Trapped friends

My reading has been tremendously slow recently, and I’m still working on Stephen King’s ‘Cell’. As ever, he manages to slip fondness beneath my radar.

I’ve been reading about the same three characters for a couple of weeks, and it’s been pleasant enough. The story hasn’t demanded my every spare moment, but I’ve enjoyed settling into bed and discovering what happens next.

Today: peril. And it’s awful. Somehow these three characters have become my friends. I didn’t notice it happen, but I do not want anything bad to happen to them. I would be upset if anything bad happened to them. But it’s Stephen King, and he could kill / horrifically maim anybody at any point. Or it could end happily. There’s no way to predict the guy. Before today it was an ok read, now it’s a tome trapping companions who don’t deserve this.

This happens to me every time with Stephen King. His characters slip into my real-world shadows more than other authors’. It’s not that other books don’t regularly do the same thing, it’s that SK seems to do it so effortlessly. There are no obvious moments of character building, it’s more a slow burn of conversation and small reactions. I’m always amazed. Of what I’ve read of his, Bag of Bones and The Dead Zone had me shaking, but I think The Stand contains his most memorable characters. It’s an epic read, and I lost family members in that book.

(updated)