Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Dreamcatcher by Stephen King.
About the book: Once upon a time, in the haunted city of Derry (site of the classics It and Insomnia), four boys stood together and did a brave thing. Certainly a good thing, perhaps even a great thing. Something that changed them in ways they could never begin to understand.
Twenty-five years later, the boys are now men with separate lives and separate troubles. But the ties endure. Each hunting season the foursome reunite in the woods of Maine. This year, a stranger stumbles into their camp, disoriented, mumbling something about lights in the sky. His incoherent ravings prove to be disturbingly prescient. Before long, these men will be plunged into a horrifying struggle with a creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past — and in the Dreamcatcher.
Stephen King’s first full-length novel since Bag of Bones is, more than anything, a story of how men remember, and how they find their courage. Not since The Stand has King crafted a story of such astonishing range — and never before has he contended so frankly with the heart of darkness.
My review: As most of you know, I’m a huge Stephen King fan. He’s one of my idols, so I tend to like anything of his I read. This was one that was a little hard for me at first, mainly because of the style. I’m not a big fan of First Person Present Tense, and this took a couple of chapters to get used to the style. Once I accepted it, I dove right in.
The story, as most of Mr. King’s are, was a coming of age story where four friends found another that needed their help, but it also asked the question whether they needed Dubbits more. The different perspectives and mentalities of the characters gave the story a diverse feel, especially when considering there were times I wondered how the main four stayed friends.
We’ve all had friends others have asked the same thing about at some point, but I never had an answer for them. It was always a, “He’s cool”, and that’s how the foursome struck me. My favorite was Beaver just because of the entertaining phrases he said. I’ve had friends like him, and they’re always some of the best ones.
What I found interesting in the story, and this is something Mr. King’s books often don’t have, was how the army was correct in attacking and destroying the alien ship to prevent the contamination from spreading. Yes, they were led by a sociopathic commander, but the underlying reasoning proved correct, and that’s not something I’m used to reading in these books. For me, that kinda made the story. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of expectation when reading an author’s work, and that little tidbit was unexpected and was a highlight for me. I just love when curveballs like that are thrown my way.
For many reasons, this quickly became one of my favorite Stephen King books, and one I intend to reread several times in the future.