If you’ve spent any time geeking out over Kingcast – a pod on the Fangoria network – you might, like me, have found yourself wondering why guests choose the novels they do. Three so far have selected The Mist, but none have gone for From a Buick 8? I mean – what?
Thinking about King’s oeuvre, and imagining I’d be given completely free rein, I reckon I’d be choosing one of the three the master has written for Hard Case, an imprint formed in 2004 that recreates that wonderful 40s and 50s hardboiled-paperbacks vibe. King’s contributions are The Colorado Kid, Joyland and Later, a trio of truly enticing stories.
In my mind, they’re unified by three things. First, an examination of youth and age. In two, the narrators are recalling their childhoods from a perspective of experience and in the third, an eager youngster learns from two old-timers. Second, an uncharacteristic brevity. The imprint demands it, and I think King’s storytelling is the better for being condensed. And thirdly, these tales see King applying a lighter touch. They’re reflective pieces where the supernatural tugs at our attention gently around the edges of what are coming-of-age stories.
If you’re not familiar, three treats await.