Finders Keepers Journal #3: Spoilers and Whining

I think this is the picture referred to

I finished Finders Keepers the other night.  Obviously --

there are spoilers ahead.

The purpose of this blog is to talk about the book.  There is also a lot of whining ahead.  Not because I didn't like the book; I liked it every much.  The whining is just that, me thinking and rethinking things perhaps beyond necessity.  Feel free to comment and tell me I've lost my mind -- or that I sound like a sulking child.

1. Surprises.  I'll admit: King got me.  I thought mama bear was dead.  Then it turns out to be -- A SCALP WOUND?  Okay, Mr. King, you're directing this movie and I'll go with it -- but I'm getting doubtful.

2. Hodges.  Did he need to be in this book?  Of course, he's needed to save Peter, so his presence is important if you're Pete.  But I'm not sure that other than the final scenes, Hodges and company really did anything to advance the plot.  There was a lot of running around, and a lot of talking -- but when it really got down to it, they were stuck in traffic and only showed up at the last minute to serve as Pete's trap door of escape.

For a hard boiled crime book, may I ask -- did Hodges do any mystery solving this time?

I think I enjoyed the story more when it was focused on Pete and Morris.  That was a great story line!  A crook hides his loot, and a boy finds it.  The boy uses the loot to pay his parents bills.

Would a real teenage boy be able to pull off half of what Peter does in the novel?

3. Misery.  Finders Keepers reminds me of Misery.  It's a novel about books -- and writing.  While Misery was a very closed novel -- just two people -- Finders Keepers happens on a much bigger stage.  Remember Paul Sheldon jamming his burning novel into Annie's mouth?  Remind you of the end of Finders Keepers?

4. Frustrating.  The final plot twists between Morris and Peter are frustrating.  First, the entire thing seems illogical.  So Peter's plan is to stave off Morris by holding a lighter over the precious manuscripts?  As soon as the book took this turn, I was going, "Wait. . . what?!"  The scene plays out not the way I really think it might have, but the way King wants it to.  His direction feels heavy handed in the final scenes.  He's forcing the plot along, making it work because he wants it to work out for Pete.

Why would Pete burn the only existing Rothstein manuscripts?  Obviously the answer is that it was the only way to get himself out of the mess he was in.  But it really did make for a ridiculous scene as he held a lighter over the notebooks and Morris held a gun on him.  I was thinking, "Is this seriously a stand off?  Morris the murderer is held off by a boy with a lighter?"

That whining aside, I really liked it when Morris began to dig though the flaming notebooks.  Realistic? No.  But great stuff!  A man burning alive as he chases the thing he's killed to get.  Ultimately the very thing he's had to have, he's done anything to get -- is the thing that has him.

5. Ending.  The novel returns to the world of Mr. Mercedes, as Bill goes to visit Brady.  Is Brady possibly finding a way to get up and play tricks -- maybe even murder -- on the hospital staff?  The ending, which has a splash of telekinesis, is the only place I can think of where the paranormal has entered the trilogy.  Makes me wonder: Will the next novel center on Brady?  Will it involve more element of horror?

All that whining aside, I liked this a lot more than Mercedes.  Why?  Well, the plot itself, the engine that drove the book, was much more engaging.  And, King didn't try to make Morris sympathetic.  In Mercedes there were those strange scenes between mama and her boy; stuff that served to help us understand what made Brady tick.  Morris might be jut as complicated (he did, after all, kill his favorite author because he felt the guy sold out) but we don't have to spend too long in his head or his past.


  1. The only real complaint I have, as I said before, is the one you mention about Hodges being in the novel at all.

    I really do think this novel would have been better as a stand-alone work, rather than something tacked onto a larger saga (if that's the word).


  2. I'm really okay with Hodges. He's such a. . . a what? . . . typical PI type. Expect to see him in smoky black and white movies.

    There's a lot of suicide talk in the novel. I didn't post this, but a friend of mine took their life recently and I was part of that service. That's really hard. Hard beyond belief for their loved ones. Now every time the word suicide comes up, I'm on edge and sad.

  3. "I thought mama bear was dead. Then it turns out to be -- A SCALP WOUND?" -- I did not care for that at all. It felt like King pulling his punches, which he has rarely done.

    "Hodges. Did he need to be in this book?" -- He really didn't, did he? But I didn't begrudge him the time; I like Hodges.

    "Would a real teenage boy be able to pull off half of what Peter does in the novel?" -- Not even vaguely. I could buy it to a degree, I guess, but it really doesn't bear a lot of scrutiny.

    "The ending, which has a splash of telekinesis, is the only place I can think of where the paranormal has entered the trilogy." -- I'm frustrated by the fact that the series is going in that direction. But I'm also willing to give King the benefit of the doubt and assume he'll be able to make it all work in the third novel. Which I still wish was called "The Suicide Prince," although I also wish it didn't have such unpleasant new associations for you personally.

  4. Hi Bryant. I was actually waiting to hear from you.
    (Good podcast my friend)
    Great thoughts..

    1. Thanks! It's not one of new favorite novels by King or anything like that, but I did enjoy it, and I think I agree that it's better than "Mr. Mercedes."