DOCTOR SLEEP: A NOVEL, Stephen King’s sequel to THE SHINING (also A NOVEL but we guess he forgot to remind us), made its appearance yesterday. Renee had her purchase on insta-Kindle download, checked to make sure all 544 pages had arrived electronically, then set today aside for a bookgasm.
Which, of course, IS what happens when someone spends all day in bed with a book. Back when she was a teenager, Renee used to do that kind of thing quite often. Less so, the last couple of decades. Instead, she’s been spending her time by taking care of the kids or the pets or the husband or the career. You know, doing all of the life stuff that everyone does, almost automatically, and that no one really remembers having done.
On the other hand, most people remember the days they’ve devoted solely to a book. Harrell still remembers his first (THE PRINCESS BRIDE) and his second (‘SALEM’S LOT), which is pretty impressive for a guy who can’t remember what he had for breakfast yesterday. If you’ve never bookgasmed out, find a good novel, turn off the phone, and climb under the covers. You won’t regret it.
The picture above? It's from the zoo in Seoul, South Korea. Because someone we love sent the photo to us recently and we wanted to post it, that's why.
Checking Amazon yesterday, we noticed that SLEEP was #1 in Books, #1 in Horror, #2 in Suspense Thrillers. Ten reviews had already been posted, ranging from terrific -- “a wonderful sequel”-- to less grand -- “a huge disappointment”. This disparity of opinion is pretty much par for the course for any popular work. (Even Dr. Seuss’ FOX IN SOCKS, the children’s classic, has its critics. “It basically has no story or interesting plot at all,” one person stated when giving their one-star review. We won’t argue the point because FOX IN SOCKS is a rhyming book and the book’s engine is silly rhymes, not intricate plotting. However, this reader’s harsh response to rhyming tales has caused us to abandon our next effort, THE SLUT IN THE HUT.)
What surprised us about the reviews for SLEEP wasn’t that people had varying opinions. We were surprised that there were critics of the critics, attacking even the reasonable, well-considered, negative reviews. Under Comments, one reviewer was called a “hater”. Later, the same reviewer was accused of attempting to “torpedo” the latest King hit. (If one of our stories is ever #1 in Books, #1 in Horror, and expected to top the New York Times Best-Seller List on the week of its release, feel free to unleash your venom. We don’t think a few contrary voices are going to stop that train.)
Earlier this year, one of our friends told us that she no longer posts book reviews on Amazon. She said that people ignore the good ones while slamming the bad ones. She isn’t going to play that game any longer. Our problem with that is, we rely on both good and bad reviews to guide our purchases. We’d hate a candy-coated world of book reviews, where only positive word-of-mouth is ever allowed.
Except when it comes to our writing. If you see a negative review on one of our stories, you know the person is a hater who’s only trying to torpedo our novel.
Quote o' the day: "If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mister Brave Man, I guess I am a coward" -- one of Jack Handey's favorite Deep Thoughts