Stephen King started writing Storm of the Century
as a novel, but it evolved into the teleplay of an ABC TV miniseries. Set in Maine's remote Little Tall Island, the tale is all about vivid small-town characters, feuds, infidelities, sordid secrets, kids in peril, and gory portents in scrambled letters. The calamitous snowstorm is nothing compared to the mysterious mind-reading stranger Linoge, who uses magic powers to turn people's guilt against them--when he's not simply braining them with his wolf-head-handled cane. Don't even glance at that cane--it can bring out the devil in you. Just as The Shining
was concerned with marriage and alcoholism as much as it was with bad weather and worse spirits, Storm of the Century
is more than a horror story. It's creepy because it's realistic.
But it's also unusually visual. Linoge's eyes ominously change color, wind and sea wreak havoc, a basketball leaves blood circles with each bounce. The 100-year storm no doubt hits harder onscreen than on the page, but the snow is a symbol of the more disturbing emotional maelstrom that words evoke perfectly. And the murders of folks we've gotten to know is entirely terrifying in print. The crisp discipline of the screenplay format makes this book better than lots of King's more sprawling novels--the end doesn't wander and the dialogue crackles. Here's the real test: It's impossible to read parts 1 and 2 and not read part 3, "The Reckoning." --Tim Appelo
"This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill Halloween picture book, even though Gritch the Witch certainly looks her part (though a bit more trendy), with a pointy hat, a gap-toothed grin, vicious green fingernails, and two beauteous moles on her face. She acts her part, too, swaggering, greedy, and just plain impatient, as she brooms off to Old MacDonald's Farm in search of eight plump porkers for her favorite pie. But Palatini deftly turns the tables on Gritch, whose own sense of importance (and the skywritten warning "Surrender Piggies!" ) gives her victims time to implement a plan to save their bacon. When hungry Gritch arrives at the farm, she can't find a single pig. Instead, she finds a wolf, whom she slyly invites home: "I always enjoy having a wolf for lunch." The wry, peppery dialogue is simply great ("Look, Shorty, I've been quack-quacked here, moo-mooed there, and clucked-clucked everywhere all over this farm" ), and Palatini's allusions to popular children's stories from The Wizard of Oz to the "Three Little Pigs" will delight kids. So will Fine's bold, expressive artwork, which gives wicked Gritch a comic audacity that makes her trouncing all the better. A sardonically humorous, rip-roaring yarn that can be enjoyed all year round. " Booklist, ALA
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The exuberant illustrations are colorful and action-filled. Greedy witch and wolf both get what they deserve in this thoroughly enjoyable romp that turns a popular nursery song on end." School Library Journal, Starred