Fairy Tale Audible Hörbuch – Ungekürzte Ausgabe
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Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for that world or ours.
Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.
Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.
King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle.
Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?”
“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”
|Spieldauer||24 Stunden und 6 Minuten|
|Geschrieben von||Stephen King|
|Gesprochen von||Stephen King, Seth Numrich|
|Whispersync for Voice||Verfügbar|
|Audible.de Erscheinungsdatum||06 September 2022|
|Verlag||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Amazon Bestseller-Rang|| Nr. 4,603 in Audible Hörbücher & Originals (Siehe Top 100 in Audible Hörbücher & Originals) |
Nr. 19 in Thriller Übernatürliches
Nr. 140 in Horror-Literatur
Nr. 580 in Thriller über Übernatürliches
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This is Stephen King at his best. "Fairy Tale" starts as an everyday story, a modern novel. A teenage boy helps an old man who has fallen from a ladder. He takes care of his dog, does some chores around the house, helps with rehabilitation... But it wouldn't be a typical Stephen King story if nothing out of the ordinary happened. That's why I didn't like his last book, "Billy Summers," that much. The extraordinary was not there.
Charlie Reade, the teenage boy, is the one who tells the story in later life. So we see everything from his perspective. He takes us on a journey through a fairytale world filled with things familiar to us but just a little bit different. This world reminded me of Mid-World from the "Dark Tower" books all the time; there are some similarities, but King himself regularly makes it clear that it is a different world after all.
Sometimes King explains a little too much. He does not let us make the connections ourselves with the fairy tales from our youth, but always wants to make the comparisons clear himself, as if he is afraid that we will not understand his intention. Another trait of King is that he often repeats certain words in his books to show how the locals pronounce them, how their dialect uses different sounds to make the word sound different; he does it again here, but a variation of it.
But these negatives don't take away from what a fantastic adventure story this is, with quite a bit of fantasy mixed in, and a little bit of horror. I really enjoyed it and made me want to re-read some of King's books; as if my reading pile wasn't big enough already...
Eines Tages hört Charlie von einem verufenen Grundstück lautes Gebell und dann Hilferufe. Der ziemlich alte Eigebrötler, dem das Haus gehört, ist beim Versuch die Regenrinne zu reinigen von der Leiter gestürzt und hat sich ein Bein gebrochen.
In der Folge beginnt Charles sich um das Haus und die ältliche Hündin des Mannes zu kümmern - und dann auch um ihn selbst, als dieser aus dem Krankenhaus zurück kommt. Dabei erfährt er einige erstaunliche Geheimnisse aus dem Leben dieses Mannes. Doch das größte Geheimnis findet sich im Gartenschuppen des Grundstücks, der immer gut verschlossen ist.
Stephen King hat so die Eigenart, eine Geschichte mit einem langen Anlauf einzuleiten, bevor es richtig zur Sache geht, wobei dieser Vorlauf - wie auch hier - oft sehr interessant geschrieben ist und viele Informationen gibt, die später von Bedeutung sind.
Tatsächlich kommt es dann in der anderen Welt - inspiriert durch klassische Märchen, 'Die unendliche Geschichte' und 'Oz' - trotz vieler Abenteuer zu einigen erzählerischen Längen, was ein wenig entäuschend gewesen ist. Trotzdem mal wieder eine sagehafte Erzählung aus der Tastatur des Meistererzählers.
Unfortunately I got utterly disappointed.
I've been reading King for quite some time now and I've read much of his early works. Many I loved, some I just liked, a few where a waste of my time.
Starting to read this book, it takes off nice enough, describing the author's life and experiences (the book is written on the first person as a memoir). But unfortunately it's a story as old as King himself, it lacks, in my opinion always, any depth or a real feel.
Throughout the book we have to be constantly reminded of how good of a person the hero is, despite his tough upbringing and many difficulties he had to face in life even though he's just seventeen years of age. Which would be okay if I had connected to the character even a bit. Also there's in almost every page a description of his physical appearance. I think that at some point King realized, that he was writing an early script for the next Netflix series.
Which brings me to this.
The writing is so easy, the plot is so predictable and the book is filled with Pop culture references. Some names are references to stupid blockbuster movies. Here and there he references other authors, which he often does to give credit to his main influences. But my main problem is that the whole book is kind of a bad re-telling of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, which of course he points out, but he's Stephen King, do he really needs it? I guess yes, it'll be easier to sell to Netflix and its viewers.
Lastly, I dislike pretty much any book, movie or series that tells the story of the great and powerful foreign Prince that saves the day and whole land. Unwillingly becomes a great warrior and killer that everyone loves and respects. I could continue on and on and on but I'll finish here.
If you took the time to read my review, remember that it's only my opinion.
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So looking forward to entering another world of King's imagination even though I'm now 75 years old!
HERE WE GO!!!!!!!
I was about to dive into "Fairy Tale" when the magical 'fairy' queen passed away!
I am so terribly sad that such a beautiful, dutiful and dedicated queen, mother and "rock" of our nation is no longer with us.
I pray that our new king finds the strength to rule in a way that even approaches the heights that his late mother achieved. I am sure that he will!
I will begin my journey into Stephen King's world very soon. In the meantime, as the King said, "THANK YOU"!
A final thought now that I'm only a very few pages away from finishing reading, and because I'm saving the denouement for a few days. I would like to say that this is, in my opinion, one of the very best of SK's novels. I have found it charming, surprising, inventive and (because he takes the reader along with him on a personal journey) almost a privilege to walk in this world with the hero. Even though some moments should have been too tense and horrific to witness, it's as if SK has his arm around your shoulders, reassuring the reader that everything will eventually be fine!
