I will admit that I had never read a Stephen King novel – I don’t like horror stories . . . but I am reading and really enjoying his new novel, Fairy Tale. It is in the fantasy genre instead of King’s typical horror stories. The first third of the story develops the wonderful characters of Charlie Reade, Mr Howard Bowditch and his old dog, Radar. King did an excellent job of making me care deeply about all three! The last two-thirds of the novel takes place in the fairy tale land of Empis.
Charlie Reade is a 17-year old who lost his mother at the age of 7. He and his father, George, live in a typical suburban town in Illinois. One day, Charlie hears a dog whining. When he checks it out, Charlie finds an old man, Howard Bowditch, with a badly broken leg. He calls 911, saving Howard’s life. Charlie continues helping Bowditch, even though he is very grumpy and anti-social. Mr. Bowditch also has many secrets, which Charlie discovers. Through Mr. Bowditch, Charlie learns of the magical world of Empis and decides it is his mission to go there with Radar. There is supposed to be a magic sundial there that could turn back time for Radar, and make her a young, healthy dog again. . . But there is also much evil in this new world – curses, horrible punishments and ugly, threatening creatures. Will Charlie and Radar find the sundial? And will this Fairy Tale have a happy ending?
This novel is 600 pages long – so it’s a great novel for those long, cold winter days coming up! The characters of Charlie and Radar are so endearing that one just has to root for them. I was told that Stephen King is the best storyteller – and after reading Fairy Tale, I might have to agree!