The Body, by Stephen King

Eight stars

Stephen King’s wonderful 1982 novella, which was transformed into the classic 1986 film, Stand By Me, four young boys to come of age over a weekend together. Set in 1960, the story takes place in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine, where twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance and his three friends are ready to set out to substantiate the rumours that the body of a missing boy has turned up near the next town. As the boys to begin their summer trek, they must come together to face winding train tracks, a brief dip in an interesting water hole, and a great deal of self-discovery. In a story that seeks to explore the innermost thoughts and feelings of these four, the reader can see that emotions run deep and that the ‘tough guy’ exteriors are only a pre-teen facade. King pulls the reader in from the outset in this well-paced piece, which shows just how amazing youth can be, when tempered with a little sobering maturity. Recommended for those who like King and his various writing styles. No need to be wary, for there is little gore, but enough language that some readers may want to look elsewhere.

I always enjoy Stephen King pieces, as they keep me wondering where things will go in his circuitous writing style. There was a strict ban on my reading his novels when I was younger, for reasons I am not entirely sure I remember. My adult years have been spent catching up and I have come to see that King can be a little intense, but he has a great deal I thoroughly enjoy. King offers up a lighter novella here, allowing his characters to develop nicely without the excessive gore. Gordie Lachance is both the presumptive protagonist and the ‘author’ of this story, a flashback piece penned when he was much older. Lachance explores some of the sentiments of his own childhood, as well as honing his skills as a writer. Gordie offers up much development as it relates to his friends, giving the reader a more comprehensive approach to those who populate the story. Through a series of events that weave together into the larger story, King allows his characters to mature through their learning experiences. Keeping the reader engaged throughout this quick read, King shows just how strong his writing can be, close to four decades later.

Kudos, Mr. King, for another wonderful piece of writing. I am happy to have stumbled upon this one and will admit that I have not seen Stand By Me in its entirety, which will soon change.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons