An unexpected added short story to a recently released novella by Stephen King. Quite an interesting tale that mixes some unique character development with King’s trademark gory depictions at some points. A recent widower, Lloyd welcomes his sister’s visit to Florida. However, it would seem that this is more than a simple visit, but a family attempt to help a depressed older man. Lloyd is introduced to a puppy that is being left for him, something that might help distract from his recently departed wife. Lloyd hesitates and struggles to housetrain the little ball of fur, but Laurie soon creates a canine bond with her master. They find their niche and undertake a basic routine, including walks around the neighbourhood. When their walk takes them by a body of water, things go sour, forcing Lloyd and Laurie to take matters into their own hands. What might have started out as an awkward relationship soon develops into something that warms the heart. A nice filler that fans of Stephen King will likely find just up their alley.
While not everyone can admit to liking Stephen King or his work, I have come to find much of his work quite entertaining for its unique approach to the every day. In this short piece, King has little time to develop his characters, though does well with painting Lloyd as a man who pines for his departed wife but who does not want help with his sorrow. He has been losing weight and surely could use some companionship, but refuses to admit it to a doting sister. When introduced to Laurie, Lloyd pushes back, but soon has little choice but to act as master, sucking up all his resentments. From there, it’s all about the slow and ongoing connection between man and his dog. They come together with ease, even if it is somewhat jagged at the start. Lloyd comes to accept his fate and seems to embrace it, given time and his set of rules. The story was well written and kept my interest for the brief time it took to complete. King never ceases to amaze me, as he can grip my attention with long, drawn-out novels just as much as short stories that take only a cup of coffee to complete.
Kudos, Mr. King, for another great story that held my attention throughout. Even with a little gore, I can see many readers finding it to their liking.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons