From international bestseller Stephen King, a classic story that engages our emotions on the most primal level, a fairy tale grimmer than Grimm but aglow with a girl’s indomitable spirit.
What if the woods were full of them? And of course they were, the woods were full of everything you didn’t like, everything you were afraid of and instinctively loathed, everything that tried to overwhelm you with nasty, no-brain panic.
The brochure promised a “moderate-to-difficult” six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her older brother Pete and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls.
Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and the gritty performances of her hero, number thirty-six, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio’s reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her—her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaughtered animals and mangled trees in its wake.
Chilling things pop up in this book by King, who revises his harrowing 1999 novel about a nine-year-old lost in the Maine woods. Due to the format's limited space, the exposition is condensed and rushed: Trisha, the title girl, is on a hike with her recently divorced mom and sullen brother, Pete. While her mother and brother argue, Trisha steps off the trail to relieve herself, and loses her bearings. Beset by bloodthirsty insects (represented on a transparent plastic screen that spins around her face) and menaced by a nameless "special thing that comes for lost kids," Trisha struggles to stay sane and alive. She takes comfort in hallucinations of her hero, Red Sox closing pitcher Tom Gordon, who offers fatherly advice. Like the original, this version follows a baseball structure, from a calm "first inning" to an alarming "top of the ninth" where Trisha faces the supernatural "God of the Lost," a bearlike monster with spiny teeth. King mentions (but the illustrations do not show) things like "the severed head of a deer, terrified eyes wide open" from the original; Dingman creates seven spreads, heavy on the nauseous green and shadowy brown, as Trisha grows increasingly haggard and startling things emerge from trapdoor pages (e.g., a hideous wolfish head or clawed paw appears, then swoops behind a bush). Where the novel built malicious suspense, this production demands that readers lift flaps and peek through transparent windows to heighten the horror. Daring and, ideally, mature King fans will appreciate this scary, perversely funny combo of horror and children's pop-up. Ages 8-up.
A short read but a great one! Classic King!
This one will always hold a place near and dear to my heart. I graduated high school the year it came out and thoroughly enjoyed the read! Here I am at 40 years old and it’s still one of my favorites by S.K.
A truly frightening hike through the woods!
Understandably, the New York Times called this book: “Frightening... feverish terror!” This chilling tale of Trisha McFarland, a nine-year-old girl who becomes lost in the woods while hiking with her single mother and older brother, is captivating from the beginning! I liked Trisha right away and, when she got lost in that huge, intimidating forest, I was rooting for her every step of the way, which was easy because King characterized her as such a courageous little girl who refused to give up, regardless of how hopeless her situation sometimes seemed. I always love Stephen King for his horror stories, which is exactly what this book is, but it’s also much more! It’s a story of bravery, hope, and strength in the face of impossible odds! Bravo, Stephen King! Bravo!👏 👍🏻👍🏻
A great summer tale
While not on par with spine-tingling works like It and Desperation, The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon stands out for its realism that morphs into surrealism. Parents everywhere will admit this story is a nightmare for them that will haunt them on their next walk in the woods with the kiddos.