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Book Reviews: The Tommy-Knockers + Universes, part 4

The Tommy-Knockers by Stephen King
This 1988 novel is one of King’s best. Whilst walking in the woods, Bobbi Anderson stumbles over a buried object. She is driven to dig it up and that is the start of a terrible, terrifying transformation of the little town of Haven. Bobbi’s friend Jim Gardner is a washed up drunk with a violent streak. Believing Bobbi is in trouble (and more right than he knows) he pays a visit and gets caught up in the horror of the thing Bobbi has unearthed in the woods. It has been there for twenty five thousand centuries and digging it up is sending the town insane.

This is an excellent chilling novel of aliens, madness, inventions and body horror. The corrupting dark power in the woods is also a metaphor for King’s then rampant drug addiction. The book is however a big dated both technologically (no mobile phones, no internet, no Google Earth and the transformed Haven residents don’t think to invent such things) and politically.  This was made into an abysmal miniseries, so read the book and pretend the miniseries does not exist.

Best Lines:
“Poisonous green light.”

“Following the shouting there was the sound of a chainsaw cranking up followed by a gunshot and a scream.”

“They’ll let him in, but he’ll never get out again.”

“A creature who lived under the glow of a different sun conceived this mark.”

“Touching a symbol made and struck by God only knows what sort of being across a black distance of light-years.”

“They were coming for him, as he supposed he had always known they would.”

“It has a chewed look, that hole.”

~
Universes by Stephen Baxter, part 4

The Ice War
This alternate take on ‘Anti-Ice’ sees a ner’do’well meet up with Swift, Defoe and Newton for a different take on a War of the Worlds. Okay.

Best Line:
“I never saw before or since three men with a combined age of one hundred and ninety-two years hop in a ditch with such alacrity.”

The Ice Line
In a follow on to ‘Ice War’, the Napoleonic Wars are raging as the ice aliens invade again. Some plucky types plan a Jules Verne inspired fight back against the ice monsters. Good.

Best Lines:
“The Phoebeans come from much further away-”
“And most of us heartily wish they’d go back there,”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review
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