Book Review: Finders Keepers, by Stephen King

Available in bookshops nationwide.cv_finders_keepers

Stephen King is arguably one the best writers in the world today, entertaining and frightening generations of readers with his numerous works, many of which have found their way into successful film and TV adaptations. His thrillers keep us on tenterhooks, be it about girls with amazing powers, haunted hotels or a very dangerous dog. His status as a prolific author and his ongoing support for aspiring writers continue to inspire us.

One of King’s latest books, Finders Keepers, is the sequel to the acclaimed Mr Mercedes – the first book in Stephen’s new crime series. This novel deals with the possible implications of fame, obsession and desire. Some authors, including King, have experienced stalking and even assault from crazed fans.

John Rothstein is a famous writer. He’s up there in the American literary canon with the likes of Salinger, O’Connor and Vonnegut. But fame has its downsides: John Rothstein is also a murdered writer. Morris Bellamy kills him out of obsession with Rothstein’s Jimmy Gold novels. He is even more attached to the hero Jimmy Gold himself, whose story is a rather dull one in Rothstein’s third novel The Runner Slows Down. Bellamy steals the unpublished Jimmy Gold manuscripts along with Rothstein’s money and hides them. But while Bellamy is in prison for committing another crime, young Peter Saubers discovers the concealed articles.

Peter is an English whiz at high school, with hopes to become an academic in the field of literature. His parents Tom and Linda Saubers are struggling to make ends meet after the unemployed Tom is injured in a job fair. After Peter finds Bellamy’s hidden stash, he makes use of the money to help his family. As he delves into Rothstein’s notebooks, his enthusiasm for literature grows.

The time comes when Bellamy enters the world after decades of imprisonment. He’s even more determined to get his hands on his hoard of Rothstein’s paraphernalia. With Bellamy on the prowl, the retired detective Bill Hodges and his colleagues Holly Gibney and young Jerome Robinson must work together to save Peter, his sister Tina, and the Saubers family from danger.

This novel, written in third person omniscient, comprises three parts; the last two are set in the present. King’s writing is to the point, with contemporary pop culture references and interesting novel snippets. It isn’t exactly a Richard Montanari or Patricia Highsmith novel, but it bears enough tension and action for a satisfying read. Any bibliophile would enjoy this book about books written by the literary king himself.

Reviewed by Azariah Alfante.

Finders Keepers
by Stephen King
Published by Hachette New Zealand
ISBN 9781473698987

Words of the Day – Tuesday, 1 October 2013

This is a digest of our Twitter feed (now with a new title) that we email out most Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sign up here for free if you’d like it emailed to you.

Book reviews
Book Review: The House We Grew Up In, by Lisa Jewell
Doctor Sleep
by Stephen King – review (Guardian Books)

New Releases
New Release: Juno & Hannah, by Beryl Fletcher (Spinifex Press) 

Giveaway: The Score – tell us what score means to you at, and be in to win.

Mega children’s book giveaway – one pack for younger readers, one for older.

An extract from Demon Dentist, by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross (HarperCollins)

Book News
It’s 1 October folks, which means Booksellers Gift Cards are available at these stores nationwide
What huge recognition for Matters of the Heart author Angela Wanhalla, picking up an $800k Rutherford Fellowship

Publisher behind Book Awards Finalist releases second book

New press and debut publication launched to celebrate 20 years of creative writing @WhitireiaNZ
A Window into NZ Writing: The IIML Documentary — 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Making Baby Float coming on television

Nook hires new chief operating officer and new executive vice president of content and marketing

Awards News
1 October means submissions are now open for the #nzpcba and the #nzpba. Get those books packed & out the door.

From around the internet
William Boyd introduces his new James Bond novel, Solo, to New Zealanders:   #BondSolo

Pop your headphones on and listen to the dulcet tones of Dominic West reading the new Bond book, Solo

Macmillan’s Swoon Reads looking for unpublished romance & new adult novels. How to submit

Yes you can make sales using social media. Here’s how:  #Free #whitepaper

Flavorwire put together a list of 50 books every parent should read their child  What would you add?

Interesting piece about trends in YA lit; whats does success of books like #hungergames say about teens’ concerns?

Book review: The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King

This book is in bookshops now.

A story, within a story, within a story, The Wind through the Keyhole takes a side journey away from the Dark Tower saga and into a lighter more personal view of Roland.  It takes in his formative years through the first story flashback to the start of his career as a gunslinger and branches into pride, courage, patience, grief and thinking outside the box with a dash of myth, legend, fantasy and magic thrown in.  Roland and his travelling companions are forced into shelter from a “starkblast” leading Roland to tell his own story around the fire while hunkered down.

The first story branch leads us to the start of Roland’s career as he is sent on a mission by his father to track down a mass killer. (Can’t give the story away) and meets the recently orphaned Bill Streeter, a somewhat younger version of Roland, and enters a to and fro relationship which asks and answers questions about his own relationship with his father.  This leads Roland into a role of more of a mentor and father figure and he tells Bill a story.

“The wind through the keyhole” is the internal sub story (fairy tale) within and is established in the forest village of Tree.  This sometimes dark story takes you to a realm in a long post-apocalyptic feudal setting, which slowly dawns on the reader, and moves on into the adventure of Tim, and his quest and the mystery man in black.  Interwoven into Tim’s journey are lovely touches of the worlds of Merlin (Maerlyn), Asimov, Oz, Wonderland and others beautifully stitched together into a learning and growth experience for the main character and anyone who wants to go along for the ride.

We all look forward to a good ending to a book and again without wanting to give too much away each and every reader should finish this book with a great feeling of satisfaction.

This book does stand alone as an independent novel and tends to make you want to get involved in the greater story of the Dark Tower, which I have not read but now will.  The writing style was light and easy, and changed with the telling of each tale, depending on the age of the listener, propelling the reader to find out what the resolution of each will be.

This book was a captivating read with a lot of surprises along the way.  It should not be considered a book for children but more for the light fantasy adventure reader. If you want to find out what a billy-bumbler is or who or what is Daria……  Go for it.

Reviewed by Julia Leathwick

The Wind Through The Keyhole
by Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
ISBN 9781444731712