Self is hugely employing Fairy Tale. She knows how much she is enjoying it because she’s slowed down her reading pace: in January (with ten days still to go), self had been spending an average of three or four days on a book. Until now.
There is something poignant about the father-son relationship, about how King takes the time to show it repairing itself after a cataclysmic loss. Only a few pages in, self was vested in the boy, in his life. King takes his time showing the boy’s life beginning to take shape and then — he’s such a sly writer — in the MC’s senior year, something happens: he helps out an elderly neighbor.
How can such a simple thing be the hinge of an entire life? Well, this is Stephen King, so maybe there’s something fable-like about it. The MC, Charlie, takes care of the neighbor’s dog, Radar, and they begin to bond. Self loved this passage:
We went out back, where I knew I could get four bars on my phone. I sat on the steps and Radar sat beside me. I opened Safari, typed ‘sharpening with a whetstone’, looked at a couple of videos, then went to work. It didn’t take long to put a pretty keen edge on the scythe.
I took a picture to show Mr. Bowditch, then biked to the hospital. Found him sleeping. Biked back in the late afternoon light and fed Radar. Missed baseball a little.
Well . . . maybe more than a little.
— Fairy Tale, p. 63
(Except — there is that padlocked shed in the back, DUN DUN DUN. Self may just find herself screaming outta here when the hero eventually confronts the thing inside that’s making mysterious scratching noises)