The Old Deep and Dark by Ellen Hart

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This is the 22nd Jane Lawless Mystery. And it’s the first I’ve read. You might wonder why, and having read it, I wonder the very same thing: Why am I only discovering this series now? Whatever the reason, one thing is clear – The Old Deep and Dark won’t remain my only venture into this series.

Here’s what happens:

Jane’s friend Cordelia bought an old theater. Not only is the place historically relevant and haunted, Jane and Cordelia discover a body in the cellar, which once upon a time was a speakeasy. And that’s only the first body recovered, because country singer and friend to Cordelia Jordan Deere is found dead on a jogging path.

Investigating this murder with her father, lawyer Raymond Lawless, Jane discovers the truth of an old saying: Everybody lies. And the Deere family turns it into a kind of art and everyone becomes a possible suspect who may not only have murdered Jordan Deere, but also the bodies that keep piling up in Cordelia’s theater.

I’m not going to reveal the murderer, don’t worry. But I’m also not saying that they’re difficult to discover, though Hart sure keeps one guessing. That’s one of the appeals, of course, but it may not be the greatest, because Hart’s writing is wonderful, her characters delightful, and the hints toward solving the crime subtle.

Subtlety isn’t the characters’ best feature, though, and it’s probably luck that the real killer is finally revealed. While Jane is hard-working and committed enough, she’s also distracted by personal problems. Fortunately for her, she has able assistance in finding this serial killer.

Hart’s ensemble of characters is solid and one can read this book – and I would guess every book in this series – as a stand alone. But then, how can one not want to know their complete story? Hints are given throughout that it’s an exciting one and I, for one, won’t likely miss out on more of these entertaining volumes. I’m looking forward to discovering Jane Lawless and her friends, one book at a time.

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

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This is the first part of The Lives of the Mayfair Witches series which includes three books so far. Here’s what The Witching Hour is about:

Rowan Mayfair is a successful doctor in California, but unbeknownst to her she is the heiress of a legacy of an old New Orleans family. Despite rigorous attempts of a few family members to prevent her from coming to New Orleans, the death of her birth mother does exactly this. Together with Michael Curry, her lover and someone sharing a supernatural power since their first meeting, she discovers what this legacy entails: riches and jewels, yes, but also a ghost-like apparition whose aim and desire it is to become flesh and blood. And Rowan is supposed to fulfill that desire.

The book is over a thousand pages strong, so this short blurb only scratches the surface. There is a whole history contained in the book, but though it is supposed to be about the Mayfair witches, it’s more about their live-in spirit, Lasher.

I was actually looking forward to reading a book about witches, but already the beginning taught me that Anne Rice won’t just tell a plain story about a family of witches, about women (excuse me, if I think of women hearing the word ‘witches’, of course there are male witches, too). I’ve read some of her Vampire Chronicles books, and The Wolf Gift and they all struck me as very male-centric. I presumed that a story about witches (and Anne Rice seems to think mostly of female witches, too) would actually be about women. I was wrong, though.

While the story is interesting, enticing, gripping even, the story is not really about the Mayfair witches. It is more about the men watching these women. There’s a secret society in the book calling themselves the Talamasca, who have compiled the history of the Mayfair witches. Petyr van Abel tells a great part of that history. Then there’s Michael whose story starts in New Orleans where he is already pulled into the Mayfair history by seeing ‘The Man.’ Aaron Lightner is protagonist as well as compiler of the history. There’s Julien Mayfair, himself a powerful witch and pretty much the center of the tale about the Mayfairs, as well as his son Cortland.

The Witching Hour is another good example for the tale of women told through male eyes. Anne Rice is such a superb story teller, but I’m wondering if she is actually able to grab the female voice, to tell a story from the female perspective. This astonishes me, honestly. You may wonder why it is important, but if you read any of my other reviews you know I’m a feminist and kind of focus on stories about women, often by women.

It’s certainly not a great tragedy, or a fault that makes Rice’s writing unreadable. As I said, I enjoyed the tale. But even her one female protagonist – every other female’s story was told by a male – has a strong masculinity about her. And Rice makes it part of her personality, actually. She’s aware of it, she uses it, also in the character of Carlotta Mayfair, or Aunt Carl.

This is an intersting observation and maybe I will one day write a paper about it, but let’s come back to the book.

