Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges #1) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Mr Mercedes
Series: Bill Hodges #1
Author: Stephen King
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 449
Format: Digital Edition


Synopsis: Spoilers!!

A madman runs through a crowd of jobseekers, using a stolen Mercedes. He is never caught and the detective in charge, Bill Hodges, retires and always regrets that he never caught Mr Mercedes.

Then Mr Mercedes sends a letter to Bill, taunting him. And the chase is on. Mr Mercedes wants to break Hodges and make him commit suicide while Hodges wants to catch Mr Mercedes. Other people get involved. Things get personal for Hodges with the death of a lady friend. Mr Mercedes decides to go out with a bang at a teeny bopper concert put on by the nations latest and greatest boyband.

Hodges, with help, prevails and Brady, aka Mr Mercedes, ends up in a coma.

* very weak cheering *



My Thoughts: Spoilers!!

Did a buddy read of this with BookCupidity. Unfortunately, due to life circumstances, BC wasn’t able to participate as much as hoped in the back and forth. However, I was able to do a couple of updates as I read this, so this review is pretty much a compilation of those updates.

First, and most importantly in my mind, there is NOTHING supernatural going on in this book. This is just a detective thriller about chasing a madman who is halfway intelligent. I read King, once a year in October, for his supernatural, other worldly, stuff. So that was a huge disappointment for me.

Second, the whole relationship between Brady the villain and his drunk mom. It was incestuous and while they never actually had sex, it was clear that they toed that line. It turned my stomach. Also, being inside Brady’s mind was not a pleasant experience nor was it one I ever wish to repeat. Which leads into the next point.

Third. I am done with King now. Every year I vacillate about whether I’ll keep reading him. He can write a heck of a story. He draws me in every time and makes the characters and situations come to life. But this? It was just filthy and disgusting and I am done using my brain as a filter for that kind of thing. In some ways that is a relief, as I don’t have to wonder every year what I’ll be exposing myself to in my next King read, but there is also a tinge of regret as I know that King has some great stories that I probably would have really enjoyed. But there are things that are not worth desensitizing myself to just for entertainments sake.

And the ending, where Brady wakes up from his coma, caused by being bashed in the head multiple times to prevent him from blowing the plastic explosives at the concert, was just lame. That should have happened in the 3rd chapter and he is then possessed by supernatural powers and Hodges goes toe to toe with Evil Incarnate. THAT is what I expect from a King book. This was like a weak version of the Strawmen Trilogy by Michael Marshall, in tone.




  1. Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts
  2. BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts

The Running Man

793e5979af09908d5235191c31799af0This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Running Man

Series: —–

Author: Stephen King

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 260

Format: Kindle digital edition



Ben Richards signs up for the Games to earn money for his sick daughter. He knows that the Running Man is rigged but all he needs to do is stay ahead of the hunters for 3 days and his wife and daughter will receive his earnings.

This is the story of Ben Richards, fighting for the survival of his daughter while having it televised as entertainment for the masses.


My Thoughts: Spoilers

The emotions in this book were palpable. Richards’ hopelessness, despair, cynicism and determination rolled off the pages and over me like a wave. I never got depressed from it though, as his determination was in the forefront and simply ruled his every thought and action. Ben Richards was a very desperate man, but he was not a broken man.

Taking place in 2025, King displaces the issues of his day from the late 70’s and early 80’s and simply magnifies them into the future. It isn’t a pretty picture.

There is also absolutely NO supernatural aspect to this book. I’m not used to that coming from King, even though since this is a Bachman book it can be excused. It was also very short, once again, comparatively. I’m thinking next year’s Stephen King book will be one of his fatter ones.

Salem’s Lot

94329cb1ab609cb529548837d398c3e6This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Salem’s Lot

Series: —–

Author: Stephen King

Rating: 4  of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Horror

Pages: 470

Format: Kindle





An evil house continues to draw evil inhabitants to it in a small Maine town. This time it is an ancient Vampire and nothing can stop him.


My Thoughts:

King is a consummate writer, which is why I keep reading him. However, I don’t like what he writes about with such skill, which is why I only read one book a year of his.

So a vampire tries to take over a town. And kind of fails. But no one wins and the town is abandoned but some vampires appear to survive. it was a good “bad is bad and the good guys are pretty wussy but keep on fighting” story.

My main beef with King is that he believes, or represents, Good as something pathetic and struggling. I understand that viewpoint, as it is all to easy to look at our world and assume that but it isn’t true and it cuts across the very depths of what I’ve based my life on. So that is why I keep my entanglements to a minimum.

I think my only question/problem was why the vampirism didn’t spread like a plague? It made NO sense to me.  Other than that, this was black velvet.

