Review: “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King

girl_tomFinal Rating: Four cups of tea…but almost three. Three and a half, really.

This book does not (in my opinion) deliver the “feverish terror” that the quote on the cover promises, but in the end it was a good story. Actually, it’s pretty much just a good ending. The ending is pretty much the only reason I’m giving it a four instead of a three. This book had so many slow spots that I ended up picking it up, then putting it down for weeks or months at a time. That’s not good. But, some of that’s also my fault for not wanting to read for awhile.

Luckily, when I finally managed to get back into it, the latter half of the story managed to win me over. And the final few scenes between the main character and the entity which pursues her really spoke to me… though whether that is because of Mr. King’s writing or my own personal experiences, I am not entirely sure. Considering how the rest of the book failed to surprise me in any significant way…I’m leaning towards the former.

Overall, I’d say this is a good book, particularly if you’re a dedicated King fan or want something mildly creepy to entertain you. I didn’t find it particularly scary, and there’s a lot of superfluous “plot” in it which made it feel formulaic to me. As with all of the other King stories I’ve read, it has a strange fixation with sex, explosive bowel movements and theories about God. He really doesn’t explore any new territory here. Also–and maybe this is me just being picky, but I feel it necessary to be honest–the fact that King feels the need to describe the main character (who is a 9 year old girl) as “breastless” was very off-putting to me. Even though it only happens once, it bothered me. Probably because it wasn’t the first time I’d felt that sense of nagging discomfort. The story is entirely about a girl, yet there’s a strange patriarchal feel to the language he uses to describe her. It felt very inconsistent to me and frequently yanked me out of my sense of disbelief.

Still, all of this said, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend borrowing it from a friend or getting it at the library, but not buying it. And if you find yourself having difficulty wading through it, as I did, then don’t worry. Pretty sure you can safely put this one down and walk away from it without missing anything significant from your life.

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