Billy Summers

Billy Summers

Billy Summers

Two, maybe three decades back, I read the single Stephen King book I was going to read, something about “Writing Down to the Bones,” and I can’t locate my copy at the moment. I do have an updated copy of his classic, On Writing (seen here).

The “horror” genre doesn’t really do much for me; I rarely read anything from that grouping. Headlines and deplorable local politics? So I haven’t read much of King’s oeuvre — however, what I recalled from two or three decades back, he was way down, but the first author to appear in the top-paid entertainers list. At the time, he was, like fortieth. Forbes, maybe?

I know the tropes and the titles, and the suggestion that the last year and half might’ve been scripted by him, but other than that, what he writes about writing is clear and concise, and remarkably free of extraneous BS. It’s not that I’m not fan, no, I greatly enjoy his talk-show appearances, and his active social media profile, but I haven’t read many of his horror books. Not because I look down on the genre, no, more like, well, living in Texas? We have plenty of demons.

I hope he’ll forgive some of the politics — unless he’s scripting a new horror story.

Billy Summers

Interesting, character driven, most near obsessive reading. Intertwined, a master at work.

We are afraid of monsters because we are afraid of the dark parts of ourselves. Which explains — in part — the popularity and fascination with the horror genre, and what makes this novel tick. Modern monsters, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — the subsequent casualties and permanent scars, both visible, and invisible, those dark parts of ourselves.

The novel deals with, seemingly so, with the aftermath of what the war on terror does to active participant warriors. The very real horror of modern battle, and the continuing trauma of unseen foes.

Got about a third of the way through it and I had to put it down otherwise, I would be up all night finishing it. Which happened, eventually, as the story itself is gripping.

There is a twist, and I fell right into despite adequate foreshadowing. Enjoyable, thought-provoking reading, with an edge. Cross-country, deep-fried, southern culture skidding into oblivion. Good ride. Twisted realism without being too macabre?

Billy Summers

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