Sleeping Beauties | GoodReads

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Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.7 ⭐️'s Rounded up to 3

"Lila couldn't believe how tired she felt, how weak, as if she had dribbled out of her uniform and all over her shoes in the twenty or so paces between the cruiser and the steps. It suddenly seemed as though everything was open to question, and if Clint wasn't Clint, then who was she? Who was anybody?"

This book didn't really grab me, or pull me in, and with some 70 characters, I didn't feel close enough to anyone to care much about them. Clint and Lila Norcross are at the center of the story; they have a cold and distance marriage that doesn't get any better by the end. That's pretty much how I felt reading this book, cold and distant, observing the mechanics of a tale unfold.

Not sure if it was Owen's involvement, or that it was kind of heavy on message. The idea of a world without women is interesting, but I wanted more. Entertaining yes, but a little flat. Part of what I usually enjoy about Stephen King's writing, his beautiful descriptions and settings, were missing. Perhaps it was the ... setting?

It takes place in an impoverished Appalachian town, a women's prison, and another realm where all the women go after they've fallen asleep in their cocoons (sometimes called "bitch-bags"). Nothing too pretty here. (Slightly depressing?)

The Talisman and Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub are excellent books and still maintained that special King essence. This collaboration seemed diluted, clearly written by men, maybe even related, egging each other on and one-upping each other with their tall tale.

Don't get me wrong, it's entertaining. The women go into homicidal rages if woken up, there's a build up to a big war against two opposing sides—stuff happens (702 pages worth).

Think: Sleeping Beauty and Murakami's 1Q84 mixed in a blender with a dash of steroids, end-of-the-world "Aurora Flu," and social commentary sprinkled on top.

Not the scariest, unless you're afraid of moths.

"Get away!" Judge Silver yelled. He took his hands off the wheel and beat at his face. Moths continued to pour from the vents—hundreds of them, perhaps thousands. The Land Rover's cabin became a swirling brown mist. "Get away, get away, get aw—"
A huge weight settled on the left side of his chest. Pain hammered down his left arm like electricity. He opened his mouth to cry out and moths flew in, crawling on his tongue and tickling the lining of his cheeks. With his last struggling breath he pulled them down his throat, where they clogged his windpipe.


TLDR:
"Stephen King and Owen King imagine a world where women aren’t woke" (The Washington Post)

Favorite Quotes:

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. —Sen. Addison 'Mitch' McConnell, speaking of Sen. Elizabeth Warren” Opening Quote (*yay*)

"—except that the pretty twenty-something woman who had shown him the hole under the barn had offered him a glass of blue Kool-Aid from the bake sale going on in the parking lot. It had been pretty nasty—watered down, not enough sugar—but Frank drank three dollars' worth in order to stay there in the yellowing churchyard grass talking to the woman, who had a wonderful big laugh and a way of standing with her hands on her hips that made him feel tingly."

"My friends," the professor said in rolling tones, "with all that has happened today, it is easy to understand why we haven't yet thought of tomorrow, and all the tomorrows to come. Let us put morals and morality and hot pants aside for a moment and consider the practicalities."

"In the long run, he suspected niceness didn't pull the plow."

"Oh, sometimes there was a present, or a soft kiss on the back of the neck, or a dinner out (with candlelight!), but those things were just frosting on a stale and hard-to-chew cake. The Cake of Marriage!"

"The air felt like that knife-edge of time when winter teetered on the edge of spring. A few green-tipped buds flashed in the gray-brown of the woods, and where the earth was naked to the sky, it was squishy with melt."

"The sound of his upper and lower jaws parting company was like the sound of a drumstick being torn off a Thanksgiving turkey."

"She wiped the webbing from her eyes, astonished to see a whole ward of women, rising up from their hospital beds, tearing at the shreds of their cocoons in an orgy of resurrection."

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