The Dune by Stephen King
“I made them especially for you. Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth” – Stephen King
A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.
The Dune – Retired Florida Supreme Court Judge Harvey Beecher tells his lawyer about a mysterious sand dune on an unnamed island a short distance off the Gulf coastline of his family’s property. Harvey first visited the island at the age of ten in 1932, after his grandfather, a scoundrel and land speculator who’d created the family fortune, told him Blackbeard’s treasure might be buried there. Traveling to the island became a daily addiction for Harvey…and now his lawyer is about to discover the shocking reason why.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Like any young book addict in the 1980’s and 1990’s, my first real horror experiences came from Stephen King. Every library had some of his books so there was never a shortage of material. Pet Sematary and The Shining are two of my favorite books even today. I still have my beat up paperback copy of ‘Salam’s Lot and I am sure that will be among my final possessions. As a teenager, I loved Stephen King, but then something happened. I thought it was him changing his subject matter and his writing style. The books didn’t have the same affect on me, which was sad. Several years later, I happened to get one of his audio books (on cassette tape) and the magic seemed to return with From a Buick 8. That’s when I realized that he hadn’t changed, I had.
As a kid, I was always finishing my schoolwork quickly. When I was done before the other students, my teacher would send me over to the computer room to work on speed reading. It was the challenge to read as fast as I could while still answering all of the content questions correctly. Over time, I became good at this and then I perfected the skill of speed reading in graduate school where they assigned more reading than a human could actually read. Even today I fight my mind to slow down and savor each book I read and not just breeze through it.
If you are a Stephen King fan, you know that his talent for prose, descriptions, and use of words is the best of our generation. You can’t speed through that and expect to get the whole story. You miss the journey that takes you to the end of the story, and the journey is the best part. So now I only listen to Stephen King books. I can’t speed listen so I have a chance to get lost in his words. I even listened to The Stand. It took me almost a year but it was worth it.
Right now I am listening to The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and I came to the short story “The Dune.” The story is magical Stephen King. It is only about 19 pages but the premise is perfect. He leaves the reader with just enough questions and then zings you with the ending.
I strongly recommend this story, and I am sure I will recommend the entire book once I am finished with it. Even if you are an avid Stephen King reader, I hope that everyone will try listening to one of his books. If you close your eyes, you will almost feel like you are sitting around an ancient fire listening to the history of your ancestors and the horrors of the outside world being passed down from generation to generation.
If you like this book…
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