Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

BILLY SUMMERS coming Aug. 3rd, 2021...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • swintek
    replied
    Billy Summers was the first King book I've finished in... I honestly can't even remember. It's been a loooong time. Half of the last decade's plus, I could tell (smell?) that I just wasn't interested enough to bother. Having said all of that- I dug it! It kept me turning the pages, and as others have said- it really ramps up about halfway in. I enjoyed the (more than a little) nod to one of his "classic" books, even if it did seem a little grafted on. It just seemed incongruent in an otherwise straightforward thriller, but- F' it, thought it was neat anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • Martin
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
    My copy shipped out from CD. Not sure if I am excited or nervous about reading this one. SK has really been hot or cold with me for several years now. I either really (love the work) or despise and hate it. UTD, Sleeping Beauties, and Elevation, pop into mind as books I think are awful.
    I thought Under The Dome was a good book until the end. Of course the end was bad enough to ruin the entire read for me. Sleeping Beauties and Elevation are both middling in my view. With that said I loved Billy Summers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Staad
    replied
    My copy shipped out from CD. Not sure if I am excited or nervous about reading this one. SK has really been hot or cold with me for several years now. I either really (love the work) or despise and hate it. UTD, Sleeping Beauties, and Elevation, pop into mind as books I think are awful.

    Leave a comment:


  • Martin
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffingoff View Post

    I appreciate both you and Martin watching. I love seeing you guys there. I need Brian861 to show up as well! I owe him huge apologies. Great white apologies. Really all the people here on this forum are the best people and you've all been spectacular to me. This is home even though I haven't been here in a while. Life is crazy.

    I'm still going to give Billy Summers a read. And I'm going to power through. It probably won't be that hard because it's been a long time since I've read any Stephen King and I'm homesick.
    Really enjoyed it. Looking forward to next Monday! (Not sure I have ever said that before)

    Leave a comment:


  • jeffingoff
    replied
    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
    Hey, jeffingoff , thanks for the shout-out in last night's live stream. I missed the notification until hours later, so watched it back last night...will try and catch the next Monday live stream, would be fun to talk books and small-press stuff.

    To give some context to my decision to DNF the new King and donate my copy to someone else who may enjoy it more than me...here are my brief thoughts on it. I haven't checked the Goodreads reviews you mention, but given that you say that they were consistent in their complaints, I suspect mine probably mirror them to some degree:

    As early as Chapter One, two things already leapt out: One, King's description of the two-story home as one that might belong to a factory worker who punches a clock and pays his mortgage every month...umm, ok, why wrap up something so nondescript and ordinary as something suggestively negative? I get he was contrasting the home against the usual luxury that the boss typically resides in, but still...it came off, intentionally or not, a bit elitist and condescending. Two, why in the world would a crime boss hire (actually, continue to hire) a hitman for a $2 million hit if he's a dunce? I don't get the purpose of making this guy mask his intelligence with an idiot guise, when it makes little to no sense that a crime syndicate would trust such a person with such an important hit.

    That I'd already run across two things that threw me out of the flow of the story -- and I was only in Chapter One -- was worrying, and perhaps I should have paid more attention to those early warnings.

    At my DNF point of page 125, I was numbingly bored with it…uninteresting (and too often cliched) characters, no narrative momentum to speak of...instead, droning on of inconsequential patter, zero construction by the author of something — anything, anyone — to care about. Set pieces, paper dolls, pushed around without meaning, a play without purpose and import, a crime thriller without thrills, a hitman novel without (as of page 125) hits. In addition, the two different stories is an annoying literary construct, when on top of everything else...and it too, in its story of a mother with mean boyfriends and the violence that led him to screwed up in the head, enough to choose the profession, lacked the originality and narrative depth that was similarly missing in the rest of the book. When at page 125 I saw the next chapter was him watching a parade...I'd had enough of this utter meandering, passive, pointless — GET TO THE POINT! — disappointment. Only my early (and baseless) pre-pub enthusiasm for the book has managed to get me as far as I did.

    This was to hitman novels what THE COLORADO KID was to whodunit mysteries…and that ain’t good. Worse, perhaps, because there is, to my mind, no counterargument, no alternative literary perspective (one I don't agree with, mind you, but I respect the viewpoint of those who make that argument about TCK), to BILLY SUMMERS as there arguably was to THE COLORADO KID. This was a self-described novel of crime that virtually void of crime or plot, but in its drawn-out construct to build a story around character it failed miserably to create connection with that character...what construct was built over painstakingly slow progress felt artificial and uninviting.
    I appreciate both you and Martin watching. I love seeing you guys there. I need Brian861 to show up as well! I owe him huge apologies. Great white apologies. Really all the people here on this forum are the best people and you've all been spectacular to me. This is home even though I haven't been here in a while. Life is crazy.

