Review: Stephen King and Joe Hill – In the Tall Grass

King_Stephen_and_Joe_Hill-InTheTallGrass

Title: In the Tall Grass (novella)
Author: Stephen King & Joe Hill
Simon & Schuster (e-book release only)
Rating: 3.5 / 5

Mile 81 meets “N” in this collaboration between Stephen King and Joe Hill, now available from Simon & Schuster Audio.As USA TODAY said of Stephen King’s Mile 81: “Park and scream. Could there be any better place to set a horror story than an abandoned rest stop?” In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they’ve lost one another. The boy’s cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen King can deliver. (goodreads.com)

HUGE WARNING::: This novella is a little gorey, and while I do not talk about the gorey parts in my review, I do NOT recommend this for the faint of heart or those with weak stomachs.

Guys, I was SO, SO EXCITED when I saw this pop up on my Goodreads feed. SO EXCITE. Let me tell you why:

If you haven’t guessed, I’m a huge Stephen King fan. I may not always like what he writes (*cough*Dreamcatcher*cough*), but I’m a loyal fan. So when a collaboration came up between King and his son, Joe Hill, I was all kinds of horraying. I realize this isn’t the first time it’s happened, but it’s the first one to pop up for me. (I was, alternately, disappointed that it was only in e-book form and had to wait for my e-reader to get it.)

So let’s talk a little about this novella.

The plot jumps right in, no beating around the bush, no getting to know the characters. Just a quick little info-dump about the brother and sister, Becky and Cal, and then it’s off to the races for them. Or, you know, off in the tall grass and to certain doom, because this is Stephen effing King and Joe effing Hill, after all.

The gore jumps in pretty soon after, along with a fairly disorienting scene (scenes?) in which Cal jumps to see over the tall grass and realizes that he’s walked a lot further than he’s thought. But the most memorable scenes happen with Becky, starting with a run-in with the boy’s father and ending with reuniting with her brother. Really, it was Becky’s story that kept me really interested. While Cal wasn’t particularly boring, the interesting parts of his journey were sent to the cutting room floor, so to speak, and we get hints of it from Becky’s point of view, but nothing that is overly substantial.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. While this is definitely one of the hit-or-miss shorts from King (in particular due to the amount of gore and disturbing imagery), it was a hit for me. I don’t recommend it to anyone who can’t handle gore, however.

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