Monday, November 14, 2022


 So, after a long absence from reading Stephen King's post Dark Tower novels, I picked up Fairy Tale with a gift card I received for my upcoming birthday.

While not particularly a horror tale (it really falls under the "Dark Fantasy" umbrella more than any other genre), it did not disappoint. (On the other hand, his endings still need a bit of help.)

Anyway, our focus character is Charlie, who's narrating the events from a future time of what happened when he was 17 and living in a Chicago suburb. A reclusive old man falls off a ladder, and Charlie saves him. Which introduces us to Radar, the dog, with whom we spend probably a quarter of the book learning about the care and feeding of said animal. 

Eventually, the old man dies, leaving Charlie with everything, including a pot of gold in his safe and a shed with a well to another world in it. 

Charlie ends up going in with the intention of saving Radar, who is very old and dying, since there's a sundial that works like Bradbury's carousel in Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Except...well...he does eventually subtract several years from Radar, but in the process, he winds up trapped in the Fairy Tale world he's part of, becoming a tale in and of himself. 

There are quite a few things I liked in here. King tends to reuse phrases from previous works, and in this particular book, he tells us the roots of some of those phrases. I like the idea presented in here about worlds stacked on worlds, since it echoes The Dark Tower without getting bogged down in the mythology that eventually overtook the narrative. I really was reminded of Walter Jon Williams' Aristoi at a few points as Charlie must confront being dragged out of an ideal into hard reality. 

I enjoyed this quite a bit. It reminded me quite a bit of Eyes of the Dragon, but with less sibling rivalry and much more just enjoying the ride.

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