Right, so because I can’t stop whinging on about it – one of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop bitching about my life! – I may have mentioned a time or 30 that 2019 was not a particularly good year for your friendly neighbourhood blogger. It just stunk. And a good chunk of that stinkiness came directly from the source, like a self-perpetuating loop of doom and gloom I was utterly unable to drag myself from.
Absent a November and a December that were so jam packed with activity, I may never need to socialize again (joke) I didn’t get much done last year. Blogging was a sad afterthought, favourite TV shows failed to inspire, and virtually every challenge or project I began fell by the wayside, even the ones I was excited to participate in, like my friends’ 2019 reading challenge. It just seemed like every time I’d pick up a book, I’d find some reason to set it right back down again.
But I tried! And in doing so, somehow managed to best my 2018 score of a dozen reads with 14 whole books! And only two and a half of them were Stephen King, I swear. 😉
Jay and Julie have created another reading challenge for the new decade, but before I leap into that (gotta find somewhere to slot that half-King, right?) I’d like to finish up my 2019 efforts, starting with – yup, you guessed it – Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, which I read in service of the 25th prompt of “A happy little accident…or a book that has a title Bob Ross would appreciate.”
But I guess the real question IS, does Bob Ross enjoy ass weasels? ‘Cause this book be chock-a-block with alien critters, and they’re all comin’ out our butts. *mic drop*
The familiar Kingsian story goes a little something like this: Four friends, bound by childhood trauma in the haunted town of Derry, now in their 30s and with various responsibilities of their own, head off to the Maine woods for an annual long weekend hunting trip. While there, aliens – Gray Boys to the trigger-happy government installation also banging about the woods – crash land in the forest. And then shit completely goes to hell.
Literally. Because King seems wildly preoccupied with providing as much squicky detail about how the aliens enter – and exit – our bodies as possible. It’s not just enough to describe the itchy, blazing red, sumac-type virus that spreads across our skin. Naw, we also have to describe – in intimate detail! – the skinless, eyeless creatures I call butt weasels (ass weasels, if you’re nasty) and their amazing adventures in, and outside of, our lower colons.
This book is SO PUERILE. Also juvenile, scatological, and deeply, deeply inane. It’s also hilarious. I defy anyone – even those of us mired in a year of bad luck and unfortunate events – not to laugh at a folksy Maine hunter insisting that the screaming and various other apocalyptic noises coming from the other side of the bathroom door are merely the result of eating some bad berries out in the woods, and not a lower GI tract stuffed with ass weasels. I literally shrieked with delight when the folksy hunter with the tum full of alien parasites grumpily responds to the concerned men gathered outside the bathroom with a “Can’t you go away and let a fellow…let a fellow make a little number two? Gosh!” That “Gosh!” just utterly slayed me. Think we’re a bit past the “Gosh!” stage of things when the bathroom door is bulging outwards on its hinges, dude, but you do you.
Written in 2001 following the car collision that nearly claimed his life, Dreamcatcher is both bound to and untethered by King’s typical style. The usuals are all here – Maine, childhood friends with secrets, Derry, telepathy, cloaked government installations, good guys, bad guys and guys somewhere in between – yet there’s a kind of weary, been-there-done-that feeling to the setting and the story. At this stage of his career, King seems tired. Tired of pain, probably, but also maybe a bit tired of his own schtick. Hence the introduction of the ass weasels to, I dunno, shake things up a bit?
In the end (heh) I really enjoyed Dreamcatcher, needless gory bits aside. It was exactly the kind of low committment, high entertainment paperback I needed in my life at that time, and I’m glad I read it.
Also glad I decided to go with this design inspired by the sumac-type Ripley virus (Ripley, get it?) as opposed to the butt weasels. Some things should just stay off your nails, you know? Bob Ross would certainly approve. 🙂