Discussion(SPOILERS) -after you have read the book

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GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
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Cambridge, Ohio
...so, here's my take on the collaborative effort.....it was a nice, quick read and nothing more....seriously, nothing more......other than a few "name drops" or tangential references there was absolutely zip that made this the heralded "return to Castel Rock".....take out Dark Score Lake, Sherriff Bannerman etc, this could have been "Anywhere USA", so that was a let down-also, the Easter Egg of the coin date adding up to 19, that trope is wearing a bit thin.....I enjoyed the concept of the box, though it was never fleshed out-and for that matter, neither was this incarnation of RF....more benevolent than outright evil.....interesting , but toothless......I enjoyed the story, but to use my own frame of reference, it was like having one piping hot chocolate chip cookie, while being denied the pleasure of the other two or three on your plate.....[\spoiler]
 
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Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
46,336
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Just north of Duma Key
...so, here's my take on the collaborative effort.....it was a nice, quick read and nothing more....seriously, nothing more......other than a few "name drops" or tangential references there was absolutely zip that made this the heralded "return to Castel Rock".....take out Dark Score Lake, Sherriff Bannerman etc, this could have been "Anywhere USA", so that was a let down.....I enjoyed the concept of the box, though it was never fleshed out-and for that matter, neither was this incarnation of RF....more benevolent than outright evil.....interesting , but toothless......I enjoyed the story, but to use my own frame of reference, it was like having one piping hot chocolate chip cookie, while being denied the pleasure of the other two or three on your plate.....[\spoiler]
Sorry you felt that way, Gnt. Like I said in a previous post, not every book, story, whether collaborative or not has to be fleshed out, go in depth, or be the full enchilada. Gwendy's was just a simple snippet story taking place in Castle Rock. Returning to Castle Rock, it did indeed do, as it wasn't set in "anywhere USA", but rather included specific references. Mayhap the next SK book will provide a full plate of cookies/ for now consider this a tasty tease.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
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Cambridge, Ohio
Sorry you felt that way, Gnt. Like I said in a previous post, not every book, story, whether collaborative or not has to be fleshed out, go in depth, or be the full enchilada. Gwendy's was just a simple snippet story taking place in Castle Rock. Returning to Castle Rock, it did indeed do, as it wasn't set in "anywhere USA", but rather included specific references. Mayhap the next SK book will provide a full plate of cookies/ for now consider this a tasty tease.
....I know I sound mighty negative, but I DID enjoy the story-just let down after all the build-up and anticipation...simple as that....
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
59
Cambridge, Ohio
Sorry you felt that way, Gnt. Like I said in a previous post, not every book, story, whether collaborative or not has to be fleshed out, go in depth, or be the full enchilada. Gwendy's was just a simple snippet story taking place in Castle Rock. Returning to Castle Rock, it did indeed do, as it wasn't set in "anywhere USA", but rather included specific references. Mayhap the next SK book will provide a full plate of cookies/ for now consider this a tasty tease.
....also, I said that without the handful of familiar names and places-this was a generic locale.....I know where you're coming from luv, it's just a rare time of disappointment for me....
 
Mar 12, 2010
6,538
29,004
Texas
I think I would have liked Gwendy's Button Box better if I hadn't recently read A Long December by Chizmar.

Chizmar writes those picturesque hometown stories, the kind you might read in Readers Digest EXCEPT then, when the reader is the most comfortable, he casually introduces a sociopath to let us know that if its pretty as a picture, don't believe there isn't a sadistic lurker behind the scenes ready to jump out and spoil the beauty. (That was my take on his stories anyways :))

SK's villains are not incidental characters, they take main stage and pretty much carry the story.

The combination of the two writing styles just felt wrong to me. I think it would be interesting if both writers were to write the same story in their own fashion :)
 

Sundrop

Sunny the Great & Wonderful
Jun 12, 2008
28,520
156,619
I read it in one sitting yesterday while my windows were being installed.

While it was an entertaining story, I felt a little disappointed. I was expecting more from "the return to Castle Rock".
Like others, I didn't feel that the two writing styles meshed very well, and felt the characters could have been fleshed out more.
For me, it read more like a young adult story than the SK works that I've come to love.
I agree with GNTLGNT that if not for a few references, the story could have taken place anywhere. It definitely wasn't the Castle Rock that I've been missing since finishing Needful Things all those years ago.

I'm curious to know what muskrat thought......
 

carrie's younger brother

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,651
NJ
...so, here's my take on the collaborative effort.....it was a nice, quick read and nothing more....seriously, nothing more......other than a few "name drops" or tangential references there was absolutely zip that made this the heralded "return to Castel Rock".....take out Dark Score Lake, Sherriff Bannerman etc, this could have been "Anywhere USA", so that was a let down-also, the Easter Egg of the coin date adding up to 19, that trope is wearing a bit thin.....I enjoyed the concept of the box, though it was never fleshed out-and for that matter, neither was this incarnation of RF....more benevolent than outright evil.....interesting , but toothless......I enjoyed the story, but to use my own frame of reference, it was like having one piping hot chocolate chip cookie, while being denied the pleasure of the other two or three on your plate.....[\spoiler]
Great analysis and exactly how I felt.
 