It’s a good story. The history is told from the Talamasca point of view and you never know if the narrators are trustworthy. You don’t get to know the witches’ story first hand, so that you can never see through their reasonings. You don’t get to know who Lasher is, where he comes from until the end of the book. But you know he’s a man (gendering a spirit and making him sexually potent and all-consuming, really?).

Rice ends the book on a kind of cliff-hanger, but I’m reluctant to pick up the follow-up Lasher. For all the reasons I already disclosed. As for wanting to read a story about witches and wanting to know what they do, how they do magic? Maybe pick up Harry Potter again, because The Witching Hour is more a history of a family where psychic powers are rather common. But if you’re a Rice fan, go pick it up, it’s a good read.

The Tea Machine by Gill McKnight

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First, how do you like the cover? Because I simply love it. I think it’s my favorite from all of the Ylva Publishing books yet.

And I’m so glad that the inside meets the promise of the outside, because The Tea Machine is an incredible read.

Here’s what’s in it:

Millicent Aberly is upset with her brilliant brother because he’s used her favorite parasol for his newest invention: a time machine. In the attempt to get at least a piece of the parasol back, she engages the machine and is catapulted to a strange place in a strange timeline, where a strange warrior woman dies because of her.

Trying to save this woman’s life over and over again, Millicent, her brother Hubert, and his fianceé Sophia are trying to walk the stony path of histories with as much dignity as it allows, changing the world and their own fates – maybe forever.

Well, there’s also a giant squid, Amazons, and steampunk galore in this story, but where to put it in a short blurb? This story is a breathless adventure with so many delicious parts that you can’t put them all together by retelling.

I’ve never read a steampunk novel, though I am intrigued by this subculture. And if all novels that include this phenomenon are as wild and wonderful as this one, well, then I’m a fan. McKnight understands the intricacies that come with time travel and never loses track of her story. I’m truly fascinated and enthused about her imagination.

There is some romance, but the story is more important. McKnight creates entertaining and charming characters and not all of them are human. But all of them are overwhelmed by the magnitude of Hubert’s invention and at a loss how everything will turn out in the end. McKnight takes the time to explain what happens. Her time travel story is well thought through and it’s possible to follow it and not get swallowed by plot holes, because there are none.

This is an entertaining, fascinating read. The only regret I have is that it was over too quickly, but as I’m told that there will be a sequel, The Parabellum, I’m looking forward to it.

Even if you’re not a fan of science fiction stories, even if you think steampunk is ridiculous, give this story a try. It’s really funny and smart and entertaining. Go, read!

Barring Complications by Blythe Rippon

barringcomplicationsBack from the vestiges of dark narration, I’ve chosen an actual romance – as opposed to an abusive relationship masked as romance. And since many have said that Barring Complications is something worth reading, I wasn’t about to resist. And I’m not disappointed – even though it is not just a romance.

Here’s what it’s about:

Victoria Willoughby is a supreme court justice about to make history. This year’s agenda gives her the possibility to be instrumental in overthrowing DOMA. But what the public is really interested in at this point, is her private life which she kept under tight wraps since college. Back then she was in a relationship with Genevieve Fornier, now one of the lawyers presenting the case of the plaintiffs for marriage equality. The spark between these two successful women is still there, but giving voice to newly awakened feelings would jeopardize the case that is dear to both their hearts.

‘Kay, as you can see, I’m not lawyer-speech-savvy, but Blythe Rippon is. She builds a gripping story about a historical case before the supreme court. She weaves a tale that is suprising in its understated romantic ambitions. To me, it’s a jewel in its genre because it is not typical, it’s never showy, it simply tells a story of law, social injustice, and two women in love.

Rippon knows her history and her legal vocabulary. For me, as a student of North American Studies (I’m European, in case you forgot) it is especially interesting to see what happens when the text books write: ‘… the supreme court decided…’ or whatever they write. It was a practical course at what happens behind the Scenes. But don’t be fooled by my geekery, this book doesn’t read like a text book. It’s a romance well-told and it’s a tale worth telling. It will lift you within your little rainbow-colored world and make you proud of the progress we’re making, especially in our generation. Yes, it’s an American tale, but we all know that these changes are being made throughout the Western world.

It’s a wonderful read, go and get.

Sometime Yesterday by Yvonne Heidt

sometimeyesterdayOctober – what better month for reading a ghost story? I’m diving bookwise into Halloween this year and Yvonne Heidt’s Sometime Yesterday is certainly a worthwhile read for the shorter days and longer nights – who are hopefully filled with steamy love rather than scary ghosts.