    I'm still going to give Billy Summers a read. And I'm going to power through. It probably won't be that hard because it's been a long time since I've read any Stephen King and I'm homesick.

    Leave a comment:


  • Martin
    replied
    Originally posted by TacomaDiver View Post
    I need to learn to quit books. I've suffered through some for far too long and I'm not getting any younger - reading shouldn't be a slog.

    Saying that, I haven't read Billy Summers yet, but I did see Martin on Goodreads give it a great rating.
    I really loved the story.

    Leave a comment:


  • TacomaDiver
    replied
    I need to learn to quit books. I've suffered through some for far too long and I'm not getting any younger - reading shouldn't be a slog.

    Saying that, I haven't read Billy Summers yet, but I did see Martin on Goodreads give it a great rating.

    Leave a comment:


  • RonClinton
    replied
    Originally posted by Martin View Post

    I will just provide a few thoughts on this.
    I think people going into this thinking it will be a thriller about an assassin on his last job will be disappointed. Anyone expecting a fast paced thriller will be disappointed. The book starts with a slow burn that continues until about the mid point. I will say that I was never bored with the story and remained engaged in learning about the character throughout. The comparisons to The Colorado Kid are fair in the slow burn aspect. The Colorado Kid kept that pace throughout and then ended as it had promised to all along, with no ending because some things are never understood. Billy Summers changes dramatically at the mid point and is brought to a definitive conclusion. I will add that your initially questions on why this man was hired are answered in the book, but long after you bailed. A lot of what you saw in the first 125 pages were not as you thought but that did not come out until later.
    I really enjoy slow burn stories. The Colorado Kid and Insomnia are upper tier books to me as is this one.
    That is the great thing about stories. There are enough out there that we can all find what we want. Move on and I hope your next read blows you away!
    It’s interesting to hear that at least one of my issues was resolved, provided one has the patience to muddle through to reach it…unfortunately, I no longer have a 200+-page fuse when it comes to books. For me it wasn’t a question of a slow burn…I typically enjoy such mechanics when well done, but slow burn still suggests a progressive — albeit a slow — development of storyline. To my mind, it lacked even that nominal progression, and as such came off as pointless and a bit self-indulgent, and as lacking narrative import, rather than a well-conceived slow burn. I’m glad to hear, though, it takes a turn midway through, for those who persevered.

    But you’re right, there’s a world of other books out there to connect with, which is why I’ve no regrets on my DNF. On to the next one (and the one after that, and and…), a perpetual fresh opportunity at maybe, just maybe, the best book I’ve ever read, because you just never know…I’d try and fail a hundred BILLY SUMMERS readings to experience a single reading of a book like THE ROAD.

    Leave a comment:


  • Martin
    replied
    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
    Hey, jeffingoff , thanks for the shout-out in last night's live stream. I missed the notification until hours later, so watched it back last night...will try and catch the next Monday live stream, would be fun to talk books and small-press stuff.

    To give some context to my decision to DNF the new King and donate my copy to someone else who may enjoy it more than me...here are my brief thoughts on it. I haven't checked the Goodreads reviews you mention, but given that you say that they were consistent in their complaints, I suspect mine probably mirror them to some degree:

    As early as Chapter One, two things already leapt out: One, King's description of the two-story home as one that might belong to a factory worker who punches a clock and pays his mortgage every month...umm, ok, why wrap up something so nondescript and ordinary as something suggestively negative? I get he was contrasting the home against the usual luxury that the boss typically resides in, but still...it came off, intentionally or not, a bit elitist and condescending. Two, why in the world would a crime boss hire (actually, continue to hire) a hitman for a $2 million hit if he's a dunce? I don't get the purpose of making this guy mask his intelligence with an idiot guise, when it makes little to no sense that a crime syndicate would trust such a person with such an important hit.

    That I'd already run across two things that threw me out of the flow of the story -- and I was only in Chapter One -- was worrying, and perhaps I should have paid more attention to those early warnings.

