Friday, 14 December 2012

Long Live the King

I know I've mentioned him before, and I apologise for the repetition, but he's got into my head again. The latest compulsion is a book called Gerald's Game, a nasty yet absorbing piece about a woman who ends up (where else?) in a deserted holiday home in the Maine woods - handcuffed to a bed - while her husband lies dead at her feet. In fact, the eponymous husband is slain by those very feet when he fails to read his wife's stop signals clearly enough.

As always, there's no messing around with Mr King. He's straight into the action and does not stop all the way along (though I haven't yet finished) barely pausing for breath as he goes. Aside from what I think are the book's fascinating themes of sex and sexual abuse, self-loathing and fear, there is the writer's courage at being able to examine in microscopic detail the very worst of human nature we can possibly imagine. And we can possibly imagine quite a lot, unfortunately. There are, it is true, real instances of child abuse, and perhaps also real instances of handcuffed women killing their husbands when bondage games go wrong. However, the ability to take these events and write them down on a page surely requires an unflinching resolve, a firm grasp of one's natural revulsion to persist with accurately (some might say a little salaciously in King's case, perhaps. Though this book is somewhat less fantastical than many of his others, there is still almost a sense of his revelling in the gore and dark stuff) portraying them. Anyone who does not harbour sexual feelings towards minors would surely find it difficult to write down such an episode? Whatever the case, it's a rare book indeed that causes me to gasp on the bus, or to unwittingly cover my mouth with my hand at the horror on the page, and must be praised for that alone.

In the meantime, thoughts turn to the Geordies and the question of whether Bobby will keep his job or not at the Sports Stadium/St. James's Park. Certainly I think the stuffing was knocked out of us during last weekend's fiasco, and we need to make a firm statement of our intent. Whether we can or not is moot. Newcastle are looking pretty shaky at the moment it's true, but they still have some dangerous players, and there's no way we can sit on our laurels. I'm opting for 2-1 City, though hoping for a few more in our favour. Howay the Blues!

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