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 Gwendy's Button Box book review

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Allen Posted - 07/11/2017 : 3:11:24 PM

Novelella: Gwendy's Button Box ( 170 pages)
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Batimore, Maryland
ISBN 978-1-58767-610-9
Trade Hard cover : 25 dollars
Authors: Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
Publication date: 2017
Reviewed by Allen Klingelhoets

Here is opening cover text about novella

The small town of Castle Rock, Maine, has witnessed some very strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told...until now.
There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve - year - old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong ( if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the Cliffside.
At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the nearby playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of am aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.
One day a stranger calls to Gwendy: " Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me."
On the bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black suit coat, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat....
Journey back to Castle Rock in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award winning author of A Long December

Allen's thoughts on story:

I appreciated Gwendy's Button Box. I read novella in only couple of hours. I felt impacts from many Stephen King older stories like Needful Things. I even felt impact of mentions of characters like Sheriff Bannerman from The Dead Zone and Cujo.
I was not sure what to make of man dressed in black. His name was Mr. Richard Farris. I questioned if he was version of Randall Flagg from The Stand novel. The gift he gave Gwendy was something like magic box. It was small enough to be easily held in child's hands. It also caused tremendous temptation for Gwendy Peterson. The box could give treats by pressing certain button. It could also reward Gwendy with 1891 Morgan silver dollar. The box though also had buttons that could create great harm to others on Earth. The box is given to Gwendy by Mr. Richard Farris. She is told not to share box with anyone else. She secrets it away for many years. She is careful not to let other people know about box not even her parents are aware of Button Box. The story quickly moved to climax. I was stunned by what happened to person that tried to steal box.
I thought story moved very quickly from scene to next chapter. I felt there were a few issues with times like when coin dealer made comment about Utah quarter and not out until years later. It was Castle Rock time and fiction. Maybe they had state United States quarters in Castle Rock Universe. I liked how story dove into mentions that real life things like Jones Town happened or Gwendy's classmate died from suicide. These helped bring Gwendy's Button Box into very real world.
I feel Gwendy's Button Box was very well wrote story between two authors. I would like to see story made into theater movie. I enjoyed being able to read new Castle Rock story.
Gwendy's Button Box can be read as individual stand alone story. It meant more to me though when read with other Castle Rock stories. I even felt the influence of "The Dark Tower" epic series. "Palaver" brought right back to first book of that epic series.
Gwendy's Button Box was also enhanced by artwork by Ben Baldwin and Keith Minnion.
The book is only sold through Cemetery Dance Publications. I got my copy through library.

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