The original plan for Stephen King readings was to read his books or short stories in chronological order of release. Seeing as I read Carrie first. I even have Salem’s Lot sitting on my shelf. However, that other day that I forgot my Kindle at home and remembered that I picked up this one on sale during the holidays drove me to read it. For those who didn’t read my review, you can find it here.
This book includes two novellas. It starts with A Good Marriage and follows up with 1922. Let’s check it out!
A Good Marriage
A Good Marriage is an absolute page turner. The writing and suspense and thrills carries and builds at a great pace. We pretty much follow the voice of a wife that finds out a horrible secret of her husband. She has to choose to survive and make choices that can get her through it. The agony and conflict she feels along with the eventual disgust and all those feelings are captivated so well to make us feel what she is feeling. Her husband although is the source of the issue here also has chilling moments where we truly can feel why. Spontaneous coincidences are the unexpected factors in life and sometimes it leads to the events in A Good Marriage.
This novella excels in being able to communicate the inner feelings of our characters. For the first bit of the novella, we are only reading Darcy and the feelings she gets as she discovers that there’s something her husband is hiding. However, curiosity in the end does kill the cat. We learn a little about the marriage that how Darcy and Bob get together and their 25 years of marriage. We are acquainted with these characters quickly. The reveal of the secret is slower as well as we are deceived into a little secret that when Darcy chooses to let go momentarily results in consequent actions dealing with something much more unforgivable.
Its a little twisted and puts morals on the table as to how far you’d go to protect yourself. When does doing what everyone perceives as a bad thing become a good thing for the right reasons? So many layers and such brilliant character development, A Good Marriage is a great read.
Very opposite of A Good Marriage, it is hard to pinpoint what makes 1922 feel much lesser in the Stephen King collection. I guess I can’t quite say that seeing as this is just the third work that I’ve ever read. However, it was a somewhat painful experience that seemed to only come to fruition at its finale. There is a lot of detail and skill in putting together this character Wilfred as we see his slow descent into madness and obsession probably driven by the metaphorical skeletons on his closet.
1922 is shown as a letter of confession, many years after he’s actually gotten away. Wilfred recounts the story in detail from his sentiments to telling about what happens to lead up to his decision to kill his wife. The characters here are not likeable. Wilfred is a little off-putting. Henry has a rather odd turnout and his wife particularly doesn’t exactly encourage or make us feel like she deserved a lot better although for her husband to kill her is also an extreme. However, the star here is Wilfred and in the incredible detail of what happened in 1922, the entire year of 1922 literally, it gets a little long and slow and unrewarding in many ways. The ending does pull everything together if the readers haven’t gathered already that Wilfred is greatly affected by murdering his wife and the consequent events. His obsession over believing that she was still alive after she was absolutely dead physically had a cloud over him (which is pretty understandable). In many ways, we can question whether Wilfred was as bad as he seems, perhaps the events of 1922 and the fact that he realized the obvious that if he didn’t do anything, things might not have been so extreme caused him incredible regret also. There are a ton of reasons and what-ifs.
While descriptively and character building wise, there is a haunting and disturbing feeling every once in a while, the story is very slow and feels not too engaging. However, if you do stick through it, the ending does have a resolution, that was surprisingly worth it (at least to me).
A Good Marriage and 1922 both are novellas focused on a psychological change in its main character and honestly focuses on the one voice and a particular situation.
A Good Marriage was definitely the superior one. Have you read either of these before? Thoughts?