On the recommendation of a friend, I read this, my first Stephen King novel. For the first 100 or so pages, I was hooked. But the novel began to drag. What starts out as the gripping tale of four hunting buddies encountering strange happenings outside their cabin, devolves into a wandering, unfocused and bizarre piece of writing. By page 400, I had lost all interest in the book. But, since I dislike not finishing a novel, I struggled on. Unfortunately, by page 500 (3/4 of the way through it) the writing was so terrible, the plot so absurd, and the characters so cliche, I had to put the book down. Whatever originality or imagination King once possessed is gone. He now relies on co-opting characters from other genres. For example, he names a sadistic, unbalanced Army General "Kurtz" after the sadistic, unbalanced Army General in Apocalypse Now named "Kurtz." King consistently refers to movie director James Cameron, as if the two are enjoying some inside joke, which detracts from the story. While I didn't anticipate great writing, I expected first rate story telling. The writing was high school level at best. I'd skip it.