One more King off the list, one more King enjoyed.


The Shining

6cd0e381a349db780fd339d947121b9bThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer



A family goes to a remote hotel to be caretakers for the winter. The father is a drunk, the mother with mother issues of her own and a 5 year old boy with an ability to interact with the supernatural called “the shining”.


My Thoughts

I’ve never seen the movie with Nickolson, but the cover showing him completely nutzed out was enough to keep me from watching it. But I’ve read enough King to know that his books, while creepy and horror filled, aren’t the kind to give me nightmares.

So a King book a year helps me keep things shaken up.

I found this to be as creepy and disturbing a book as I’ve yet read. Having a child be at the center will tend to do that. And a whole hotel filled with incorporeal horrors that are becoming more and more corporeal and that are completely malevolent adds perfectly to the mix.

But what I found to be the most disturbing was Jack’s [the father] descent into complete and utter madness. He first gives in to his temper, then his desire for drink and finally is willing to sacrifice his wife and son because he thinks it will mean his personal advancement. Instead of being Danny’s protector, he becomes as much a nemesis as the spirit of the hotel.

Thankfully, Danny has a protector in his mother [albeit a weak and mostly neutralized one] and a hotel employee who also has a small amount of the shining himself. Needless to say, Danny is rescued from the power of the hotel and the hotel destroys itself.

I found the themes of good and evil, the self-destructiveness of evil and the weakness of mankind to be utterly fascinating. The only thing I don’t care for in King’s writing is his ignoring of the power of good. He portrays evil but good is always portrayed as barely there or overcoming by happenstance. I wouldn’t want to read these books without the solid Christian basis I have or I might find these horribly depressing.

I think one of these a year is enough for me. Highly recommended if you like creepy and disturbing with just a smidge of hope.


Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Author: Stephen King

The Shining

Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary
Stephen King
4 Stars
Paperback, 411 Pages

A story about a cemetary that brings things back to life. A very long build up about a family of 4 who move to Maine, befriend an old yankee who tells the father about the cemetary. The family cat dies, so the father buries it and it comes back, but it is “off”. Then the young son [pre elementary school] dies and the father buries him secretly. The son comes back possessed by whatever evil powers the cemetary and kills the wife and old neighbor. The father kills the son, burns down the neighbor’s house to cover his tracks and buries his wife immediately, because he believes that the time gap is what accounted for things not working for his son. Ends with his wife coming back into the house, and the rest is left to our imagination.

Now, the last 50 pages deal with the horror. The first couple of hundred are the build up and yet, that build up was just as enjoyable, if not more, than the ending. Hints about the evil of the burial ground were given, vague stories by the old yankee neighbor, myths about the Indians who created it. A sense of dread was quietly building up the entire time and you knew the son was going to die and be brought back and that nothing good would come of it. Fantastic, keep me glued to the pages, kind of writing. Makes me wonder what King could have written if he’d gone into another genre.

As others have stated, this is a slow build up to a “not ultra-gory and scare your pants off” ending.

And that is the beauty of this book. Little hints of dread, stories that foreshadow something bad, myths of vague horror. Horror of the mind is best when only the outline is given and the reader fills in the blanks with their own fears.

350 pages of routine life and getting to know the characters and yet I almost enjoyed that part more than the final 50 pages where everything comes crashing down. Jud the yankee, Louis the rational doctor, Ellie the daughter who has premonitions of what is to come.

The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger
The Dark Tower #1
Stephen King
1 Star
Epub, DNF

it was just too sloggy and boring. I don’t want to read about some guy chasing another guy while the world is dying around them. Every word seemed to drip with apathy, lethargy and hopelessness the character[s] was\were feeling.


it (Custom)IT

Stephen King


1138 Pages

4 Stars



some big space bug comes to earth a long time ago. Now it resides in a Maine town and feeds on kids every 26years or so. Anyway, some kids hurt it and then come back in 26 years to finish the job.

The horror in this novel lay in fact that humans are so bad. The people did horrible things, ignored horrible things, etc. Murder, madness, death and destruction.

I haven’t read any of King’s stuff since highschool [and those were some short story collections] and I don’t plan on reading anymore. I don’t want to fill my mind with evil.

And yet it is incredible writing.

The Stand

The Stand
Stephen King
4 stars
1153 pages

first off, what a massive book. Second, I really enjoyed this. A plague with 99.4% death rate devastates the world. In America, people gravitate toward Boulder or Las Vegas. In Boulder is Mother Abigal and in Las Vegas is the Dark Man. This is a story about Good vs Evil and how good pays in blood and evil causes its own downfall. Some messed up views on God, some profanity and enough graphic sexual things degrade my overall view on this story however.