Here’s what happens – in the book:

Life after divorce. For Natalie Chambers it’s a new beginning with a new house. But the realtor never mentioned the ghosts that are already living in the Victrian mansion Natalie bought. Two lesbian ghosts who stir feelings in Natalie she hasn’t known before, and one ghostly husband terrorizing the living like he once terrorized his wife and sister. Their history does not not only involve the dead but also Van Easton, a landscaper Natalie is falling in love with.

It’s a lovely story. Heidt paints a convincing picture of the house and its garden in two different eras with two sets of female protagonists. They meet in a dreamscape and slowly the secrets of the past are revealed. Sometimes in vivid violent scenes that involve Beth’s husband Richard, a psychopath, sometimes in sexy love scenes between Beth and her sister-in-law Sarah.

The story is beautifully set and well written. The prose is a little choppy, a style I’m usually not comfortable with, but Heidt describes this magical world so captivating I couldn’t stop reading.

Sometime Yesterday is the perfect read for October when we’re awaiting Halloween with a cup of hot chocolate. But not just for that time, because there’s never a bad time to be scared, to feel indignant about the injustices of the past or simply fall in love. This novel gives you all this and then some. You should read it. I guarantee you’ll love it.

Alma Mater by Rita Mae Brown

almamaterI read this novel years ago and in German. I read a lot of Brown back then and I loved her stories, mainly because they’re very Southern stories about Southern women and their relationships to each other (and not just lesbian relationships, I’m talking sisters, mothers and daughters,  aunts and nieces). While I come from nowhere near the American South, I can certainly relate to the female relations-part since like most of her characters I have very strong, very determined female relatives. They have influenced my life.

Since reading it last, I have always remembered Alma Mater as a book I wanted to read again – here’s what it’s about:

Vic Savedge meets Chris Carter and is besotted. She falls hard for the other young woman and the feeling is mutual – too bad that Vic has a boyfriend and all her relatives in Surry County expect her to marry him soon. While Vic loves Charly Harrison very much, there is just something missing from their relationship. Vic finds that piece of herself in Chris: it is unbridled passion. Between new cars, old acquaintances and the drink of the day, Vic has to find out where she belongs and with whom – never mind that life has its own ideas of what is going to happen next.

The whole story is a great big mess – just like life. Because life doesn’t wait until you have made up your mind and it isn’t fair if you can’t. Life just happens. And there’s a lot of life happening in Rita Mae Brown’s Virginia. Her characters walk, glide, stumble and fall into the full of it, usually with a sense of humor if not decorum. The voices are distinct, the dialect telling, the settings sometimes beautiful, sometimes bizarre but always close to home.

I guess you can tell that I like Brown’s stories. With Alma Mater, after all those years of not reading Brown, I realized that her style is quite disorganized. I’m not sure it’s the same with her other books but I rather liked that her writing is as unpredictable as the things that are happening. After reading so much about how to properly structure and paragraph a novel, it’s amusing to read somethig that defies the rules. But this is Rita Mae Brown and she can afford it – us mere mortals who are amateurs shall not.

There’s one thing about the novel that left me dissatisfied, though. While most of the characters get their share of exploration, Chris Carter remains a little pale to me. I couldn’t quite grasp her and would have wished for more time between her and Vic. Given, this is not a traditional lesbian romance, it’s much more of a family portrait, a book about Southern women and relationships. Still, the romance between Vic and Chris is why a lot of things happen but it pales in comparison to other relationships, even the one between Vic and Charly. I would have liked to spend more time with Chris, get to know why she did the things she did, where her convictions came from.

Apart from that: a great read, a wild ride, entertaining and quick.

Gay Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen & Kate Christie

It’s been a while since I last read Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It goes something like this (not, that I don’t think everybody knows this story, this is just for the purpose of reminiscence – and the 2 or 3 people in the world who actually haven’t read it):

Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy meet and dislike each other from the first. At some point, he notices her “fine eyes” and is smitten. Still, he helps his best friend Bingley to fall out of love with Eliza’s sister, Jane. When they meet again, Darcy asks Eliza to marry him but she refuses him – adding some choice words that crush him. Well, things happen and Darcy proves his value. Eliza rethinks her position and as Bingley comes back to the neighborhood and asks Jane to marry him, her anger is quite overcome and she relents to the inevitable: she marries Darcy.

