UR by Stephen King – Review

bya Gabrielle at 7:15 PM

            I’ve never wanted a Kindle for a mountain of reasons. Mine aren’t any different from the scores of others who refuse to jump on that bandwagon, but after listening to the audiobook version of UR by Stephen King, I’m not going to lie, the thought crossed my mind. I even went to Amazon to see how much one cost.

I’m usually just a straight-up reader of King. And that’s true for any book, but since I’ve had very little time lately to read one—having a baby does that—the idea of plugging in some earbuds to get a dose of King seemed liked a logical idea. Though like Wesley Smith, I much prefer the paper in between my fingers.

Going in, I had no idea what to expect from this book. I barely even read the synopsis.  Literally, the only things I knew were that an English professor and a Kindle were involved. I had zero expectations—though I did wonder what kind of horror tale King could possibly spin out of an eReader. And really, that’s the best way to approach a book in my opinion. You have no set limits for either your love or hate for it. (I did have to force myself to forget that Cell existed.)

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and the characters. The pacing was maybe a teensy slow in the beginning, but that was caused in my opinion by King setting everything up for what would happen later, so I don’t really take issue with that point. Lots of people give King grief for being wordy, but I actually like it. There’s too much spoon fed fiction out there. King’s stories have substance. They’re like an onion, lots of tasty layers.

 Numerous times I found myself laughing out loud or snickering at phrases or comebacks made by characters. I’m glad no one was around to see me or else they would have thought me mad. I’m going to have to listen to it again, just so I can jot some of them down to use in my everyday life.

I loved all the glimpses into the different possible realities. Though some were naturally dark and depressing, there were a lot of more light-hearted looks into all the ways our world could have been. It really made me stop and think about my own existence and what another version of me may have done on a different Earth had circumstances been altered. I found I could relate to Wesley’s train of thought.

One reason I’m always skeptical about listening to audiobooks is the narrator. No matter how good a story is, it’s the skill of the person reading to you that can make or break the experience. Having never listened to Holter Graham before, I was a bit apprehensive, even though I knew I was only going to have to listen to him for 2 hours and 20 minutes. But a few minutes in, I knew there was no reason to worry, and I was sucked right in. I have no idea what Graham looks like, but his voice is downright sexy. I refuse to do an image search for him to find out he’s not. My only real criticism for him is that sometimes I had a hard time figuring out which male part was speaking. Occasionally they blended together, especially when three men were talking one after the other. At the same time though, I appreciated him not trying too hard to differentiate between all the speakers. I felt he brought the characters to life and made them relatable. His performance was great, and I would gladly listen to him read to me again.

If you’re a Dark Tower fan, you’ll eat this story up. It’s been a long time since I’ve followed Roland and his Ka-Tet, so getting a glimpse back into that world, even a little, put a smile on my face. It made me wish King would just sit down and write books that connected back in some way all the time, though so many of his books already do. I guess I can never get enough.

I just want to know if the people over at Amazon slipped King some “thankya” bucks(before or after he wrote it). Or if one day he received a pink Kindle in the mail with 1-day shipping from a friend or a dedicated Constant Reader. I know I’d gladly take one because one day I’ll have read all of King’s stories in this UR.

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Captain’s Galley, Matthews, North Carolina

bya Gabrielle at 5:25 PM

As I wait for more rejection letters, I figured I’d write about a restaurant I recently visited in Matthews, the town I moved to a little over a week ago.

So, I started craving cheap seafood.  For some reason, cheap seafood makes me happy.  I’d rather go to a place like Captain’s Galley than say, Red Lobster or something like it.  I know, I’m weird.  What can I say?  I suppose restaurants like Captain’s Galley just make me feel like I get more for my money and the food tastes just as good in my opinion.  Plus, I’m not into “fancy” restaurants.  I’m too much of a tomboy for fine china and real silver.

Phil and I got there around 8 P.M. We were both starved and Phil was parched from working under the house all day.  We were seated quickly and given menus.  As we perused our options, a waitress brought out a bowl of hush puppies(with butter).  We told her we needed a minute.  It didn’t take us very long to figure out what we wanted.  Phil immediately knew he wanted one of those huge fried platters.  Me, I like fried, but it always makes me feel sick afterwards, so I went with broiled jumbo shrimp.  As we waited for the waitress to return, I noticed that a lot of the other tables had pitchers of sweet tea sitting on them.  This made me happy.  I love sweet tea and I hate waiting to have my glass refilled.  I drink more than eat sometimes.

The waitress came back, we placed our order, and in a short minute, she brought our pitcher of tea and requested dipping sauces.  I LOVE honey mustard, specifically Duke’s honey mustard.  I gobbled down several of the hush puppies.  I thought they could have been a pinch sweeter, but they were still good.  I had to make sure to pace myself, or else I wouldn’t be able to eat my shrimp, salad or baked potato.

The salad was good, and had darker greens in it with large tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.  We had to wait a little on our food, but not too long.  Phil must have already had three glasses of tea by this point.  This is a lot for Phil because he barely ever drinks one glass of anything when he eats.

Our food was tasty and very filling.  Phil actually said he enjoyed the food more so than Harbor Inn, another cheap seafood place I like to frequent.  There was dessert on the menu, but we had no room for it.  Plus, I had a strawberry pie waiting in the refrigerator at home.

With a nice tip, our total was about $40.  It was more than I was expecting for “cheap” seafood for two, but Phil had left overs and our bellies were more than full.

Will I go back, yes.  Perhaps on a Sunday when they have their all-you-can-eat crab legs for $27.99.

On an arbitrary scale of five stars, I’d give this place three.



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