The Library Policeman

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krwhiting

Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2015
258
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I read this story a long time ago. But, like Gramma, it has stuck with me as one of the scariest things I've ever read. I had to stop reading it at one point and go around my place checking doors and windows (it was 2 am). I was so nervous that I had to watch a couple of episodes of Andy Griffith to get to sleep.

When I moved home some years later, I saw my old public library and this whole story flooded back. I'd imagined it in the neighboring town of Payette, Idaho and that library was the one in my mind when I read this. I sometimes still get chills driving by that library. Especially if it's late and there are lights on there.

I rarely hear this story mentioned and I feel it is a neglected masterpiece. I think of it as hair-raising as Canon Alberic's Scrapbook or The Turn of the Screw.

Kelly
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
59
Cambridge, Ohio
I read this story a long time ago. But, like Gramma, it has stuck with me as one of the scariest things I've ever read. I had to stop reading it at one point and go around my place checking doors and windows (it was 2 am). I was so nervous that I had to watch a couple of episodes of Andy Griffith to get to sleep.

When I moved home some years later, I saw my old public library and this whole story flooded back. I'd imagined it in the neighboring town of Payette, Idaho and that library was the one in my mind when I read this. I sometimes still get chills driving by that library. Especially if it's late and there are lights on there.

I rarely hear this story mentioned and I feel it is a neglected masterpiece. I think of it as hair-raising as Canon Alberic's Scrapbook or The Turn of the Screw.

Kelly
marv.gif
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
I read this story a long time ago. But, like Gramma, it has stuck with me as one of the scariest things I've ever read. I had to stop reading it at one point and go around my place checking doors and windows (it was 2 am). I was so nervous that I had to watch a couple of episodes of Andy Griffith to get to sleep.

When I moved home some years later, I saw my old public library and this whole story flooded back. I'd imagined it in the neighboring town of Payette, Idaho and that library was the one in my mind when I read this. I sometimes still get chills driving by that library. Especially if it's late and there are lights on there.

I rarely hear this story mentioned and I feel it is a neglected masterpiece. I think of it as hair-raising as Canon Alberic's Scrapbook or The Turn of the Screw.

Kelly
Scared the crap out of me, I know :)
 

blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,755
195,461
Atlanta GA
I read this story a long time ago. But, like Gramma, it has stuck with me as one of the scariest things I've ever read. I had to stop reading it at one point and go around my place checking doors and windows (it was 2 am). I was so nervous that I had to watch a couple of episodes of Andy Griffith to get to sleep.

When I moved home some years later, I saw my old public library and this whole story flooded back. I'd imagined it in the neighboring town of Payette, Idaho and that library was the one in my mind when I read this. I sometimes still get chills driving by that library. Especially if it's late and there are lights on there.

I rarely hear this story mentioned and I feel it is a neglected masterpiece. I think of it as hair-raising as Canon Alberic's Scrapbook or The Turn of the Screw.

Kelly
I admit, it was pretty damn scary.
 

shaitan

Meat popsicle
Dec 26, 2014
962
4,203
44
NY
Great story. Just finished it 3 days ago.
BTW, my local branch of NY Public Library is currently closed for renovations and will be reopening this coming Monday. Can't wait to check out those drop ceilings.
 

blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,755
195,461
Atlanta GA
Just realized (remembered) that I've never read this one! Did all the others in the book way back in the day, but for some reason or other missed out on the Library Police. Don't have a copy of FPM on the shelf, either. Looks like I've another book to order.
I'm sicka you.
 
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Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,242
59
When I moved home some years later, I saw my old public library and this whole story flooded back. I'd imagined it in the neighboring town of Payette, Idaho and that library was the one in my mind when I read this. I sometimes still get chills driving by that library. Especially if it's late and there are lights on there.

I recently had occasion to visit the public library in the small New England town where I grew up and found myself looking -- not at the library itself -- but at the evergreen bushes planted at intervals along the building's front.

