My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It took me almost two months to write this review because: I’m sad. This is not the same Stephen King that I love and adore. This is not the author that ignited my passion for reading. This is someone…different.
Am I losing my mind? Hopefully not. I pulled a few of King’s latest novels from the shelf to compare. They all start with a tightly wound narrative that compel you to read more. In FINDERS KEEPERS: the words are loose and stringy. It’s as if King took everything he wrote in ON WRITING and did the opposite. Whereas he once wrote, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs,” he now fills the margins with such. He also wrote, “To write is human, to edit is divine.” He admonished upcoming authors to use words sparingly and let the reader believe in their own intelligence. Here, we have EVERYTHING spelled out for us, detail by detail. The suspense has no air to be kept alive.
This book is a what-you-would-expect detective story with added King-isms. His fans will appreciate the nods to his own writings and the character personifications of Sai King himself. I also appreciate King’s appreciation of works from other notable authors. We see King’s fingerprints throughout, though it’s not what we expect from King himself.
No, it is not a total loss. There are small hints of paranormal (King, stick with what you know—what we love!). The story moves along at a Kingly pace. And, yes, the characters are twisted and different. But I don’t think many of us are fond of the heavier, older detective character, which miraculously recovered from the last novel and is now on the ‘right track’ of health. Isn’t King fond of that quote about killing his darlings?
If you are a fan of MR. MERCEDES, you’ll cheer along for this one. More of the same. The tie-ins are there: the job fair, the Mercedes killer, the detective and crew. FINDERS KEEPERS is its own, independent book that can be read (and perhaps enjoyed) without having to have read the previous book, or any of King’s other books. Perhaps that’s the point. King spreads his wings for a bigger audience by throwing in more pop cultural references and changing his writing style to be a main stream catch. To me though, his recent books like 11/22/63 or JOYLAND accomplish that same goal without having to change the Stephen King that fans love.
I must also thank Scribner for sending this book to review. I’m still a fan of King, as I am of a many of Scribner titles.
There are many other reviews you can view on Amazon: Finders Keepers: A Novel