What did you think?

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GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
59
Cambridge, Ohio
Some very interesting opinions here.

I have finished "Rat" and "Chuck."

I also absolutely loved "Rat," and thought it had a good ending. However, as perhaps in line with one of the story's themes, let me say a thought came to me unbidden.

Okay, so I enjoyed the ambiguity of the story, although I lean toward the actual occurrence of the supernatural. I enjoyed the ending as is, with him writing the one book. However, it occurred to me, what if the rat-Devil was able to offer him more? I thought that maybe, if he were offered more books, Larson actually might decide to take them. What if he sacrificed his family for three more books? Might have been a more exciting way to go. Although, it should be said, once one does that, there is the risk of feeling like we are treading over old horror-cliché ground. That's why I say the ending as is works for me. Nevertheless, it makes me wonder how that would have played out for the board; would Larson have actually taken such a deal?

I believe "Chuck" to be one of the best King tales I have read. It has a couple flaws, but really, they are inconsequential.

Here's the thing about this story. Know how you get to the end of a very good short story but you want more...that's the opening, the third act. Then, it felt as if King were doing that: giving us more, even though the third act easily could have been a short story all its own. I don't have his author's note in front of me, but he may even have implied as such. The second act is one of the flaws...it was well-told, but I'm not sure the whole dancing thing is of interest to me. Except, maybe it has more of a meaning to it? I don't know. Have to think more about it. But the first act actually spooked me out as I read it at night. The ghost visions were quite cool, and I wonder, did that teacher cast a spell over him, wittingly or unwittingly? I thought the vision would have been of the world dying instead of him in the bed, but it was fine either way. Question remains: why Chuck...why did he contain the multitudes?

Like I say, I really enjoyed it. And forgive me, too lazy at the moment, to go back in the thread, but I believe it was GNTLGNT who said he would have to go back and think about this story some more. Let me know if that meant you liked it or not, just curious. For me, I agree...I have to think more about this. I do know I liked it, though.

Next up for me is the first tale, then I will settle in with the title story...
....I really enjoyed the story, just required a bit of pondering for the latest "world within world" take......
 

Mrs Pennywise

Member
Apr 22, 2020
9
49
39
Some very interesting opinions here.

I have finished "Rat" and "Chuck."

I also absolutely loved "Rat," and thought it had a good ending. However, as perhaps in line with one of the story's themes, let me say a thought came to me unbidden.

Okay, so I enjoyed the ambiguity of the story, although I lean toward the actual occurrence of the supernatural. I enjoyed the ending as is, with him writing the one book. However, it occurred to me, what if the rat-Devil was able to offer him more? I thought that maybe, if he were offered more books, Larson actually might decide to take them. What if he sacrificed his family for three more books? Might have been a more exciting way to go. Although, it should be said, once one does that, there is the risk of feeling like we are treading over old horror-cliché ground. That's why I say the ending as is works for me. Nevertheless, it makes me wonder how that would have played out for the board; would Larson have actually taken such a deal?

I believe "Chuck" to be one of the best King tales I have read. It has a couple flaws, but really, they are inconsequential.

Here's the thing about this story. Know how you get to the end of a very good short story but you want more...that's the opening, the third act. Then, it felt as if King were doing that: giving us more, even though the third act easily could have been a short story all its own. I don't have his author's note in front of me, but he may even have implied as such. The second act is one of the flaws...it was well-told, but I'm not sure the whole dancing thing is of interest to me. Except, maybe it has more of a meaning to it? I don't know. Have to think more about it. But the first act actually spooked me out as I read it at night. The ghost visions were quite cool, and I wonder, did that teacher cast a spell over him, wittingly or unwittingly? I thought the vision would have been of the world dying instead of him in the bed, but it was fine either way. Question remains: why Chuck...why did he contain the multitudes?

Like I say, I really enjoyed it. And forgive me, too lazy at the moment, to go back in the thread, but I believe it was GNTLGNT who said he would have to go back and think about this story some more. Let me know if that meant you liked it or not, just curious. For me, I agree...I have to think more about this. I do know I liked it, though.

Next up for me is the first tale, then I will settle in with the title story...

On Rat.

I think you're right, having his family dying would be somewhat cliche. That's how I expected it to end, but the story kept its ambiguity on whether the Rat was real or not. I think the more subtle ending worked well.

On Chuck

He does say in the author notes that it was initially separate stories that he put together. I thought the dance scene was nice, I think it kind of just shows how Chuck embraced life and enjoyed it even though he had seen the vision and knew he was living on borrowed time.
 

Rrty

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,394
4,588
Mrs Pennywise

That's a good point about Act Two. That may have indeed been the reason why King did it that way, vis a vis Act One. I think "Chuck," over time, will be a focus of King scholars. I also wonder if this gets adapted, and by what entity. I'm guessing streaming. (Although it would probably make a good short piece of content, maybe for Quibi.) If it goes streaming, I'm thinking Apple (that company might be more into experimental stuff at the moment as it builds out its brand). I just hope it doesn't get too changed up if it does sell to Hollywood (i.e., follows more characters, focuses on the apocalypse, etc.), unless....King is scripting the changes (or at least providing story treatments for them).
 

The Nameless

M-O-O-N - That spells Nameless
Jul 10, 2011
2,080
8,261
39
The Darkside of the Moon (England really)
Only read the 1st 2 so far. I liked them both. I will say this about life of chuck. Act 3 would have been a perfect stand alone short story. Act 2 did kinda feel like filler to me, it was ok filler though. I'd have thought 11.22.63 would have gotten all the dancing out of his system by now though. Act 1 was a great story it felt like a more innocent version of a story from bazaar of bad dreams.
The dune. Where as the main character in that is seduced by knowing the future and keeps going back, the boy chuck understands straight away that he shouldnt have looked. Act 1 is what we all expected to be the outcome of the dune. Steve played us all well with that.
 

doowopgirl

very avid fan
Aug 7, 2009
6,946
25,119
63
dublin ireland
My favorite was Rat. Had the King doing it old style and really right. My least favorite was the Holly story. It just felt too pat, too tidy and it felt like a massive plot hole in that how did the bomb get to be addressed to someone at the school? Maybe I missed something. I like the Holly in the Outsider much better. Life of Chuck was a bit existential for me. Really liked Mr. Verrils phone.