Fairy Tale by Stephen King - review by Jay Gilbert

Jay Gilbert

Through the Portal

Fairy Tale


Hodder & Stoughton 592pp £22

Quoth Robert Graves: ‘The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.’ The same might be said of Stephen King, whose influence on popular culture has been staggering, not only in the horror genre but also in the way people write about the young, the working classes and the forgotten. King began writing Fairy Tale early in the pandemic in answer to the question: ‘What could you write that would make you happy?’ If you’re one of the millions of people who’ve enjoyed his writing before, this book is likely to make you happy too.

Fairy Tale contains all the basic ingredients of a good story. There is a heroic protagonist, Charlie Reade, an athletic high school senior with a tragic backstory who is on the cusp of adulthood. Radar the dog does double duty as loyal steed and damsel in distress. Mr

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