Finders Keepers Journal 2: There's A Lot Of Blood Here

I was out walking tonight, innocently reading a well written mystery novel when -- the mystery novel turned into a horror novel.  Oh yeah. . . this is Stephen King at the wheel.  Sweet!

A few random notes on Finders Keepers thus far.  (I'm in the final pages.  1 hour 30 minutes left on ipod.)

1. There are no "nice" bad guys here.  Often Stephen King makes you feel kind of warm toward those monsters in his books..  You might not like them, and yet when their scenes came you quietly rooted for them.  That's not the case here.  There's nothing to like in ole Morris; the sooner King dispenses with him the better.

2. King is a master not only of horror, but suspense.  Yes, I know that's Hitchcock's playground, but King fits in just fine.

3. The story is built on an interesting premise.  What if. . .
What if a famous author was murdered and along with a small fortune in cash, his hand written first drafts of some unpublished novels were taken.  Then, after hiding the loot, the criminals were either killed or landed themselves in prison.  And then, what if. . . a boy found the loot.  What insues from there is edge of your seat stuff.

4. I like Hodges.  Not sure why, since he seems your run of the mill gumshoe.  But I like the guy.  He really is cut of the most simple "mystery novel detective" cloth.  Maybe that's why I like him; I don't have to take a lot of time to get to know Hodges, because I already know him from American lore.

5. As is so normal in a King story, characters make decisions that are absolutely nuts.  You want to yell at them.  They ought to get knocked off just for being so stupid.  I'm not saying who, because some of you whine about spoilers -- but let's just say there's a certain teen who isn't good at decision making.  What's more, teeny boy resists the most natural "outs" for the difficult situations he gets himself into.  He consistently makes his own path more difficult.  Just like a teen, right?  Not really.  Teens tend to take the path of least resistance.  This character is actually pretty self assured.

6. King has not forgotten how to identify with the working family.  The stolen cash is given to the family in increments of about $500.  For them -- this is life changing.  For King, its a drop in the bucket.  (Not that he showed me his checkbook recently.)  But it can be easy for a person with means to forget when just an extra hundred or more can do for a family.  My wife started working this year and it was almost instantly life changing; and we're not even talking about a lot of money.  I'm glad King didn't bump the number up to something like a thousand or more.

Like Mr. Mercedes, Finders is told in the present tense.  I like it a lot -- but I didn't know it was legal.  Sure, the kid in creative writing did it; but he was weird.  Stephen King does it justice.

Finally, I want to note something that should be an entire blog post: Finders Keepers is about books.  Books King made up and books we all know.  The murdered author, John Rothstein, reminds me of J.D. Salinger, who wrote the acclaimed Catcher int he Rye. (I'm not sure why I had to read that in High School.)  

1 comment:

  1. Hey, good to see you back, Reverend!

    I like "Finders Keepers" in bits and pieces, mostly.

    I like the parts featuring Pete and his family, while the parts with Hodges just don't seem to fit in so well, for me at least.

    Still, it isn't the worst thing I've read.