Friday, December 28, 2007

Apt Pupil

Author: Stephen King

First line: He looked like the total all-American kid as he pedaled his twenty-six-inch Schwinn with the apehanger handlebars up the residential suburban street, and that's just what he was: Todd Bowden, thirteen years old, five-feet-eight and a healthy one hundred and forty pounds, hair the color of ripe corn, blue eyes, white even teeth, lightly tanned skin marred by not even the first shadow of adolescent acne.

Why you should read this book: Three of the four novellas in Stephen's King's Different Seasons were made into movies; two of them were popular and successful films, and then there was Apt Pupil, frightening in a personal way that does not readily translate to the big screen. When a bright young boy with a penchant for World War II history discovers a Nazi war criminal living down the street, he blackmails the older man into recounting, in minute, nuanced detail, all the horrors of the Holocaust. There is no supernatural horror lurking here, just the unfathomable chasms of the human mind, and all the unspeakable poisons that can be buried there, or planted.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You tend to glorify serial killers.

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