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Stephen King
Shasti O'Leary
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Simon & Schuster (hardcover, 224 pages, $16.95/$24.95)
Publication date: April 6, 1999

This looks very promising indeed -- a novella-length thriller hurried into print (so the story goes) to prevent any of the sports-talk critical to the plot from being outdated. A nine-year-old girl gets lost in the woods and soon discovers she's not as alone as she thinks she is... "The brochure promised a "moderate-to-difficult" six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls. Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and the gritty performances of her hero, number 36, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio's reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her -- her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaughtered animals and mangled trees in its wake."
excerpt Excerpt by Stephen King
Art: ABC
Storm of the Century
Simon & Schuster (original screenplay, trade paperback, 378 pages, $15/$22 Can)
Publication date: February 1, 1999

If you're a true King fan (like us), you'll want to see the ABC mini-series and read the screenplay (maybe simultaneously). This is the first time King has written an original screenplay for television. The series stars Tim Daly and Debrah Farentino, and is scheduled to air the week of February 14. The book includes several pages of photos. "They're calling it the Storm of the Century, and it's coming hard. The residents of Little Tall Island have seen their share of nasty Maine Nor'easters, but this one is different. Not only is it packing hurricane-force winds and up to five feet of snow, it's bringing something worse. Something even the islanders have never seen before. Something no one wants to see. Just as the first flakes begin to fall, Martha Clarendon, one of Little Tall Island's oldest residents, suffers an unspeakably violent death. While her blood dries, Andre Linoge, the man responsible sits calmly in Martha's easy chair holding his cane topped with a silver wolf's head...waiting. Linoge knows the townsfolk will come to arrest him. He will let them. For he has come to the island for one reason. And when he meets Constable Mike Anderson, his beautiful wife and child, and the rest of Little Tall's tight-knit community, this stranger will make one simple proposition to them all: "If you give me what I want, I'll go away."
Review by Duane Swierczynski
Bag of Bones
Scribner (hardcover, 560 pages, $28 US)
Publication date: September 22, 1998

What can you say about the latest novel from the best selling author of the late twentieth century? Quite a bit, actually. King's first novel with his new publisher, Scribner, is not the standard horror/suspense fare -- it's a literary ghost story, and a genuine departure for the king of horror. Unlike his novels with previous publisher Viking/Signet, you won't find marketing copy guaranteeing a crawling epidermis and sleepless nights. The blurbs on the jacket this time are from authors such as Amy Tan, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Gloria Naylor. SF Site reviewer Pat Caven calls it "a good romantic thriller." And who is this new Stephen King? "A man who loves what he does and knows exactly why he's doing it. No literary pretensions, no pompous navel gazing ad nauseam. Just good plain story-telling. This is one accessible, entertaining make-it-look-bang-up-easy writer."
Review by Pat Caven
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
Donald M. Grant
Volume Four of Stephen King's epic fantasy series finally arrives in an 800-page hardcover edition limited to 40,000 copies. It has 18 full color illustrations by artist Dave McKean (of Sandman fame), only 12 of which will be reproduced in the trade paperback being released in November. This series is a consistent departure for King, with a tense and extremely complex plot which is only slowly being revealed. Not for everyone -- and not even for every King fan -- this is still one of his most remarkable and intriguing works. The sequel to The Dark Tower, The Drawing of the Three, and The Wastelands.
The Green Mile
Collected edition of the six novellas published in serial fashion last year.
A return to Stephen King's early brand of epic horror, following his recent series of literary horror novels such as Dolores Claiborne and Rose Madder. En route to a vacation in Lake Tahoe, the Carver family is arrested in the small mining town of Desperation, Nevada. But something is very wrong in Desperation -- and that something emanates from the darkest depths of the mine. This is also the companion novel to The Regulators (released in paperback next month), which was published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. "Both really center around a new personification of evil that goes by the name of Tak. Tak wants to rule the world. Somebody has to stop him. Somebody's eyes have to pop out. Somebody's head has to explode. Now that's Stephen King." -- Kirkus reviews.
The Regulators
as Richard Backman
The second of the matched set with Desperation, this is the first we've seen of Bachman since his death by "acute cancer of the pseudonym". Although the novel shares a setting and some characters with Desperation, it is a stand alone work.

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