Josh

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