The story isn’t quite as dry as I have presented it here, wit and hilarity abound, there are intrigues and odd characters. It is actually one of the best stories ever told and Lizzy and Darcy are two of the most amazing characters in literature – they are AWESOME, actually.

This is probably why there is a tendency of late to take the story, the actual words of Austen, and add a little something – something like zombies. And although, I haven’t read that particular story, I am now looking forward to it more than when I first encountered the book at a Barnes & Noble in 2009. Especially, after I have now read Kate Christie’s colloberation with Austen’s story, Gay Pride and Prejudice. The story is a little different:

Elizabeth Bennett and Caroline Bingley meet and dislike each other from the first. At some point, Caroline notices Eliza’s “fine eyes” and is smitten. Still, she helps her brother Charles to fall out of love with Eliza’s sister, Jane. When they meet again, Caroline professes her love for Eliza but she refuses her – adding some choice words that crush Caroline. Well, things happen and Caroline proves her value. Eliza rethinks her position and as Charles comes back to the neighborhood and asks Jane to marry him, her anger is quite overcome and she relents to the inevitable: she marries Darcy (no, really, she does). Caroline has meanwhile married Rèmy de Laurent, Darcy’s boyfriend, and the foursome lives happily ever after on Pemberley.

Now, we could argue all day about the value of altering Austen’s story (whether to add zombies or homosexuals), but I don’t want to do that. I have never read any of the many sequels because I pretty much held the conservative stance that it is blasphemy. Still, they have always intrigued me. They are fanfiction and I never thought anything wrong with that concept (my first stories were Xena-fanfiction and I am still not done with that genre, either). I am convinced, that from now on I will read a lot of stories which are related to Austen’s writing, now, that I have finally begun. Fact is, I missed Jane Austen these last few years in which I haven’t read her and I will remedy that, sometimes with her own writing, sometimes with her characters gone astray into the writing of others.

As for Gay Pride and Prejudice, it is a blast. Of course, most of the story is unchanged, often it’s only the adding of Caroline Bingley’s name that discerns the original from Christie’s version. So, it is not difficult to like and I do. Eliza falling for Caroline instead of Darcy makes sense because Darcy and Caroline are not so very different. The Caroline Bingley Christie pulls from the pages is pretty much part of the original Darcy, ripped from him but never far from him (as it is, Darcy and Caroline are close friends and allies, especially, since Caroline discovered that Darcy hides the same kind of secret she does). And as Eliza is described as someone who prefers the attention of her own sex as well (she and Charlotte Lucas have been more than friends for over two years now), they have just to overcome the same problems of pride and prejudice as the originals do.

There is one thing within the pages I do not quite agree with. Having read a lot about romantic friendship, I am not sure it was actually as much under suspicion as Christie is trying to make us believe. In regard to Louisa Hurst who is, of course, informed about the preferences of her sister, the prejudices might be understandable but there are instances of suspicion that I do not quite agree with, especially, since the story takes place before the well-publicized trial of Oscar Wilde. It does also not correspond with the notion that Christie gives us in the end about Rèmy and Darcy living in one wing of Pemberley and Caroline and Eliza living in the other and the servants just accepting this without question or gossiping about it just because they love their master so much.

Yet this is the only criticism I have and it can be easily forgotten while reading – or re-reading – this wonderful story. It is really more Austen than it is Christie, yet it is also an important contribution for those of us who have always wondered about Eliza’s sexuality, who have always wanted her to be a little bit more like oneself. And I must say, I cherish the idea of a Caroline Bingley who is not as typically snobbish as Austen made her.

Maurice by E.M. Forster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In case you were wondering about why there are two book covers this time: I own a copy of each. I read the left one but I just love the other cover so much that I had to put it up, too.)

Forster wrote this novel sometime around 1913-14 but it was only published after his death in 1971. The topic of homosexuality seemed too sensitve, too taboo. Today the novel seems outdated but for the fact that Forster dared to let it end happily-ever-after for his main character.

