TRACING THE TRAILS is a non-fiction book that reads like one Stephen King fan talking to another. (In this scenario, I am a King fan!)
This book is broken up by novels and decade, then short stories and then the novellas. After all that, there are essays on several of King's works written by other authors such as Duncan Bradshaw and Kit Power to name a few. (To be honest, I was a bit King'ed out by then and didn't read all of those essays carefully, just scanning them instead.) There were a few movie reviews as well, namely the IT miniseries and the new IT movies.
When I say it's broken up by novels and then by decade what I mean is these are essays and/or reviews written by Chad A. Clark in that order. The ones I enjoyed most were written about the novels IT, MISERY, THE STAND, SALEM'S LOT and PET SEMATARY.
My library hold for the audio of PET SEMATARY came in while I was still reading this book and seeing what Chad said here resonated with me, because this is the first time I've read PS as a parent:
" Regardless of what you want to call it, one of King's strengths is to take a character's story and present it in a way that you find yourself admitting that you might do the same thing. It's about taking the crazy and making it seem kind of sane. And ultimately, in the end, I find it almost as scary to realize how much I am being brought around to that mindset. "
Me too, Chad. Me too.
I enjoyed the short pieces written about King's short stories. Most especially ALTERCATION, (because I loved that story too and because my mom is in that situation right now), and UR, which was among MY first purchases for Kindle, (just like you, Chad.)
Regarding the novellas, I most especially liked the write up about THE MIST. I, too, am one of the few who liked the ending of the book AND the ending of the film. To be honest, I might have even liked the film's end a wee bit better. Let the discussions begin in the comment section below!
Lastly, there was a piece among the essays at the end about that scene in IT. Yeah, you know the scene I'm talking about. After reading Chad's take, maybe I understand a little better why King did it, but I still don't like it.
I don't think this book would work very well for people that do not enjoy King's work at all. That said, if you're a fan like me, (and Chad!), and you grew up reading King's early work. And if you continued reading his works for what seems like (and may BE) your entire life, then this is the book for you. You don't have to have liked all of the books King has written, in fact, it might be even more interesting for you if you haven't liked them all. Chad's reviews provide insight to what we King fans are thinking and even if you don't agree with everything Chad has written here, you might find this walk down Stephen King lane informative and fun.
Highly recommended to King fans, of course, but also to anyone looking for a more in-depth look at King's works throughout the years. Chad won't let you down!
Get your copy here: TRACING THE TRAILS
*I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*