AchtungBaby

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2011
3,856
15,540
...so, here's my take on the collaborative effort.....it was a nice, quick read and nothing more....seriously, nothing more......other than a few "name drops" or tangential references there was absolutely zip that made this the heralded "return to Castel Rock".....take out Dark Score Lake, Sherriff Bannerman etc, this could have been "Anywhere USA", so that was a let down-also, the Easter Egg of the coin date adding up to 19, that trope is wearing a bit thin.....I enjoyed the concept of the box, though it was never fleshed out-and for that matter, neither was this incarnation of RF....more benevolent than outright evil.....interesting , but toothless......I enjoyed the story, but to use my own frame of reference, it was like having one piping hot chocolate chip cookie, while being denied the pleasure of the other two or three on your plate.....[\spoiler]
Totally agree on the 19 thing--glad I am not the only one who feels that way! It makes me roll my eyes.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
It was a pleasant story that could have stood some cutting. I think it would have felt more immediate had it been a short story rather than a novella. Without fleshed out characters, it was a literary conceit dragged out slightly too long.
The hugger mugger with the green buttons was unneccessary--only the red and black mattered.[/spoiler ]

Still, when Mr. King's 'voice! Came to the forefront, with all his familiar phrasing and pacing, it did make me smile :) And it's a book that I can hand to my kid, so that's worth the price of admission.
 

fushingfeef

Finally Uber!
Aug 14, 2009
10,194
21,965
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The King fan in me loved it dearly. The critic in me says there was a lot of untapped potential here, unexplored options. Gwendy overcame things a bit too easily, it seems like both authors were afraid to make things too messy for the other one. For a collab neither was taking enough chances to really take things to the next level.

That's not to say it wasn't an entertaining read, and that it didn't come to life for me. It continues to kick around in my mind. Glad to see King and Chizmar trying new things but I think they both could have (pardon the phrase) pushed each others buttons a little more on this one.
 

USA1

Active Member
Dec 5, 2015
42
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Make sure you use spoilers---

How has read it?

Managed it in one sitting, and it was terrific. Excellent story and very poignant. This is a winner.
I really liked this short story and managed it in one day.
I appreciated how it didn't get to crazy with Gwendy pushing all the buttons and destroying all of Earth. I would have liked to have seen a little more temptation on Gwendy's part to just destroy the whole word. My only complaint, would have been Frankie Stone. He just seemed to one dimensional. From when he said he wanted to bomb the ghettos (from Gwendy's question in class) to when he was hiding in her closest. I just felt felt that I had seen this all from SK before, and while Frankie was a bad dude, I didn't think he was a multiple raper and possible murderer. And if he had gotten away with his other crimes before, why was he so sloppy with Gwendy.
Overall, I still ran through this story and it was great. But, it was obvious which parts SK wrote and which parts Chizmar wrote.
 
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Mar 12, 2010
6,538
29,004
Texas
I really liked this short story and managed it in one day.
I appreciated how it didn't get to crazy with Gwendy pushing all the buttons and destroying all of Earth. I would have liked to have seen a little more temptation on Gwendy's part to just destroy the whole word. My only complaint, would have been Frankie Stone. He just seemed to one dimensional. From when he said he wanted to bomb the ghettos (from Gwendy's question in class) to when he was hiding in her closest. I just felt felt that I had seen this all from SK before, and while Frankie was a bad dude, I didn't think he was a multiple raper and possible murderer. And if he had gotten away with his other crimes before, why was he so sloppy with Gwendy.
Overall, I still ran through this story and it was great. But, it was obvious which parts SK wrote and which parts Chizmar wrote.

i thought of Frankie as a Chizmar character since he likes to throw unlikely sociopaths into his stories. Did y'all think he was a Chizmar character or an SK character?
 

OldDarth

Well-Known Member
Jul 10, 2006
730
2,994
Canada
Ok help me out here, constant readers.

Didn't Richard Farris aka the Man In Black act out of character? He was awfully benevolent and went out of his way to assuage Gwendy's guilt. Wouldn't he want her to use the box? Wouldn't he want bad things to happen? I could understand it if he wanted Gwendy not to use the box because it stored up evil and he could use it for his own purposes but that is never explored or hinted in the story anywhere.

I enjoyed the story but that aspect of it, leaves me puzzled. Or I did miss something?

HELP!
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
59
Cambridge, Ohio
Ok help me out here, constant readers.

Didn't Richard Farris aka the Man In Black act out of character? He was awfully benevolent and went out of his way to assuage Gwendy's guilt. Wouldn't he want her to use the box? Wouldn't he want bad things to happen? I could understand it if he wanted Gwendy not to use the box because it stored up evil and he could use it for his own purposes but that is never explored or hinted in the story anywhere.

I enjoyed the story but that aspect of it, leaves me puzzled. Or I did miss something?

HELP!
...you didn't miss anything....it was a case of polar opposites for some reason that wasn't made clear.....or, it could have just been the idea of "toying" with someone before the other shoe fell....