"Laurie" Quiz (SPOILERS)

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

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
82,822
44
United States
Test your memory. Share your scores. Thanks!

1.) What was Lloyd's last name?
Sunderland.

2.) How long had his wife been dead when his sister brought him the dog?
Six months.

3.) What was Lloyd's sister's name and where did she live?
Beth, and she lived in Boca Raton.

4.) Before retiring to Caymen Key, where did Lloyd and his wife live?
Upstate New York.

5.) What was the title of the article Lloyd was reading on his computer?
So You Got A New Puppy!

6.) How did Lloyd know something was amiss with his neighbor Don?
Laurie was barking and had found Don's mahogany walking stick.

7.) What CD was Lloyd playing when he went into his wife's den early one morning?
Joan Baez's Greatest Hits. The first song to play was "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down". (And I believe he'd listened to the rest in his bed.)

8.) What kind of carpet was Lloyd trying to protect by putting down newspaper and puppy pads?
White shag carpet.

9.) Where did the puppy sleep?
In a playpen. Lloyd said he didn't want to wake up with "sausages" in bed with him. :)

10.) What did the authorities say was the reason the alligator had attacked Don?
It was protecting its eggs.
 
Last edited:

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
46,336
195,472
76
Just north of Duma Key
Test your memory. Share your scores. Thanks!

1.) What was Lloyd's last name?
Sunderland.

2.) His long had his wife been dead when his sister brought him the dog?
Six months.

3.) What was Lloyd's sister's name and where did she live?
Beth, and she lived in Boca Raton.

4.) Before retiring to Caymen Key, where did Lloyd and his wife live?
Upstate New York.

5.) What was the title of the article Lloyd was reading on his computer?
So You Got A New Puppy!

6.) How did Lloyd know something was amiss with his neighbor Don?
Laurie was barking and had found Don's mahogany walking stick.

7.) What CD was Lloyd playing when he went into his wife's den early one morning?
Joan Baez's Greatest Hits. The first song to play was "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down". (And I believe he'd listened to the rest in his bed.)

8.) What kind of carpet was Lloyd trying to protect by putting down newspaper and puppy pads?
White shag carpet.

9.) Where did the puppy sleep?
In a playpen. Lloyd said he didn't want to wake up with "sausages" in bed with him. :)

10.) What did the authorities say was the reason the alligator had attacked Don?
It was protecting its eggs.


10/10 loved this story. Short term memory is working today!!
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,201
7,168
The Netherlands
(spoilers)

I noticed that the number six is repeated constantly in the story:

Six months since his wife died, six inches the dog peed from the pad, Six Mile Path, 6th of December.

But perhaps more noticeable, a more rare, specific number, sixty five, is repeated three times:

the age of Lloyd, the speed at which the sister drives home, the incubation time of the eggs.

The number forty (in years) is repeated too, but only twice - the length of the marriage, and how long the boardwalk had been there at least.

Would there be a meaning behind that repetition?

The story was so-so. One of his more plotless ones. A man takes care of a puppy he doesn't want at first, and an alligator attacks his neighbour. Two unrelated things, I don't see how it's really a story.
 
  • Like
Reactions: do1you9love?

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,201
7,168
The Netherlands
He's always had stories that I love and some that just don't make much sense to me. I think only in Night Shift do I love all the stories. Even in Skeleton Crew there are things like the Milkman stories that I find unsatisfactory/weird but not a good way.
It's the same with this. I just don't get what I have read. Or it feels there just isn't anything to what I read. If you follow a storyline about a man taking care of a puppy, you think that is leading somewhere, but it basically has nothing to do with an alligator attacking people - that's what I mean.

It was the same with Gwendy recently - I expected some twist or some point to it, but there is just nothing. The box gets taken away again tol another person and that's it. You find out nothing, neither is there something to think about or some surprise ending.

There's also a story about a waiter who starts killing people at random in a restaurant, I disliked strongly. If there is too little meaning or background behind a story, it just fails to do anything for me.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
82,822
44
United States
He's always had stories that I love and some that just don't make much sense to me. I think only in Night Shift do I love all the stories. Even in Skeleton Crew there are things like the Milkman stories that I find unsatisfactory/weird but not a good way.
It's the same with this. I just don't get what I have read. Or it feels there just isn't anything to what I read. If you follow a storyline about a man taking care of a puppy, you think that is leading somewhere, but it basically has nothing to do with an alligator attacking people - that's what I mean.

It was the same with Gwendy recently - I expected some twist or some point to it, but there is just nothing. The box gets taken away again tol another person and that's it. You find out nothing, neither is there something to think about or some surprise ending.

There's also a story about a waiter who starts killing people at random in a restaurant, I disliked strongly. If there is too little meaning or background behind a story, it just fails to do anything for me.
It's okay for a reader to prefer stories with sharply defined plots but I think one can learn to appreciate the subtleties of a literary short story like "Laurie". Hemingway wrote many stories like this, one called "Hills Like White Elephants" in which nothing happens other than two people talking at a train station. It's very short and anything of significance is merely implied. This, I think, is the mark of a true writer, one who wants to run the gauntlet and, once more, reach higher. Yes, King has written dozens of plotted stories and people may disagree on what constitutes a well told story, but I have to give him credit for showing great growth and restraint as a writer. It's my own belief that loosely plotted (or seemingly unplotted) short stories are the most difficult to write and perhaps the most valued; they don't preach or give instruction but allow the reader to draw his own conclusions.
 
Last edited:

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
61,289
239,271
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Test your memory. Share your scores. Thanks!

1.) What was Lloyd's last name?
Sunderland.

2.) How long had his wife been dead when his sister brought him the dog?
Six months.

3.) What was Lloyd's sister's name and where did she live?
Beth, and she lived in Boca Raton.

4.) Before retiring to Caymen Key, where did Lloyd and his wife live?
Upstate New York.

5.) What was the title of the article Lloyd was reading on his computer?
So You Got A New Puppy!

6.) How did Lloyd know something was amiss with his neighbor Don?
Laurie was barking and had found Don's mahogany walking stick.

7.) What CD was Lloyd playing when he went into his wife's den early one morning?
Joan Baez's Greatest Hits. The first song to play was "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down". (And I believe he'd listened to the rest in his bed.)

8.) What kind of carpet was Lloyd trying to protect by putting down newspaper and puppy pads?
White shag carpet.

9.) Where did the puppy sleep?
In a playpen. Lloyd said he didn't want to wake up with "sausages" in bed with him. :)

10.) What did the authorities say was the reason the alligator had attacked Don?
It was protecting its eggs.
I got 7 out of 10, but only because I just read the story again today.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,201
7,168
The Netherlands
It's okay for a reader to prefer stories with sharply defined plots but I think one can learn to appreciate the subtleties of a literary short story like "Laurie". Hemingway wrote many stories like this, one called "Hills Like White Elephants" in which nothing happens other than two people talking at a train station. It's very short and anything of significance is merely implied. This, I think, is the mark of a true writer, one who wants to run the gauntlet and, once more, reach higher. Yes, King has written dozens of plotted stories and people may disagree on what constitutes a well told story, but I have to give him credit for showing great growth and restraint as a writer. It's my own belief that loosely plotted (or seemingly unplotted) short stories are the most difficult to write and perhaps the most valued; they don't preach or give instruction but allow the reader to draw his own conclusions.

Disappointment depends on what you started reading a writer for. I very much started reading SK because I'm a horrorfan, so when he steers away from that too much I'm in danger of being disappointed.
The confusing thing of course is, that you don't know what kind of story you're gonna get. There is no sign saying 'this is a literary story' or 'this is a suspense/thriller/horrorstory'. He combines them too of course, so it's hard to put them into categories, but basically the books are always sold under the banner of him being a horror writer.

Essentially when I read stories from a contemporary horror/suspense writer I mostly expect/long for there to be some good twist, or a good deal of suspense and tension, or some original central idea. My favourite kind of short genre story is when in the very last sentence is something that turns it all upside down and is really surprising (like say, Poe's The Black Cat most famously).

I wonder if the loosely plotted (or seemingly unplotted) stories are harder to write. It's really hard to come up with a good idea for a horrorstory - something that hasn't been done to death yet, and then construct it into something that works well. Or trying to do something unique with the genre tropes.
 
Last edited:

do1you9love?

