As with all King books, this took me a frustratingly long time to get through. The worst part is that there is no real reason why. I loved the book. I loved it so much that when I finished reading it last week I wanted to keep it to myself for a while. I wanted to think it over a bit before attempting to talk about it with anyone and then I wanted to be sure that I talked it over with the right person. Approximately four hours after I finished it, I decided I was ready and over those four hours I had decided that I loved this book.
A plague is spreading across the world. When women fall asleep, they develop cocoon-like growths over their bodies and woe to any man who tries to remove those growths. A woman who is awakened from this magical slumber is likely to rip your throat out.
In Appalachia, the city of Dooling is about to be thrust into a battle that could mean the end of the world as we know it. A strange woman, Evie, has appeared in a spectacular fashion, by putting a meth head’s head through a trailer wall. Evie is arrested by Lila, the sheriff, and through the pulling of strings she is sent to the women’s prison where Lila’s husband, Clint, works as the “prison shrink.” However, it doesn’t take long for someone to notice that Evie is the only woman in the world not effected by the sleeping sickness and Clint is smart enough to realize that there will be more than one desperate father/husband who will want to know why.
So, let’s break this down. First, there were a lot of things in this book that reminded me of The Stand. I didn’t mind that at all. I mean, if you write as many books as King, you’re going to have some similarities popping up. If you read enough Stephen King, you probably know that there are a lot of similarities in his books other than plot point. As an example, I like to yell “Eyeball!” the first time one is mentioned in some gross way. When describing a character to my husband, he said, “Sounds like a Stephen King character.” Whatever. If you like him, you like him, and he’s my favorite.
Second, let’s talk gender because that’s what this book is about. Not all men are bad men. We know that and I think that there are quite a few men in this book who are not “bad” guys. There ARE some really shitty men who do really shitty things but that’s pretty true to life too. There’s obviously one character who you just want to die the most unfortunate death ever throughout the whole damn book but there almost has to be. It’s an interesting idea, though, to split the genders apart in an “end world” scenario and see what they do and I don’t think that either side is a very accurate portrayal of how that would be. You know what it is, though? It’s a book and it’s a book that is playing with some ideas. If you want accuracy, go read a newspaper if you can find one and quit the fiction.
The more I thought about this book, the more I liked it and it was the kind of book that gave me a lot to think about.