Friday, June 9, 2017

Short Fiction Friday: Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

"Constant Readers" have come to know and love Stephen King's world well, and while Castle Rock is just one of the places he's created, it's one that's definitely stuck with us. Likely because of its total destruction in Needful Things - that kind of makes an impression!

Gwendy's Button Box marks a welcome return to the disastrously fated town.

Gwendy is just a girl when she meets the man in the black bowler hat. He tells her she's special; he's been watching her and he has a task only she can handle. He gives her a box, showing her a lever that will give her the most satisfying chocolates she's ever tasted and another that will give her rare silver dollars. But it's the buttons that are important - and worth caution. Buttons that cause destruction and havoc. Buttons that Gwendy isn't sure she'll ever have the courage to try. But she knows if the box and it's terrible buttons fall into the wrong hands, it could mean the end of everything.

Gwendy's task is a heavy one. She is, as mentioned, just a child when the box is given to her. And though the man doesn't explicitly explain the power of the box and it's buttons, Gwendy surmises it pretty quickly on her own.

She does test one of the buttons, too, and the experience is one that weighs on her for the rest of her life.

So what would you do? If you held massive power in your hands and could decide the fate of a person, a town, a country, or even the world?

Gwendy's Button Box is a standalone, set mostly in the late 70s (so prior to Leland Guant). The question Gwendy faces is a heavy one, but the book is overall a pretty light and quick read. As I said, a welcome return to Castle Rock that likely holds a bit more appeal thanks to nostalgia, but I have no complaints. I thought it was dark and deliciously fun!

Novels set in Castle Rock

The Dead Zone
The Dark Half
Needful Things

Shorts and Novellas set in Castle Rock:

"The Body" (Different Seasons)
"Uncle Otto's Truck" (Skeleton Crew)
"Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" (Skeleton Crew)
The Sun Dog (Four Past Midnight)
"It Grows on You" (Nightmares & Dreamscapes)
"Premium Harmony" (Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
Gwendy's Button Box

1 comment:

Jennifer | Book Den said...

I enjoyed this one. The buttons definitely didn't do what I thought they would do. :)