Happy to be here!
Feb 18, 2012
9,284
70,566
Virginia
It's okay for a reader to prefer stories with sharply defined plots but I think one can learn to appreciate the subtleties of a literary short story like "Laurie". Hemingway wrote many stories like this, one called "Hills Like White Elephants" in which nothing happens other than two people talking at a train station. It's very short and anything of significance is merely implied. This, I think, is the mark of a true writer, one who wants to run the gauntlet and, once more, reach higher. Yes, King has written dozens of plotted stories and people may disagree on what constitutes a well told story, but I have to give him credit for showing great growth and restraint as a writer. It's my own belief that loosely plotted (or seemingly unplotted) short stories are the most difficult to write and perhaps the most valued; they don't preach or give instruction but allow the reader to draw his own conclusions.

That is my very favorite short story by Hemingway!:love_heart: "the way their skin shows through the trees..."
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,201
7,168
The Netherlands
Dean Koontz sees 'literary' as a genre.
Is 'literary' a genre, like say suspense/horror, romance, western or whatever? Is it a genre, or something else?

I understand the idea of literary writing partly. I like the idea of it that you can bring your own interpretation to it, but when a horrorstory is written well you can bring your own interpretation to it also.

What I don't get it is the full extent of writing in a literary way. SK described the difference between the two as: the genre writer thinks of what would be fun for others to read, and the literary writer is more concerned with his own feelings - or something to that effect.
I think a literary story can only do something for you if you are in touch with the same emotions/feelings/thoughts the writer is expressing (and these are important to you), as where a genre piece everyone can basically understand.

The only thing I could get from this story (in a literary sense) is that both the alligator and Lloyd were protective of something they cared for (the eggs for the alligator, and the puppy for Lloyd), but it's told in a way with the neighbour involved, that makes it muddled for me.

But with something like Gwendy, apart from the nice illustrations, I get nothing. It seems another Matheson homage, like Throttle, but there just doesn't seem any interesting new idea to it, like the biker gang brought something new to Duel in SK's version.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
82,822
44
United States
Dean Koontz sees 'literary' as a genre.
Is 'literary' a genre, like say suspense/horror, romance, western or whatever? Is it a genre, or something else?

I understand the idea of literary writing partly. I like the idea of it that you can bring your own interpretation to it, but when a horrorstory is written well you can bring your own interpretation to it also.

What I don't get it is the full meaning of writing in a 'literary' sense. SK described the difference between the two as the genre writer thinks of what would be fun for others to read, and the literary writer is more concerned with his own feelings - or something to that effect.
I think a literary story can only do something for you if you are in touch with the same emotions/feelings/thoughts the writer is expressing, as where a genre piece everyone can basically understand.

The only thing I could get from this story (in a literary sense) is that both the alligator and Lloyd were protective of something they cared for (the eggs for the alligator, and the puppy for Lloyd), but it's told in a way with the neighbour involved, that makes it muddled for me.

But with something like Gwendy, apart from the nice illustrations, I get nothing. It seems another Matheson homage, like Throttle, but there just doesn't seem any interesting new idea to it, like the biker gang brought something new to Duel in SK's version.
I don't think anyone should feel inferior if they don't "get" the meaning (if there is an intended meaning) of a story. There are famous and beloved short stories that I think are boring or mediocre. (Poe comes to mind.) It doesn't make you dumb if you don't like these types of stories. It sounds like you understand some of what King was saying...perhaps the alligator was a metaphor for death which can sieze a person at any time, perhaps not. I saw it as a story about a grieving man who, through caring for a new pet, found a new lease on life; simple as that. That is my opinion and there could be other things to appreciate.
Some people aren't comfortable differentiating between literary and non-literary fiction but I certainly do make these distinctions. For example, I wouldn't say Stephanie Meyer is equal to John Steinbeck; if that's elitest then that's fine with me. He is a superior writer, I think. I agree with Harold Bloom when he says there must be a standard for what is to be held in high regard (aesthetically, or whatever) and for what is to be considered canon. I won't bore you with all his ideas here but if you get the chance check out some of his YouTube videos. He is a brilliant and erudite fellow and he's read everything from the Greeks to Shakespeare to the Brontës to modern American writers.