cover image Stationary Bike

Stationary Bike

Stephen King, , read by Ron McLarty. . Simon & Schuster Audio, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7435-5561-6

In classic Stephen King tradition, this audiobook reminds the listener that even something as ordinary as a stationary bike can have a devious nature to it. After a tongue thrashing from his doctor, Richard Sifkitz turns his addiction to fatty foods into an addiction to a fantasy world created around his stationary bike, spending hours a day pedaling away. But as his obsession grows, the lines between fantasy and reality dim and he believes someone or something is trailing him on his path. Ron McLarty, who previously recorded King's Salem's Lot and Faithful , delivers this novella with an excellent pace and easy disposition. His controlled reading creates a much tenser atmosphere with surprises and plot twists made more shocking without the advance warnings of a more dramatic reading. The jazzy segues between chapters lightens the tone just enough to make the listener feel uncertain about where King is taking this story. King's writing style is quite agreeable to the audio format, making for an enjoyable although slightly dark tale. This novella was published in the anthology Borderlands 5 (Reviews, Jan. 19, 2004) . (June)