This certainly is the kind of book readers charging through the pages and gobbling up as fast as one could, as King described what he did with 1984 in the afterword.
The book consists of four stories: 1922, Big Driver, Fair Extension and A Good Marriage. They are all, like King said, stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations. All four are outstanding (though A Good Marriage impressed me less), while the one shattered me the most is Big Driver.
Big Driver tells a story about revenge. Tess, a novelist writing Miss Marple kind stories, was ruthlessly raped and almost murdered on the way back home, after giving a lecture in a public library in the neighbor town. It was a plot: the criminal planted woods with spikes on the road, where phone service was not available. When the prey got off the car to check the punctured tire, the criminal pretended to be a good guy offering helping hands.
Tess was not the first who fell in the plot. She saw at least two other half-rotten ladies in the drain pipe she was dumped into, as a dead body. She crawled out. She decided to swallow it to avoid the publicity but simply couldn’t, especially after finding out that the lecture organizer who ‘kindly’ guided her to her ruining shortcut, was the mother of the criminal. It was not a coincidence. She was designed. She decided to take revenge for herself.
My description sounds dull but the story is nerve-racking. As an ordinary person, sometimes I feel danger is so far away that it only exists in the unreal world. This kind of stories make me alert, like City Homicides, the Australian TV series I like a lot.