Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Want More! (Gwendy's Button Box Review)

TITLE: Gwendy's Button Box
AUTHOR: Stephen King & Richard Chizmar
PUBLISHER: Cemetery Dance Publications
PUBLISHING DATE: March 16, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told... until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: "Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me."

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat...

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!


MY THOUGHTS: 
So having just finished this book, and by just I mean within the last hour, I'm kind of going with an impulse rating. Part of me wants to go with 3/5 but then there really isn't anything horribly wrong with it and there are a few things that I really like that to me deserve more than a 3/5, so I'm going a tad higher.

The summer before she starts middle school, Gwendy spends everyday running up the "suicide steps" at her local park. Before school finished, some classmates had taken to calling her "goodyear" because she is somewhat on the chubby side, and Gwendy is determined to have a fresh start. Toward the end of summer, she is approached by a man at the top of the stairs wearing a black suit and hat. Gwendy thinks the man is a creeper, but she talks to him anyway and at the end of the encounter, she is given a box with two levers on the sides and different colored buttons on top. One lever opens a door which produces a tiny chocolate candy which makes her no longer want to overeat and crave food, and the other produces a silver coin, worth quite a bit of money. The buttons are a different story and Gwendy knows that if she chooses to push one, something bad will likely happen. The remainder of the story revolves around Gwendy's care of the box, the decisions she makes and the things that happen to her.

My main issue with "Gwendy's Button Box" is its length. Call me crazy, but I'd rather read one of King's mammoth tomes than a book which has less than 200 pages. I like his character development and how everything from the town to its people weave together and I just believe there was a lot more in this story that could have been fleshed out. Overall it felt kind of rushed. However, in my opinion, the concept is pure King. The book has some cool artwork sporadically throughout and on a side note, my hometown has its own set of suicide stairs which made for a fun extra. The ending of the tale is quite satisfying and I was immediately attached to Gwendy and cared what happened to her.

So basically my opinion is this - if you are a big King fan, you're probably going to read this book. I don't think it's one of his stellar works, but it's a strong read and quite enjoyable. If you're not a collector of his books, grab this one from your library because it was somewhat painful to pay such a high price for this Cemetery Dance hardback release given it is so short. However, I don't regret my decision one bit!


RATING: 4 PAWS

23 comments:

  1. I've pretty much stopped with Stephen King now. I loved his early work but the last three I read were slow and dull and I DNFed them before anything really happened. I'm more towards the fast paced horror of Hunter Shea and co these days!

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    1. I honestly think his old stuff is the best but fortunately, I still enjoy almost everything (except Under the Dome - that ending severely pissed me off).

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  2. I've seen this more and more recently and I've been so curious about it -- especially with a cover like that. I have to admit, I didn't expect it to be about this, but that's King for you -- always surprising!

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    1. Yea, I went into it having no clue about a button box. I actually imagined a small box with random lost buttons kept in it -shows you what I know. Maybe I should try reading the synopsis instead of seeing "Stephen King" and just picking it up. Nah!

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  3. I've seen other reviews that are sort of meh about this book, and maybe its because of the length. I agree, King is at his best (for me) when he has room to stretch his legs and dig deep into characterization. But I'm sure at some point I will read this!

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    1. Yea, that's why I said I think all fans will want to read it but I really am wanting something longer. Plan on picking up Mr. Mercedes soon and now Stormi and I are planning on buddy reading the first in the Dark Tower series in September.

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  4. It seems a lot of the high profile famous authors seem to put out books that are not up to their old work. Hmmm...makes you wonder...
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Could it be a money thing - never (insert evil grin).

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  5. I haven't read SK in a while. I seen a preview for The Dark Tower movie and I am thinking I need to try that book as it looks cool. I have it sitting on my shelf...lol. This one does sound interesting though and I might like the fact that its' shorter...lol.

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    1. We'll just have to do that together then. This one is a good read. I am really looking forward to seeing that movie. I LOVE Idris Elba and Matt M. isn't bad either.

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  6. I have only read one full length Stephen King book...and I loved it so I don't know why I haven't read more of his work. I may put myself on the list at the library for this one.

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    1. Definitely. Have you read The Shining? Still my all-time fave.

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  7. Wow this sounds interesting. I'm immediately interested in Gwendy of course and the choices she makes with the box... too bad it wasn't longer. :( Still it does seem to have his trademark killer premise.

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    1. Yea, there was no mistaken it was a King book. It's definitely worth picking up but I'm in such a mood for King, I really need something longer. Reading Mr. Mercedes soon.

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  8. Well of course I'll read this one eventually! 😋

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    1. Glad to hear it. I really liked Gwendy and think you will too!

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  9. I'm sure I'll get to this eventually as I always read King's books. I like his mammoth ones too but lately been somewhat disappointed with his stories. Maybe this one will work for me.

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    1. I liked Revival well enough and Dr. Sleep was okay. I really miss his older stuff though.

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  10. He's not one I read but I'm glad to see you enjoyed it even if it wasn't quite as developed as it could have been :)

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    1. Thanks Anna. I've loved King since I was a little girl.

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  11. I love that King can still surprise us after all these years. I agree that his longer works really showcase his skills, but I rather enjoyed Joyland, and that was pretty short.

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    1. Oh yea Ethan! I forgot about that one. I loved Joyland too and think it's highly overlooked when people think about King novels.

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  12. Yes, give me a big fat Stephen King tome any day! His shorter stuff is hit and miss for me. I really liked Gwendy's Button Box, though. I feel like somehow I liked it more than I should, but there was something classic King about it. The scene in her bedroom was a little weird and the ending was definitely rushed, but the beginning was really great for me.

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