Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Book Lover's Dream-or Nightmare!

Here is but one of the many reasons that I love Stephen King as an author-who else would think to write a horror story about the Kindle, for the Kindle?  OK, I suppose it could seem a little gimmicky, but it works!

UR is a novella about Wesley Smith, an English professor at a mediocre college in a small town in Kentucky.  After a vicious fight with his girlfriend over his reading habits, he buys a Kindle out of spite.  Sure that his purchase will be a passing fad in his reading life, he begins searching for titles.  What he finds astonishes him-the Kindle seems to have access to alternate realities where his favorite authors lived longer, and wrote MORE BOOKS!  Or they died when they were "supposed" to, but wrote DIFFERENT BOOKS!  Seriously, what else could a reader ask for but hundreds of new titles in millions of alternate realities from their favorite authors?  You could do nothing else but read for the rest of your life and never get through all of them!  Which is exactly where I thought the story was going.  King does a good job with obsession-I thought that this would be a return to Needful Things.

But not only does the new Kindle let you download titles from alternate realities, it also lets you check out the New York Times, and the local news.  Difference is, with the local news, instead of getting alternate versions, you get the future of the reality you live in.  And what Wesley sees in his future is too terrible to contemplate.

This is King at his short story/novella best.  He sets the scene, develops a character seamlessly, and moves you right along.  I was so intrigued by the whole idea of the Ur alternates.  Of course, anyone familiar with King's Dark Tower series knows that the Ur references the various levels of the Tower, and I was not surprised when the low men showed up to punish Wes for his paradox infraction.  But you don't have to have read the 3600+ Dark Tower books to appreciate and enjoy UR.

5 comments:

  1. I am not really a King fan but I thought it was funny that he wrote UR. I love the idea!

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  2. Ooh, this book sounds exciting- I've heard of it and I kind of thought it would be silly, but you've intrigued me! And some Dark Tower references? Excellent!

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  3. Well, it's on the lighter side of SK-I use the term horror a little loosely on this one-but an enjoyable and quick read nonetheless!

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  4. This sounds great! Too bad I don't have an e-reader to download this. Maybe, despite the irony of the story only being available in e-form, it will be published in print? I'm looking forward to reading his latest, 11/22/63.

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  5. I will probably never, ever read this book (I fervently do NOT like scary. or even creepy), but I admire Mr. King. Sounds like this is a good 'un.

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