MY REVIEW 4 stars:
I vaguely remember watching Stand by Me as a kid – the movie based on this novella. It was kind of cool remembering bits and pieces of it while reading. All the impactful scenes, like the train stuff, the kid searching for pennies under the porch, the dog and the junk yard, and of course the body. I found myself feeling a bit nostalgic, which I can honestly say a King book has never done to me before. Even though so many of these scenes are so bothersome, and unsettling both in the book and the movie, they’re unforgettable.
The story line goes like this: A few friends, pre-teen to early teen, are a little on the wild side. There’s a kid who’s gone missing, and this little band of riff raff are certain they’ll know where to find the kids dead body. Unfortunately for them, they’re right. The journey is a life changing one in many ways and it makes for summer that they’ll never forget. The entire quest starts off with what the boys call a “goocher” when they flip coins to see who will break into the junkyard for certain supplies. Every single one of the coins land on tails, thus starting them out with a sense of doom and gloom – like something isn’t right.
From there they set out, knowing that the walk will take a couple days. They’ve set their stories in place so that their parents don’t expect them to be any further than one another’s houses and they brave the wild. They cross a railroad track bridge, have heart felt breakdowns, endure a vicious storm and more. When they reach their destination, the finding isn’t nearly as cool and interesting as they anticipated it be. It’s heart wrenching and real, and it settles all the way to their bones leaving the them humbled and changed. This isn’t exactly the end of the road for them, as they still have more instore.
As a parent, it’s hard to read a lot of this book, as way too much of it is just devastating to imagine and all too unsettling. The hardships, and realities of wrongful death revolves completely around incent children. Because of this line that’s too very unsettling to cross, I find myself knocking it down a point. As well as it’s written, and as engrossing as it is from beginning to end – I just can’t in good conscious give it a five. Too much of it was just to hard to digest for that.
This book is a part of the Different Seasons set. I’ll be reviewing each story separate and then including them all in my complete review of the set – rating an average overall. This one, for me is a 4.
Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine
#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King’s timeless novella “The Body”—originally published in his 1982 short story collection Different Seasons, and adapted into the 1986 film classic Stand by Me—is now available as a stand-alone publication.
It’s 1960 in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Ray Brower, a boy from a nearby town, has disappeared, and twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance and his three friends set out on a quest to find his body along the railroad tracks. During the course of their journey, Gordie, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio come to terms with death and the harsh truths of growing up in a small factory town that doesn’t offer much in the way of a future.
A timeless exploration of the loneliness and isolation of young adulthood, Stephen King’s The Body is an iconic, unforgettable, coming-of-age story.
5 Comments Add yours
This one was 5 stars for me, Didi, I thought it had a ring of truth about how young boys behave and egg each other on. This story stayed with me. I saw you’d post about Apt Pupil. I’m going to read that one now.
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I wasn’t a big fan of Apt Pupil 🤦♀️😬
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Didi, both the book and movie are excellent. It is one of the better adaptations of a King novel, in my view. When I saw King interviewed, he said something you might appreciate as an author. When asked if this book was a true story, he said it was based on a true story, but he found himself saying “gee, it would read better if it happened this way,” so he took poetic license and made some deviations in the book. Thanks for the memory lane. Keith
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That’s amazing, Keith! I had no idea it was inspired by a true story! Thanks for sharing 😊
I remember reading “The Body” years ago and thinking that King ruined it at the end–although I don’t remember what exactly turned me off, something about the writing.