Big Driver (story 2 from Stephen King’s Full Dark, No Stars)

I posted about the first story in King’s new book a week ago; this second one I wasn’t quite as taken with. “Big Driver” is the story of a female author – seems her specialty (as i imagined it anyway) is a series of “Jessica Fletcher-toned” mystery novels featuring a crime solving cooking club – who encounters misfortune returning from a bookstore appearance and book signing in a nearby town. Actually, misfortune is not the right word; she is violently assaulted and left for dead. Of course, she’s not dead, though. We wouldn’t have a story then now would we?

What I liked: I enjoyed King’s early descriptions of the nature of the book store event, and all of its associated routines and rituals clearly aggregated from years of his own personal experience. I enjoyed the device that King uses to share the protagonists internal deliberations. Her cat, the dog of one of her perpetrator’s accomplices, and even her own Tom-Tom GPS system (creepy!) all take turns serving as her foil as she decides what she is going to do in the wake of her attack. I liked her spunk after being a victim. She decides to take action, rather than the route so many victims of sexual assault apparently take – not reporting the attack. According to the statistics referenced in the story, two-thirds go unreported.

What I didn’t like: The violence. Not a big fan. (of course, there was also plenty of violence in the first story in this collection, which I really liked, so I guess violence is not a deal breaker) I also thought things worked out a little too easily for her towards the end of the story. I mean ***Spoiler Alert!*** are we really expected to believe she’s going to get away with her vengeful killing spree? And her one “loose end” too easily agrees to be complicit in her crime. (fortunately – not surprisingly, though – this particular loose end was also a victim of sexual assault earlier in her life. Overall, not a bad story and an easy read at just over one hundred pages. I suspect, though, that this story will be one I remember almost nothing about a few years from now. Although, now that I’ve started blogging about what I read, I find I’m remembering a LOT more than I used to, so we’ll see…

(above: a Peterbilt 389; the newest truck in the fleet of Red Hawk Trucking (“Big Driver’s” Company)

This is the first short story of my “Deal Me In!” Short Story Reading Project of 2011.

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1 Comment

  1. December 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    […] Collection by Stephen King. I’ve written about the other three (1922, Fair Extension, and Big Driver) elsewhere on this blog. This last story was titled “A Good […]

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