Maurice Hall is a product of the British upper-middle class. He is a snob, not overly intellectual but clever enough, and he fits into a well-carved position his father left him – but for the fact that he is “an unspeakable of the Oscar Wild sort,” an invert, a homosexual, or in modern parlance: gay. He is lucky enough to have a friend to share the sentiment with, I say sentiment as their relationship never becomes sexual. Maurice and Clive meet in Cambridge, their friendship evolves over one summer when they are parted and Clive finally tells Maurice how he feels. They become lovers – in the platonic sense – until Clive “becomes normal.” Maurice is shattered, thinks of suicide but finally decides to bury his desires inside the farce that is his life. He will work, he will be a good son and brother but he will not be a lover. While he tries for medical help and a cure, he meets Alec Scudder who works for Clive and they fall in love.

I have read and re-read this novel multiple times now and it always shocks me out of my certainty of being a queer person myself. For the most part, I think Clive is the more sympathetic character. His homosexuality can only be understood on an intellectual level as he deals with it on that ground. The question whether he even desires men is as fascinating as the one about his transformation toward heterosexuality? Does he believe in it? Do we? Naturally, this evokes strong opinions and emotions but I find Forsters approach a  legit one. I rather like the idea of fluidity in sexuality (I call it an idea because I don’t find my sexuality all that fluid) and I think it is quite possible for a person to go from one kind of sexuality to another – and back again. Either in this or in getting rid of the labels and just loving who one wants to love. The sad thing about the character Clive is that he gets stuck once he owns to his heterosexuality. There may be a sentimental moment when he kisses Maurice hand but his mind is set on being straight – so much so that he becomes unsympathetic, a hypocrite.

Maurice is not the most likable character. He is destined to be dull and only when he allows himself to be himself he becomes the character we would have wished for from the beginning. The development is a believable one and in the end, we couldn’t like Maurice more. He loves, and he loves beyond borders, beyond the distinctions made by his class. And that is a truly remarkable evolution for a character who starts out as middling in everything he does. Maurice may not be remarkable but his coming-of-age and coming-out are.

There are many things to love about this novel, the fact that I have read it several times and always like to pick it up again, attests to this. It poses a lot of interesting questions about society and sexuality. It also condemns a certain British class and it’s way of living. There is wisdom and beautiful prose, thoughtful contemplation of topics that still interest the human mind and… soul?

The Shakespeare Secret by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Published in the United States as “Interred with Their Bones.”

I like to think of myself as a Shakespearean. I am not – at least not in the academic sense of the word. But I am in the very personal because I love his work. Not all of his works equally, though. As many others I did not doubt that the man William Shakespeare was very much like he is portrayed in Shakespeare in Love – a man desperate to write something good, a man driven by his muse, by his talent. An actor and a playwright. A lady’s man, a gent’s man. I did not doubt that he existed or that he was the one who wrote the plays.

That was then, this is now. I came across Carrell’s book a couple of years ago when these things were still all crystal clear to me. I am not usually a fan of crime stories but the synopsis on the book cover intrigued me and I read this book. My look on Shakespeare was never the same afterward.

Carrell tells the story of Kate Stanley who is to direct Hamlet at the new Globe Theatre in London. An old friend, Rosalind Howard, asks for Kate’s help but is soon after murdered in a Shakespearean fashion. She is only the first of several victims while Kate tries to work her way through a maze of clues toward something of unimaginable value: a manuscript of a lost play by William Shakespeare.

Cardenio is the name of the play and it tells the story of one of the minor characters of Cervantes’ Don Quixote. But it is also a saucy piece of gossipy history that a powerful family of Shakespeare’s time did not want to come to light again. But there is another factor to be taken into account: the identity of the writer himself. Who was Shakespeare?

Carrell, herself a Shakespeare scholar of some repute, relates the theories of academics and fans of the bard who wrote Shakespeare’s plays. We learn about the Earl of Oxford, Edward DeVere, who is the most likely candidate for authorship, of Delia Bacon who was convinced that Fransic Bacon was the one who wrote Shakespeare’s plays, and of an alliance of several people – including the actor Shakespeare himself – who came together to create the bard.

Mix all this with murder in the most gruesome Shakespearean fashion and you have a fascinating read, a lecture on Shakespearean academic theories and a search that spans two continents and several landmarks on the Shakespearean map. We may not know who really wrote the plays that bear Shakespeare’s name but it is a hell of a lot of fun to speculate.

