Book #11

Desperation by Stephen King

Desperation is a deserted mining town in the Nevada desert. It`s not a place to visit by choice, and the few unhappy travellers who are forced to stop there witness the familiar-looking town undergo a terrible transformation. In the struggle between good and evil, sacrifice may be the only answer.

Desperation follows the classic good versus evil trope, with King presenting us with a band of varying characters who’ve been forced together to vanquish a malevolent force. 

Although we begin with horrors which are incredibly real, King soon morphs the plot into something ethereal and terrifying. The skill in his writing here is wonderfully creepy - he portrays the desolation so well, and his imagery is chilling. Picture an abandoned RV with an ownerless doll staring from the bottom of its stairs, as the door bangs mercilessly in the wind. Gorgeous, but utterly, utterly hair raising.

There’s a strange theme of religion here, and King explores faith in a strange way. Is God cruel or kind? Is there such a thing as divine intervention? What lies can our brains tell us? I wasn’t sure where I was with this, and I imagine this may be the same with others. But, similar with some of King’s other themes, a strong suspension of disbelief is always preferred, if not essential.

And despite his attention to detail and his delectable character development being apparent and appreciated, this just felt far too long. King could’ve achieved the same punches with a closer look at his narratives - it began to drag on for me, almost to the point of abandonment.

One for true King fans; dabblers like me would be better off sticking with some of his stronger works.