What a marvelous creation!!!!
Many of the references throughout the story of Charlie Reade and his travel to the world of Empis are overt – Disney, Grimm Fairy tales, Ray Bradbury and HP Lovecraft, but there are as many snippets and ideas taken in other directions from King’s own work.
Charlie befriends curmudgeonly old Mr Bowditch and his dog Radar; I don’t think it’s too much of a plot spoiler to say that the shed on Bowditch’s land leads to somewhere…different. And if there are similarities between that and Jake Epping’s relationship with, and legacy from, his friend Al Templeton in 11/22/63, then rest assured the doorway here leads somewhere very different.
While King might have been writing more ‘grounded’ fiction recently (Billy Summers, the Bill Hodges trilogy, etc) he’s also been mixing it up with more ‘fantastical’ works like Revelation, The Institute and Elevation, and in Fairy Tale he combines the two states: it is, in effect, 150 pages before ‘the weird stuff’ starts happening. For some that may feel like a too slow build – for King fans it feels like a return to the many well drawn out portrayals of teenagers King has written about so often.
The closest comparisons, given the ‘different worlds’ basic premise are, of course, going to be the author’s Dark Tower series and The Talisman (fittingly, if sadly, I read Fairy Tale on the day it was announced King’s co-author of the latter, Peter Straub, passed away). Considering the vein from the Dark Tower that runs through so much of King’s work, there’s relatively little mention here. There’s a quote from a certain Browning poem early on, and a single line late in the book which will be familiar to readers of the series, but otherwise, not so much. The Talisman feels a closer parallel to the story: the protagonist may be older, and the journey may be less fragmented between worlds, but it had that same feeling for me.
All of the above may be a bit too fan-focused. At the end of the day, is it a good story?
And the answer, for me, was that yes, it’s a rich, satisfying story. In some ways, it’s the story of stories. King is long enough in the tooth to recognise and embrace the influences from oldest folklore to more recent cultural phenomenon of the mythic quest and the hero’s journey. (No coincidence he points out the princess in the tale ‘Leah’ could be Princess Leia.
It’s a long book for your average author, but very much in the midway range for King – clocking in at around 570 pages, and one to read. By that, I mean, don’t wait for the tv/ film adaptation that is bound to come; the level of self or cultural reference, much of it recognised and pointed out by the narrator/ protagonist, has the potential to work less well than it does on the printed page. Instead, give yourself a chance to get into the story and enjoy the world and characters created with your own imagination; like Charlie in the book, you’ll be set on the right path by someone who’s been there and done it.
For the first third of the book, the story is quite straightforward. A boy fulfilling a promise to a god he only partially believes in helps an old man and his dog. Seventeen-year-old Charlie Reade is no saint, he makes that clear from the beginning. He has done things he is not proud of, cruel things he tried to justify as pranks, but which he knows hurt and distressed people. That they came from the anger of a boy whose mother died suddenly and violently and whose father drowned his grief in a bottle, only serve to make Charlie the kind of balanced and realistic main character who is a feature of King novels.
As the old man’s secrets are revealed a new world opens for Charlie, and he has the opportunity to become the kind of hero fairy tales talk about. But, being a King fairy tale he maintains doubts, is driven by revenge as often as justice, and maintains a believable character.
The story reminds me a little of The Black House and its sequel (the duology King wrote with Peter Straub), and a little of The Eyes of the Dragon (a more purist fantasy outing from King). I loved all of these, so am not surprised that King handles the fantasy elements of the other world in Fairy Tale so well. Indeed for someone most often described as a horror writer there are probably more fantasy elements to his novels overall than any other genre. But, one of the things I most love about Stephen King novels is that the genre is irrelevant - it's the combination of great storytelling with engaging characters that brings me back to his worlds time and time again.
The tale itself revisits certain character types and themes seen in many of SK’s previous books: a young boy who is somehow special but has flaws; an old man who needs some kind of care (qv SK’s recent novelette, Mr Harrigan’s Phone) and a portal to another world. Yet somehow, SK seems to provide fresh perspectives on these tropes. I would say the novel is in two parts — the earthly part and the fantastical part. Part 1 sees the hero, Charlie, having to deal with his mother’s death and the father’s subsequent descent into alcoholism. The boy having to cope with this, and make a ‘deal with God,’ provides the motivation for him helping the grumpy Mr Bowditch who lives at an old house further up the street. The old Man falls and breaks his leg, so Charlie comes to the rescue of both him, and his aging dog, Radar. As Charlie helps the old man recover, they begin to trust each other, and Bowditch lets him in on the secret of the shed in his back garden. This, it turns out, is the aforementioned portal.
Due to a number of circumstances, which I won’t spoil here, Charlie ventures into the world beyond the deep portal in Bowditch’s shed and encounters the Fairy Tale world of Empis. This requires a shift in belief-acceptance for the reader, but King leads us in gently through his masterful use of the ‘diary’ first person narrative of Charlie. From here on in it’s into full-on fantasy mode where SK weaves together many Grimm-based elements, together with a Lovecraftian horror in the form of ‘Gogmagog’. There are multiple villains, friends and allies to meet, and this second part makes up the bulk of the book.
Some criticise King from a plotting point of view, but for someone who has no idea how a book will ends when he starts it, this accomplishment is all the more amazing, to my mind. Unlike earlier books, the gore-horror elements are downplayed in favour of the characters and suspense coming to the fore.
If you’re already a King fan, you won’t be disappointed by ‘Fairy Tale.’ If this is your introduction, it gives a perfect example of where this storyteller is at as he approaches the twilight of his career.