Thursday, November 14, 2013
Book Review: Apt Pupil
On the whole, this story comes together to be more than the sum of its parts, although at the halfway point I wasn't sure it would. What is essentially a character drama between an old Nazi war criminal in hiding and the golden boy who discovers his secrets (and keeps them secret) is an interesting start, and it's where the focus is for the first two-thirds. Near the middle the excesses of the evil spiral between the two added up to be almost too much for me -- I was ready to resign this story to the "old Stephen King" more-or-less-what-you'd-expect-from-King file rather than the "new Stephen King" surprised-by-meaning file (see: 11-23-63, Joyland, etc.). The real depth comes from the additional characters who are not caught in the descending spiral, and those don't really come out till the last third of the book. I do think some of the scenes in the middle are unnecessary but there are just some things about psychology that King and I don't agree on. Getting past those was indeed worth it.