GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar
(June 27th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton)
The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.
There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.
At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.
One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”
On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…
So what did I think?
Well, this is a short, sweet and pretty creepy story from a perfect collaboration between King and Chizmar.
At only 171 pages, GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX is one of those books that you can devour in one sitting – but the story will stay with you forever. I do feel that amongst Constant Readers, I am missing out as I’ve seen lots of references to ‘The Man in Black’ which links back to the Dark Tower series… Is this coincidence? Or a glimpse into this character from another series?
For such a short story, you get all the character development with Gwendy you need. We as readers are taken on a journey through her school life, as she is met with situations where she could call on the box at anytime, knowing that there can be catastrophic repercussions. Gwendy surprises me as where you think you know how she will react, she side steps the reader and does the opposite.
If presented with the button box by the mysterious Mr.Farris, the only question to ask is; “If you had the button box….what button would YOU press?”
You can buy GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX from the following booksellers