Halloween Review: A Face in the Crowd by Stephen King, Stewart O’Nan

eBook: 32 Pages

Series: Short story standalone

Publisher: Scribner

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Dean Evers, an elderly widower, sits in front of the television with nothing better to do than waste his leftover evenings watching baseball. It’s Rays/Mariners, and David Price is breezing through the line-up. Suddenly, in a seat a few rows up beyond the batter, Evers sees the face of someone from decades past, someone who shouldn’t be at the ballgame, shouldn’t be on the planet. And so begins a parade of people from Evers’s past, all of them occupying that seat behind home plate. Until one day Dean Evers sees someone even eerier..

Yet another Stephen King short story and the last in the Halloween reads. This one was actually recommended to me by Sandra, more or less, and I’m glad I decided to read it. 

Dean Evers is all alone; his wife died, his son Pat has his own family and not enough time to visit the old man, and he doesn’t keep in touch with many friends. One night, while watching a baseball game on TV, Dean sees an apparition, someone who couldn’t possibly be there, someone who by all accounts and purposes should be dead.

He tries, and succeeds, to convince himself that he’s imagining things. Until the next ballgame, that is, when he sees yet another person who shouldn’t be alive.

This short story is excellent. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is the constant baseball talk/lingo. I know virtually nothing about baseball, I don’t watch it, hell, we don’t even play baseball.

Other than that, it’s great. Eerie, both because of the premise and the MC’s behavior, A Face in the Crowd actually provides the reader with some characterization, too, which is unusual for short stories.  It’s only Dean that gets sketched, the other characters being secondary, but it’s enough for a better understanding of the story.

Furthermore, the ending comes as a surprise, in terms of character behavior.

However, I do think that King can do so much better, I know he can. Can’t say anything about O’Nan because it’s the first time I’ve read anything by him.

My next King book is going to be Four Past Midnight. Must see if it’s as good as the movie. 🙂

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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4 thoughts on “Halloween Review: A Face in the Crowd by Stephen King, Stewart O’Nan

  1. Loved this book. Love all of Stephen King. His books are what started my writing careern. I think my favorite recent Stephen King book is ‘Under the Dome’. Great review.

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