....I really enjoyed the story, just required a bit of pondering for the latest "world within world" take......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...