I’m a late-comer to Stephen King and I’ve only started to collect his books recently, which is great because there are LOADS to get through. But how hard are they to find second-hand?! I guess nobody wants to leave them go.
Anyway, this is a review of King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I mentioned the whole second-hand thing above firstly, as a rant, and secondly because this is the only King book so far I have found at a flea market. The excitement led me to blindly buying it not knowing what it was about. For those of you who are also in the dark, it tells the story of 9-year-old Trisha McFarland as she strays from the path during a hike through the woods with her mother and brother. A huge fan of Tom Gordon, the Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, she visualizes him with her as she tries to survive the dangerous thing which is tracking her.
Easily known I’m a relative newbie to King, as I expected The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon to be a horror story. And I guess being lost in the woods does equate in a way as horror but, more so, this was a story of survival. As you might imagine, the story focuses 90% of the time on Trisha, her thoughts and what she is going through. When I realised this, it made me wary of continuing as I usually don’t like books which focus on one person who is alone. I yearned for the inclusion of more people coming up to halfway through the book but, after that, I was completely enthralled and couldn’t care less.
Although I said this book wasn’t a horror, it didn’t stop King giving me the tingles he usually does. The entire book was a ball of anticipation for me and I just needed to know what was following Trisha in the woods. Now, trying not to provide any spoilers, I have to say that the disclosure of this knowledge was a bit of a disappointment to me, but, overall, it didn’t take too much away from my enjoyment of the story.
Above anything else, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon showed me just what a great writer Stephen King is. The imagination put into this book was fantastic and I really felt that the mind of a 9-year-old girl was truly captured. There were some parts where Trisha was quite mature and the adult brain behind her character was apparent, but her childish side was impressively displayed, particularly through her idolisation of Tom Gordon and her friend, Pepsi.
Was this the best King book I have read? Even with a small collection, the answer is no. ‘Salem’s Lot is still number one for me. Would I recommend this to others? Of course! A short, imaginative page-tuner, you can’t really go wrong with it.