Gwendy’s Button Box

Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. Cemetery Dance, $25 (168p) ISBN 978-1-58767-610-9
This absorbing novella by horror giants King (End of Watch) and Chizmar (A Long December) revisits one of King’s most popular locales. It’s 1974 when 12-year-old Gwendy Peterson is offered a magic box by a man named Richard Farris, whom she meets at the top of one of the cliffside Suicide Stairs in Castle Rock, Maine. Farris wears a “small neat black hat” and seems to know just who Gwendy is and what she wants. Eight buttons grace the mahogany box he offers to Gwendy, and a lever dispenses silver dollars and intricate chocolates that Farris claims will help Gwendy lose weight and escape being called “Goodyear” by her classmates. Lose weight she does, but that’s not all. Wonderful things keep happening in Gwendy’s life, and she’s happier than she’s ever been. But when she decides to press one of the buttons, the consequences are horrendous. The novella follows Gwendy through high school and beyond, capturing the golden-hued joy of childhood and the wonder of friendship and first love, all under the shadow of temptation. This bite-size gem of a story packs quite a punch, and the only complaint readers will likely have is that it isn’t longer. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 05/16/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-4204-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-4205-5
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