I'm a big Stephen King fan, so when I heard he had a new short story out in the July issue of Esquire magazine I went out and bought a copy so I could read his latest work. The cover's pretty damn sexy, too. There are people out there who say Mr. King is a hack (although the exact definition of who can be considered a literary "hack" is up to debate), but as far as I'm concerned the man knows how to write a compelling story and Morality is no exception.
Morality is about a young couple, Chad and Nora, living in New York who both lose their jobs due to the recession. They try to make ends meet by taking on new jobs. Chad becomes a substitute teacher and writes a book while Nora goes into nursing. One day one of Nora's patients, a retired Reverend George Winston, offers her a chance to earn $200,000 by doing something special for him before he dies. But that's where the story takes a dark turn. There are no monsters, ghouls, vampires, or anything supernatural. This is about real life monsters, a dark tale about how far desperate people would go for money. The ending isn't all ponies and sunshine, either.
In this story Mr. King built suspense nicely by revealing the plot little by little, dragging the reader into the story with believable characters and creating a situation that is both creepy and thought-provoking. The content is not as brutally horrific as his other works. It's more subtle, which may disappoint some readers who are expecting something weird or bloody, but that's what I like about it; I think it's good when an author changes their approach to storytelling and still grab the reader's attention like it did with me.
So hats off to Stephen King for writing yet another excellent short story.
This week in books 6/23/17
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