    At my DNF point of page 125, I was numbingly bored with it…uninteresting (and too often cliched) characters, no narrative momentum to speak of...instead, droning on of inconsequential patter, zero construction by the author of something — anything, anyone — to care about. Set pieces, paper dolls, pushed around without meaning, a play without purpose and import, a crime thriller without thrills, a hitman novel without (as of page 125) hits. In addition, the two different stories is an annoying literary construct, when on top of everything else...and it too, in its story of a mother with mean boyfriends and the violence that led him to screwed up in the head, enough to choose the profession, lacked the originality and narrative depth that was similarly missing in the rest of the book. When at page 125 I saw the next chapter was him watching a parade...I'd had enough of this utter meandering, passive, pointless — GET TO THE POINT! — disappointment. Only my early (and baseless) pre-pub enthusiasm for the book has managed to get me as far as I did.

    This was to hitman novels what THE COLORADO KID was to whodunit mysteries…and that ain’t good. Worse, perhaps, because there is, to my mind, no counterargument, no alternative literary perspective (one I don't agree with, mind you, but I respect the viewpoint of those who make that argument about TCK), to BILLY SUMMERS as there arguably was to THE COLORADO KID. This was a self-described novel of crime that virtually void of crime or plot, but in its drawn-out construct to build a story around character it failed miserably to create connection with that character...what construct was built over painstakingly slow progress felt artificial and uninviting.
    I will just provide a few thoughts on this.
    I think people going into this thinking it will be a thriller about an assassin on his last job will be disappointed. Anyone expecting a fast paced thriller will be disappointed. The book starts with a slow burn that continues until about the mid point. I will say that I was never bored with the story and remained engaged in learning about the character throughout. The comparisons to The Colorado Kid are fair in the slow burn aspect. The Colorado Kid kept that pace throughout and then ended as it had promised to all along, with no ending because some things are never understood. Billy Summers changes dramatically at the mid point and is brought to a definitive conclusion. I will add that your initially questions on why this man was hired are answered in the book, but long after you bailed. A lot of what you saw in the first 125 pages were not as you thought but that did not come out until later.
    I really enjoy slow burn stories. The Colorado Kid and Insomnia are upper tier books to me as is this one.
    That is the great thing about stories. There are enough out there that we can all find what we want. Move on and I hope your next read blows you away!

    Leave a comment:


  • RonClinton
    replied
    Hey, jeffingoff , thanks for the shout-out in last night's live stream. I missed the notification until hours later, so watched it back last night...will try and catch the next Monday live stream, would be fun to talk books and small-press stuff.

    To give some context to my decision to DNF the new King and donate my copy to someone else who may enjoy it more than me...here are my brief thoughts on it. I haven't checked the Goodreads reviews you mention, but given that you say that they were consistent in their complaints, I suspect mine probably mirror them to some degree:

    As early as Chapter One, two things already leapt out: One, King's description of the two-story home as one that might belong to a factory worker who punches a clock and pays his mortgage every month...umm, ok, why wrap up something so nondescript and ordinary as something suggestively negative? I get he was contrasting the home against the usual luxury that the boss typically resides in, but still...it came off, intentionally or not, a bit elitist and condescending. Two, why in the world would a crime boss hire (actually, continue to hire) a hitman for a $2 million hit if he's a dunce? I don't get the purpose of making this guy mask his intelligence with an idiot guise, when it makes little to no sense that a crime syndicate would trust such a person with such an important hit.

    That I'd already run across two things that threw me out of the flow of the story -- and I was only in Chapter One -- was worrying, and perhaps I should have paid more attention to those early warnings.

    At my DNF point of page 125, I was numbingly bored with it…uninteresting (and too often cliched) characters, no narrative momentum to speak of...instead, droning on of inconsequential patter, zero construction by the author of something — anything, anyone — to care about. Set pieces, paper dolls, pushed around without meaning, a play without purpose and import, a crime thriller without thrills, a hitman novel without (as of page 125) hits. In addition, the two different stories is an annoying literary construct, when on top of everything else...and it too, in its story of a mother with mean boyfriends and the violence that led him to screwed up in the head, enough to choose the profession, lacked the originality and narrative depth that was similarly missing in the rest of the book. When at page 125 I saw the next chapter was him watching a parade...I'd had enough of this utter meandering, passive, pointless — GET TO THE POINT! — disappointment. Only my early (and baseless) pre-pub enthusiasm for the book has managed to get me as far as I did.

