12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not his best, not his worst,
This review is from: Dreamcatcher (Hardcover)I'm glad to have "Dreamcatcher" on my bookshelf. If for no other reason than because I was almost sure, two years ago, that there wouldn't ever be such a thing as a new Stephen King novel. I remember seeing Stephen King and his wife Tabitha interviewed on tv the fall after his near-fatal accident, and his spirits were so low, it really didn't look like he would ever be writing again. The gloomy feel of that interview, coupled with the Bartelby-"I prefer not to" theme running through the end of "Bag of Bones" made me worry that that might be his last full length novel.
Which made me sad, because I've been one of King's Constant Readers since my twelfth birthday, when I finished "Pet Sematary". I've been with him through the good years and the bad. The occasional rambling blahs and the cherished moments of pure transcendent bliss, like at the end of "Low Men in Yellow Coats" from "Heart in Atlantis," where I simultaneously cried my eyes out and felt a surging thankfulness for being alive and being in the world, and having that book in my hands at that moment. A perfect moment.
For that moment, and many moments like it over the years, I consider Stephen King a good friend. I didn't like the idea of not hearing the voice of my friend ever again.
Especially when his last book, the collection "Hearts in Atlantis," contained some of the best writing he'd ever done. It left me starving for more great Stephen King. Any Stephen King, really.
So I'm extremely happy to still be hearing his voice, to be reading his words. It makes the world a better place to be in.
But I'll have to say that "Dreamcatcher" isn't nearly as good as the brilliant "Hearts in Atlantis." It's not bad--I'd rank it somewhere around the middle of his works. In my opinion, it's much better than "Insomnia" and most of the post-"It" pre-"Green Mile" stuff. There are some great characters here, some moving moments, and some places where I really felt a bit of that old familiar surge of wonder.
However, at 700+ pages, "Dreamcatcher" is much longer than it needs to be, and it's bogged down with some clunky sub-plots and some routine-ish characters. I will say, though, that despite its excess length, there is some enjoyable momentum as the story reaches its climax.
There are some great flashes of light here, as well. Enough to catch you off guard, and make you glad you came out to play. But they're just not sustained enough or consistent enough to engage you the way that King's best books do--"Hearts in Atlantis," "It," "The Shining," and "The Stand," to name a few.