Discussion Group Read for April 29, 2020---Mr. Harrigan's Phone by Stephen King

  • This message board permanently closed on June 30th, 2020 at 4PM EDT and is no longer accepting new members.

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,682
65,192
55
sweden
Finished the story. I don't really see it as a horror story. It is a good story and in its premise the protagonist is in the end given a choice. Either to do what he did, as a good and moral person would do, or to keep the phone and keep making these calls when he felt it necessary. That is what is creepiest to me, what if he hadn't turned out to be this good guy, what if he had continued to make these calls when somebody wronged him or people he cared about?
It is, as usual when King is the author, very well told. It does not pack a punch but it leaves you with a creepy thought.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
59
Cambridge, Ohio
....I immediately got a Creepshow vibe and Steve has confirmed in one of his interviews, that it had an old EC Comics feel......no shock that his characters shine, and that the spooky factor is spot on....Kurb, I agree with you....there is certainly a moral dilemma involved, but it's left up to the Constant Reader if anything REALLY is attached to a vengeful spirit or if it's mere coincidence.....
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,682
65,192
55
sweden
....I immediately got a Creepshow vibe and Steve has confirmed in one of his interviews, that it had an old EC Comics feel......no shock that his characters shine, and that the spooky factor is spot on....Kurb, I agree with you....there is certainly a moral dilemma involved, but it's left up to the Constant Reader if anything REALLY is attached to a vengeful spirit or if it's mere coincidence.....
This constant reader vote no to coincidence.
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
15,859
71,642
59
120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
I like the message on Mr Harrington's and want to steal it for my own phone

"I'm not answering the phone now. I will call you back if it seems appropriate."



I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The tone of the story reminds me a little of Joyland as the story has a little creepiness (but not a lot) and the characters and relationships dominate the story more than the suspense. It's not one of Stephen's more suspenseful tales but it's still a page turner.
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,682
65,192
55
sweden
I like the message on Mr Harrington's and want to steal it for my own phone

"I'm not answering the phone now. I will call you back if it seems appropriate."



I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The tone of the story reminds me a little of Joyland as the story has a little creepiness (but not a lot) and the characters and relationships dominate the story more than the suspense. It's not one of Stephen's more suspenseful tales but it's still a page turner.
Yeah, much better than the "Leave a message and i will call you back" type. That appropriate ting is nice.
 

Dana Jean

Dirty Pirate Hooker, The Return
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
53,633
236,696
The High Seas
Good story. There have been people I've lost that I would give anything to talk to again. I have an old answering machine that I know has messages from my mom on it. I haven't listened to it, but I have it. She's been gone 12 years and not ready to listen to her voice, but I will someday.

This story reminded me of two stories:

Twilight Zone with Billy Mumy -- Long Distance Call


and


Nice updated version of the phone call, or text, from the grave.
 

Tery

Say hello to my fishy buddy
Moderator
Apr 12, 2006
15,304
44,712
Bremerton, Washington, United States
I also enjoyed this story. The spooky aspects don't overpower the characterizations. That, as we all know, is where SK really shines (pun intended). I like Harrigan, who reminded me of the old guy in Up - a marshmallow under a curmudgeonly exterior. The kid, his dad, his friends (and enemies) all felt real. The phone calls... well, that made my imagination take off. Solid story from our favorite Wordslinger.
 

cat in a bag

Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2010
12,038
67,827
wyoming
I enjoyed this story. A touch of creepiness, but mostly all about the power of friendship.

I thought the story was going to go in a different direction at first. I thought it was going to be along the lines of how we have become attached to our phones. As I type this on MY phone. :D I suppose it still kind of was about that, in a way.

It was fun to think back on what the early versions of the smartphone could/could not do. How much they do now.

Great intro story to the book.

And PS...my hard copy has finally shipped! :applause:
 

onlyewe

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2009
178
34
New York
I like the message on Mr Harrington's and want to steal it for my own phone

"I'm not answering the phone now. I will call you back if it seems appropriate."



I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The tone of the story reminds me a little of Joyland as the story has a little creepiness (but not a lot) and the characters and relationships dominate the story more than the suspense. It's not one of Stephen's more suspenseful tales but it's still a page turner.
Any way to get Will Patton to record Mr Harrington's message for my phone message? Love his audiobook readings!