Could be anything hiding in there.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
82,822
44
United States
I read this story a long time ago. But, like Gramma, it has stuck with me as one of the scariest things I've ever read. I had to stop reading it at one point and go around my place checking doors and windows (it was 2 am). I was so nervous that I had to watch a couple of episodes of Andy Griffith to get to sleep.

When I moved home some years later, I saw my old public library and this whole story flooded back. I'd imagined it in the neighboring town of Payette, Idaho and that library was the one in my mind when I read this. I sometimes still get chills driving by that library. Especially if it's late and there are lights on there.

I rarely hear this story mentioned and I feel it is a neglected masterpiece. I think of it as hair-raising as Canon Alberic's Scrapbook or The Turn of the Screw.

Kelly
Yes, the lisp of the Library Policeman gave me chills. Reminded me of the Jim Jones death tape. Very troubling story...even when King is winking at you, it is still scary.
 
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Christine62

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
493
3,127
59
Oklahoma City
A Study in Character (Spoilers)

I am listening to this story from youtube on my cell phone that means when ever I go back to it I kinda have to fish around and find where I left off. Needless to say, I have listened to parts of this story multiple times. The one scene I actually went back to and listened to at least four times on purpose was when Sam Peebles goes to Angle street and talks to Dirty Dave. The whole scene moved me and I felt a real sympathy for Dirty Dave.

It got me thinking, how does Mr. King do it? How does he get us to totally root for his characters, even the ones we wouldn't normally root for and be able to do it in one scene? (He did the same thing in the opening scene with the janitor's essay in 11-22-63). As best as I can figure, Mr. King weaves, he doesn't paint.

Before reading this story, I was trying to listen to Pulitzer Prize Winning writer Robert Olen Butler's The Star of Istanbul. There some really stylish lines that I appreciated but his characters were as flat as a highway going through Midland, Texas. Painted pretty but I couldn't have cared less.

I think how Mr. King made me care in this story is that he showed Sam Peebles as a likable character, or at least Sam thought he was a good guy... a great guy after writing such a heartwarming speech. But in this scene, we see the cracks in his character and our hearts go out to Sam because we have those very same cracks of having a self-righteousness that leaks through our humble, "we are all one family" mask when it is actually tested.

Dirty Dave has hints of Jack Torrance in the novel, The Shining. Yes, he's a f*ck up but he has the intention to be good. There is a humility about him that one sees when one is trying to work the Program even if he doesn't succeed all the time. Dirty Dave's good intentioned character is more prominent in contrast to Slim Jim Lukey and Night Train Rudolph.

Of course the best line of the whole passage is when he didn't pursue painting: The day got late while I was doin other things.

I've seen Mr. King draw these contrasts in The Bad Little Kid--the good intentioned character reaching out to a societal undesirable. He is masterful at it. I think this is what is going to keep Mr. King on the map. It is not his "spooky" what if's but the humanity he effortlessly weaves through his stories.
 

FlakeNoir

Original Kiwi© SKMB®
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
44,082
175,641
New Zealand
A Study in Character (Spoilers)

I am listening to this story from youtube on my cell phone that means when ever I go back to it I kinda have to fish around and find where I left off. Needless to say, I have listened to parts of this story multiple times. The one scene I actually went back to and listened to at least four times on purpose was when Sam Peebles goes to Angle street and talks to Dirty Dave. The whole scene moved me and I felt a real sympathy for Dirty Dave.

It got me thinking, how does Mr. King do it? How does he get us to totally root for his characters, even the ones we wouldn't normally root for and be able to do it in one scene? (He did the same thing in the opening scene with the janitor's essay in 11-22-63). As best as I can figure, Mr. King weaves, he doesn't paint.

Before reading this story, I was trying to listen to Pulitzer Prize Winning writer Robert Olen Butler's The Star of Istanbul. There some really stylish lines that I appreciated but his characters were as flat as a highway going through Midland, Texas. Painted pretty but I couldn't have cared less.

