Later by Stephen King (2021) Snapshot

Ghosts don’t lie

We meet James, a single mother’s child who has the unnatural ability to see ghosts as they died and spirits don’t lie. His mother is aware of his power and urges him to keep it a secret. But when it can benefit her, she has no problems killing his innocence by using him to communicate with “mature” people. 

As the book progresses, James will find out the actual cost of his ability when he helps the police pursue a dead killer.

 I prefer shorter King novels, and I was pleasantly surprised at how short Later is. I appreciated the economy and the focus on a great plot! Some characters were stereotypical, and King could have played a bit more fairly, but overall, this was a superb novel let down by the end. All the issues I had with Later had to do with how King chose to finish the book. If you read it, you know what I mean. I was hoping this would be a 5 star read, but 4.58 is still great. 

I have a love and hate relationship with King. I love his ideas, but I wouldn’t say I like his execution. His narrative is too prolix, and I don’t need five pages to tell me the sky is blue! Another problem I have with his style is that he is very much a product of the ’70s and ’80s, and some of his characters are incredibly misogynistic, racist, ableist, sexist, well – all the “ists” – To the point of causing discomfort in me as I cannot honestly tell if this is an author who has those views and is using fiction as an outlet, or if he is using specific characters to point out the atrocities of hate speech in the hope to get people to check their privilege. The jury is still out for me because, in this day and age, he is still using questionable language, harmful stereotypes, and using taboo topics as plot devices…

**Minor/Major Spoilers below** (click on the arrow)
    Okay, was the incest really necessary?!?!? It added NOTHING to the plot and ruined a perfectly great novel! This man makes me so angry at times – I was so impressed up to that point at how he had managed to edit himself not only in word count but in plot devices used solely for shock. Why? End of rant

Will I get King on my radar again? Quite honestly, no. But I will be less hesitant to pick up a future novel if it interests me. Later had very little of King’s choices that I dislike. I love his plot ideas. I really do. It’s his style that usually doesn’t mesh with me. I’m pretty sure that Later is a novel that will please King fans and those of us who aren’t!

Enjoyability     9

Characters       9

Ambience        10

Fairness          9

Plot                  10

Execution        8

My total rating: 4.58




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Until next book, be the hummingbird!

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