    This was to hitman novels what THE COLORADO KID was to whodunit mysteries…and that ain’t good. Worse, perhaps, because there is, to my mind, no counterargument, no alternative literary perspective (one I don't agree with, mind you, but I respect the viewpoint of those who make that argument about TCK), to BILLY SUMMERS as there arguably was to THE COLORADO KID. This was a self-described novel of crime that virtually void of crime or plot, but in its drawn-out construct to build a story around character it failed miserably to create connection with that character...what construct was built over painstakingly slow progress felt artificial and uninviting.
    Last edited by RonClinton; 08-17-2021, 06:04 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • RonClinton
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
    Do you often not read a book all the way through? Just curious.
    i’m not of the mind that I have to finish a book, regardless of whether or not I’m enjoying it, but it does take quite a bit for me to DNF it. Perhaps less than back in the day — my time and patience are not what they used to be — but it’s a relatively rare event. This one I got to page 125 — a third of the book, or thereabouts — before throwing in the towel, so it got plenty of chance to redeem itself…but enough was enough.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Staad
    replied
    Do you often not read a book all the way through? Just curious.

    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
    If anyone is still in need of a copy of BILLY SUMMERS, I’m giving away my 1st ed. HC on Twitter this evening. Feel free to enter the drawing.

    That I’m giving the book away should tell what I thought of this one, a DNF for me. I’m glad others have found it worthwhile.

    Leave a comment:


  • RonClinton
    replied
    If anyone is still in need of a copy of BILLY SUMMERS, I’m giving away my 1st ed. HC on Twitter this evening. Feel free to enter the drawing.

    That I’m giving the book away should tell what I thought of this one, a DNF for me. I’m glad others have found it worthwhile.

    Leave a comment:


  • Martin
    replied
    Originally posted by JJ123 View Post
    Summers has been receiving some good reviews, from what I've seen. And from a sales perspective, it seems to be hitting the mark. I read on Publishers Weekly that the book is number-one on the latest bestseller list for both the Overall category and the Hardcover Frontlist Fiction category. I probably am wrong on this, but, I think it may have been a while since King hit both categories at the top spot. Usually there's some other hot book out there that snags the overall (again, though, probably wrong). Anyway, for the first week (or so, not sure of the exact frame) the book has moved over 96,000 copies. That's a high number these days, in general and for King himself. I don't see a listing for audiobooks, there used to be a list for that, but perhaps the trade publication took it away because, believe it or not, audiobooks don't sell that many units; a good one sometimes would be something like 2000 units moved. Maybe audiobooks have adopted the streaming model? I don't know.

    Sounds like a great story. Has there been a movie/series deal yet? I likewise enjoyed the Costco interview. King mentioned he is the majority of the way through his next book. I think he recently told Whoopi Goldberg that he wanted to write about the coronavirus. That would imply it isn't this book, but it would be cool if it was the book he is working on.

    I like what some of you are saying here...if I am allowed to interpret, sounds like this is a plot-oriented story. To me, as I get older, I enjoy those the most. Is Summers a large book? It seems like King's books lately, no matter the page count, might actually be shorter in terms of actual words written. I got that impression with the collection If It Bleeds and others. I am for that as time to read can be challenged, and I'd rather King just keep on publishing a lot of books. My days of thousand-paged tomes are in the past, I think. And by the way, I thought the title story to that collection was pretty satisfying, really enjoyed it...
    Billy Summers is about 514 pages. If my memory serves me If It Bleeds was around 450 pages.

    Leave a comment:


  • JJ123
    replied
    Summers has been receiving some good reviews, from what I've seen. And from a sales perspective, it seems to be hitting the mark. I read on Publishers Weekly that the book is number-one on the latest bestseller list for both the Overall category and the Hardcover Frontlist Fiction category. I probably am wrong on this, but, I think it may have been a while since King hit both categories at the top spot. Usually there's some other hot book out there that snags the overall (again, though, probably wrong). Anyway, for the first week (or so, not sure of the exact frame) the book has moved over 96,000 copies. That's a high number these days, in general and for King himself. I don't see a listing for audiobooks, there used to be a list for that, but perhaps the trade publication took it away because, believe it or not, audiobooks don't sell that many units; a good one sometimes would be something like 2000 units moved. Maybe audiobooks have adopted the streaming model? I don't know.

    Sounds like a great story. Has there been a movie/series deal yet? I likewise enjoyed the Costco interview. King mentioned he is the majority of the way through his next book. I think he recently told Whoopi Goldberg that he wanted to write about the coronavirus. That would imply it isn't this book, but it would be cool if it was the book he is working on.

    I like what some of you are saying here...if I am allowed to interpret, sounds like this is a plot-oriented story. To me, as I get older, I enjoy those the most. Is Summers a large book? It seems like King's books lately, no matter the page count, might actually be shorter in terms of actual words written. I got that impression with the collection If It Bleeds and others. I am for that as time to read can be challenged, and I'd rather King just keep on publishing a lot of books. My days of thousand-paged tomes are in the past, I think. And by the way, I thought the title story to that collection was pretty satisfying, really enjoyed it...

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X