I think how Mr. King made me care in this story is that he showed Sam Peebles as a likable character, or at least Sam thought he was a good guy... a great guy after writing such a heartwarming speech. But in this scene, we see the cracks in his character and our hearts go out to Sam because we have those very same cracks of having a self-righteousness that leaks through our humble, "we are all one family" mask when it is actually tested.

Dirty Dave has hints of Jack Torrance in the novel, The Shining. Yes, he's a f*ck up but he has the intention to be good. There is a humility about him that one sees when one is trying to work the Program even if he doesn't succeed all the time. Dirty Dave's good intentioned character is more prominent in contrast to Slim Jim Lukey and Night Train Rudolph.

Of course the best line of the whole passage is when he didn't pursue painting: The day got late while I was doin other things.

I've seen Mr. King draw these contrasts in The Bad Little Kid--the good intentioned character reaching out to a societal undesirable. He is masterful at it. I think this is what is going to keep Mr. King on the map. It is not his "spooky" what if's but the humanity he effortlessly weaves through his stories.
Nicely written piece...

(Ack, but the book shouldn't be on You Tube!)
 
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skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
A Study in Character (Spoilers)

I am listening to this story from youtube on my cell phone that means when ever I go back to it I kinda have to fish around and find where I left off. Needless to say, I have listened to parts of this story multiple times. The one scene I actually went back to and listened to at least four times on purpose was when Sam Peebles goes to Angle street and talks to Dirty Dave. The whole scene moved me and I felt a real sympathy for Dirty Dave.

It got me thinking, how does Mr. King do it? How does he get us to totally root for his characters, even the ones we wouldn't normally root for and be able to do it in one scene? (He did the same thing in the opening scene with the janitor's essay in 11-22-63). As best as I can figure, Mr. King weaves, he doesn't paint.

Before reading this story, I was trying to listen to Pulitzer Prize Winning writer Robert Olen Butler's The Star of Istanbul. There some really stylish lines that I appreciated but his characters were as flat as a highway going through Midland, Texas. Painted pretty but I couldn't have cared less.

I think how Mr. King made me care in this story is that he showed Sam Peebles as a likable character, or at least Sam thought he was a good guy... a great guy after writing such a heartwarming speech. But in this scene, we see the cracks in his character and our hearts go out to Sam because we have those very same cracks of having a self-righteousness that leaks through our humble, "we are all one family" mask when it is actually tested.

Dirty Dave has hints of Jack Torrance in the novel, The Shining. Yes, he's a f*ck up but he has the intention to be good. There is a humility about him that one sees when one is trying to work the Program even if he doesn't succeed all the time. Dirty Dave's good intentioned character is more prominent in contrast to Slim Jim Lukey and Night Train Rudolph.

Of course the best line of the whole passage is when he didn't pursue painting: The day got late while I was doin other things.

I've seen Mr. King draw these contrasts in The Bad Little Kid--the good intentioned character reaching out to a societal undesirable. He is masterful at it. I think this is what is going to keep Mr. King on the map. It is not his "spooky" what if's but the humanity he effortlessly weaves through his stories.
That's exactly where his real writing power lies: his humanity. All the rest is 'so much hugger-mugger'. The scares lure you in, and if you want to stop there, that's okay. His books and stories can all be read at a surface level. But for those who want to go deeper...man, he isn't written much that doesn't take you into the heart of America and Americans, and let you look at the complexities of human beings and human behaviour.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
309
1,009
48
The Library Policeman was a very good yarn. But the best part of it was Dave's back story with Ardelia, not Sam's. Mr. King sometimes does his best writing when doing "back story." I'd be willing to bet he starts the idea there, and then writes the "main" story to include it.
 

Autumn13

Active Member
Feb 14, 2012
43
101
Like the rest of you, I also look at the evergreen bushes planted along side the library in the town where I grew up. Is it some kind of law that every library has to have evergreens planted at the foundation?
I did see a reference to The Library Policeman in The Dark Tower. Chow d dow.
It took me a while to place it. A lot of brain wracking. But Angle Street is the answer.
 
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