Book Reviews

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

My edition: Library book ISBN: 9780868486725
Rating:3 stars

Trisha McFarland is a plucky 9-year-old hiking with her brother and mom, who is grimly determined to give the kids a good time on their weekends together. Trishia’s mom is recently divorced, and her brother is feuding with her for moving from Boston to small-town Maine, where classmates razz him. Trisha steps off the trail for a pee and a respite from the bickering. And gets lost.

Trisha’s odyssey succeeds on several levels. King renders her consciousness of increasing peril beautifully, from the “first minnowy flutter of disquiet” in her guts to her into-the-wild tumbles to her descent into hallucinations, the nicest being her beloved Red Sox baseball pitcher Tom Gordon, whose exploits she listens to on her Walkman. The nature writing is accurate, tense, and sometimes lyrical, from the maddening whine of the no-see-um mosquito to the profound obbilgato of the “Subaudible” (Trisha’s dad’s term for nature’s intimations of God). Our identification with Trisha deepens as we learn about her loved ones: Dad, a dreamboat whose beer habit could sink him; loving but stubborn Mom; Trisha’s best pal, Pepsi Robichaud, vividly evoked by her colorful sayings (“Don’t go all GIRLY on me, McFarland!”) There personal associations triggered by a full moon, the running monologue with which she stays sane–we who have been lost in woods will recognize these things.

Review: Ever read a book that is hyped up, but when you read it, it doesn’t meet expectations?

I was recommended this book by my local librarian due to it being the only book written by King that has scared her. I don’t see it. I was bored through the first half of this book. When Trisha started having hallucinations I still wasn’t getting creeped out. While I was intrigued by the story, I just wasn’t scared.

This is one of the few King books that I have read, that I liked. I did want to know if she was going to die in the woods or if she was going to be found. This being the main reason why I continued on when the book was dull.

There were times when I thought Trisha was a complete idiot. If she would have made a different decision than what she made or went a different direction she probably wouldn’t have been out in the woods so long.

King really captured a mind of a kid really well. There was never a time when I thought that she sounded to much like an adult. It’s a great read for thriller but not horror.


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