I'm about 1/2 to 2/3 way through "Big Driver" and I'm not sure that I can finish it. I've had a hard time getting over the nature of the story. I'm sure that it ends well, as well as it can, but it bothers me. Am I the only one who feels this way? I'm sure that Tess kills the Big Driver (can't remember his name off the top of my head) in some fitting horrific way, but still.....
And before someone says that "a writer that brings out these feeling in others just shows how well it's written" or "it's a great reflection on how the writer can bring the characters to life" I get that. It's just the nature of the story. Yes he puts a face on rape from the victim stand point. It's just not what I expect from SK. I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself completely.......
I think a lot of people had a similar issue with "Gerald's Game"...it wasn't the writing, just the content that put a lot of people (particularly women) off. I agree with Ms. Mod though, hang in there and try to finish it off. Better finished than unfinished--there is some resolution to this story.
It's harrowing. There's no doubt about that. But SK has a strong affinity for women who find their strength in desperate situations (think Dolores Claiborne, Rose McClendon, Bev Marsh). I think that the story is worth it, but I understand the difficulty you might have with it. I also suspect that it might be more difficult for women to read this story than men. The identification with Tess would be far stronger, more visceral, for women.
Personally I loved all of these stories, SK's writing was superb. Yet they are very dark tales, and certain subject matters are always going to affect some people more than others. If you're really having that hard a time reading this story then maybe it's best to stop? You can always try to read it again at a later date.
Sometimes, horror fiction ought to actually horrify; otherwise, it has no teeth, and therefore no impact.
I thought the structure of Full Dark, No Stars was extremely interesting, in that it consists of four stories involving men who do really, really terrible things to women.
And King picked the absolute best one of the four to end the collection with; it kind of put a nice bow on the whole package. And "Under the Weather," in the paperback edition, serves as an appropriate coda.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by the book. But, yes, I can certainly understand someone having trouble soldiering past some of the content, especially in "Big Driver."
I do not as a general rule read the 'Horror' genre. From time to time I do read a SK novel or a Dean Koontz story. When I do read them I very much enjoy them. I am a writer myself. I always read to learn the craft better, but also for enjoyment. The stories in this collection were very well written as well as very dark. I learned as I read and enjoyed the journey.