11.22.63 by Stephen King

In the last couple of weeks while I was reading this book I came across at least three versions of “The Butterfly Effect.” One was in the book, one was on Warehouse 13 and then there was another and I don’t remember… I think it was at a party but I was boozed, so. All three were different from the first account I read about – this in a Xena Uber fanfiction – that if a butterfly beats its wing at one end of earth it can cause an earthquake at the other end. I cherish this version because, as I remember it, it was put into beatiful prose (not the ever-rattling shorthand that I use). The gist of the thing is that if you change the past a little it will have big consequences in the present/future. Trekkers remember it as the time-space-continuum and how Captain Janeway liked to bend that one.

So, this is what Jake Epping, the hero of King’s novel does. He changes the past when somebody shows him the way into it, saving President Kennedy, having Oswald killed, losing his fiancé in the process. But the new present (2011) he created is the worst case scenario because such things don’t sit well with… the butterfly effect or the time-space-continuum. Reality slowly rips apart.

There is another novel that pretty much builds on the same premise: time travel and changing a historic event.  Stephen Fry’s Making History is one of my favorite all-timers. But Fry is European and instead of preventing Kennedy’s assassination, he prevents Hitler from being born. Eliminating evil creates new evil in his version and it is brilliant.. a brilliant novel.

I wish I could say the same about King’s novel. Stephen King has been part of my life since I was 10 years old, trying to read It for the first time (I stopped after the second chapter because I was appalled but picked the book up a year later to read it for the first of many times). It is still my favorite of the novels I read (I haven’t read all of them but a fair share) by King, it is still one of my favorite novels and he was the first adult author I read. When I came to the moment in the plot when it became clear that Epping was going to Derry, I rejoiced… Revisiting Derry, wow! But looking back this may not have been the wisest decision. And comparing Dallas and Derry – even by someone as clueless about Derry as Epping – also felt off. The only scene I cherished was the one with Richie and Bev and I guess, it will stay with me and I will remmeber it whenever I will read It in the future. But everything else… it was rather disappointing. Maybe because the kids had already (almost) finished the monster off when Epping appears on the scene, I’m not even sure, it just wasn’t … right, somehow.

This is, of course, a highly subjective opinion, it’s my opinion after all. But maybe King was too eager to combine Derry and Dallas, to make the connection. What follows in the wake is a little boring, to be honest. The years that stretch out where we learn a lot of history, and a lot of Epping (calling himself George Amberson). True, I have little patience with stories about men, their heroism, their sexual exploits, etc. and maybe my bored state comes from this fact and not from King’s writing at all… But I was bored during a lot of the book and I am sad to say it and even sadder to have felt it. Because I am interested in history, and because I have always been interested in the Kennedy assassination (I guess that happens when you are born one day short to exactly 15 years after the assassination), and time-travel, yay! and Stephen King, even greater yey! And still I was disappointed and still I was bored.

The plot really only picks up speed after the attack on Sadie and from that point on you can happily skip through the book like any other King novel. By then he had almost lost me. Of course, the rest of the book makes up for it some, here is King at his best and presents us with the horrors of the past that doesn’t want to be changed, with Jake being beaten to an inch of his life, with a race to Dallas and the Book Depository from which Oswald (presumably) shot Kennedy. And the aftermath, and the changed present, and an explanation from the Green Card Man – and finally a lovely reunion. This is once again so well written, exciting and, yes, lovely that – as I said – it almost makes up for the almost 500 pages that were not that good. But this almost stems from the fact that I have been reading Stephen King for over 20 years, the fact that only one third of it – to me – was worth reading, the fact that it was the last third and hence the more memorable third, the one that people will remember and point to and say: this is a fantastic read.

There are other misgiving, I guess. Some stem from the fact that King does not create great female heroes, and although Sadie is a wonderful, lovable character, and quite the hero, she is not THE hero, the same way Bev Marsh was never THE hero of It. From someone of King’s story-telling prowess, I would like to read about more diverse characters than the typical Jake Epping – I am white, I am straight, I rule the world – the same way I wished that he gave the world Under the Dome a different set of rules than those of patriarchal society gone anarchist. Maybe 11.22.63 would have been better if the hero was someone African-American, someone hispanic, a woman, someone who would have felt the restrictions of 1963 more severely.

I am being hard on King because I know he could write something like that. But then, of course, he does not cater to one complaining, nerdy fan of his somewhere in Germany. And this is alright because I am a writer myself and the first person I write for is myself. Still I complain, still I wait for something extraordinary to come from one of my all-time favorite writers. I guess it is only fair to expect the best from those you admire most.