The B.J. Snark Twenty-Second Review:
- Stephen King at his most self-indulgent -- full of "Kingisms".
- Written while recovering from getting hit by a truck. The first third to half really shows the painkillers.
- Plot summary: It meets The Tommyknockers.
The book's protagonists are a quartet of middle-aged men, bemoaning that life has passed them by. They spend a lot of time in flashback sequences about an Important Life-Changing Event that happened to them when they were ninth graders in the fall of 1978.
Wait a minute. I was a ninth grader in the Fall of 1978.
There's a milestone. I am now old enough to be an Angsty Over-The-Hill Stephen King Protagonist. Thanks, Steve. Just the thought I need to comfort me as I struggle to finish up my Bachelor's Degree.
A prominent character is a military man who calls himself "Kurtz", evidently after the character in Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now. His real name, we discover, is "Coonts". A reference to King's colleague, Dean R. Koontz, as well as Conrad? Given that Koontz specializes in writing scary, obsessive sociopaths not unlike Dreamcatcher's Kurtz, it seems likely.
Actually, I think the story might have worked better in Mr. Koontz's hands than it did in Mr. King's. Of course, if Dean Koontz had written this book, Duddits would have been a Golden Retriever.
And once again... as I write about a book set "down east" in Maine, by a writer from the same state, the CD player is playing Billy Joel's "The Downeaster Alexa".