Book Recommendation: ‘Fairy Tale’ by Stephen King

Recommended by DOMINIC FRANDRUP, Director, Door County Library

Seventeen-year-old Charlie is able to save the life of a cranky, old bachelor thanks to the barking of the man’s aging dog and eventually discovers the secret to the man’s vast wealth and the decay of the biggest house in town: a padlocked shed in his backyard that descends into a magical parallel world. 

I began reading King in high school, and this takes me back to those days of reading his dark fantasy novels, such as The Talisman or Eyes of the Dragon, which lightly bridge into horror. Unlike in his previous works, King references modern myths such as Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, and the Jack Zipes translations of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. 

Half the fun of this novel was coming across references to the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz and Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. King successfully imagines the origins of these dark tales themselves: the underground parallel world in the backyard well.

If you enjoy Fairy Tale, a good book pairing would be The Thief of Always by Clive Barker.