Books | Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural
Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for that world or ours.Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it. Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world. King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle. Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?” “As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”
Community ReviewsSee all
"I've never read Stephen King before, but I knew he's known for the horror genre, so that's what I was expecting. I didn't find it scary at all. There is some unpleasant imagery, but I wouldn't go as far to say scary, let alone horror. I didn't have a problem with this at all, it just wasn't what I was expecting. I now know that it's more accurately classified as "dark fantasy." The book really does suck you in, so much so that I finished it in two days! I'd say the book teeters between young adult and adult fiction. The actual story feels very YA, but some of the language may lean toward adult. I'd say it depends on maturity level. "
"I listened to this on audio and it was my first Stephen King book (I know, I know). I really enjoyed it! I loved the beginning, I was sucked in. From the middle towards the end for a little long and confusing but overall I really liked it! The fairy tale aspect was a lot of fun. I recommend this audiobook!"
"After Charlie Reade crosses paths with neighborhood outcast Mr. Bowditch, Charlie finds his whole life altering in ways he never thought possible. I love any twists on fairy tale stories, but especially the dark remakes the most! I love the loyalties to each other from the characters in this book, it was such a fun adventure listening as audiobook as well!"
"I enjoyed this book. Definitely has the tone of a Stephen King novel, but truly is a fantasy fairy tale as intended. He did a good job of weaving in what makes his style so unique but giving the story what it needed to become an epic fantasy. His world-building was pretty fascinating and a little dark. I probably could have done without the premise of the book being written by the protagonist as a memoir of sorts, but it did add an extra layer to the story. Overall, I would recommend it. It might be my new Stephen King favorite..."
"This is a dark fairy tale, and a very long one. I will say that I am glad to have read it but I am also glad to be done reading it. It is very descriptive and the character development is strong. I just found myself ready to get to the end and find out how it wrapped up long before the ending. "
"A journey through the setup and manifestation of the best and worst fairy tales we know. Charlie, a high school boy, befriends a cantankerous old coot who has secrets. When the man dies, he passes his estate to Charlie, including a giant house, a safe filled with gold nuggets, and a shed with a dark and eerie circular stairwell into another world. 70% of the book is Charlie in the other world — and in another world within that — meeting characters who have been hurt and deformed by curses as a once-royal family descends into murder, monsters and madness. Charlie is a good character with a happy ending. I quibble with Stephen King’s need to stretch the book to 600+ pages, but I appreciate how he crafts the story along one character’s actions and a timeline that we can follow. Other authors in 2022 fracture our focus with chapter after chapter presenting different characters, timelines and perspectives. King wrote Fairy Tale during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, which underscored the sadness and loss of the book."