Sleeping Beauties is the title of one of the latest novels by Stephen King. Here is my review about the novel. In reality, the book has been written along with Owen, the son of Stephen King. I must admit that I noticed that the book has been written by four hands. This is the plot. A day, in a village called Aurora, women get affected from a strange flu.
It occurs with strange symptoms and fluffy wires that wrap women from the head to the feet, while they are sleeping. Nobody must try to wake them, because the one which could be seen is not a woman, but a sort of alien, with red eyes and a supernatural aggressiveness.
During this stage, the awakened women can also kill any person, even their own baby, husband or pet. The strange flu affects women in the prison of the town. In this place, we can find several figures, the drug or alcohol addicted woman, up to the one who killed her abusive partner. In a gloomy and scary landscape, the two authors tell about a female world made of suffering, good and evil. The prison of the village is managed by the Warden and a team of doctors. One of them, Clint Norcross, is a psychiatrist in charge of threat drug addicted inmates and other women suffering from mental illnesses.
Yes, in the prison, there are poor and unfortunate women who endured anything in their lifetime. There is the one raped by her stepfather, when she was a girl, another that was beaten by her boss, another beaten by her husband. And also in the prison, some female inmates endure sexual harassment by the prison officers. In the meanwhile, from Australia, a strange disease onsets and hit only women. While they sleep, they get swamped into a strange cocoon made of fluttering wires.
This depiction gave me the impression to see the legendary figure of Medusa, but I must admit it is a good depiction about a female monster. While I was reading Sleeping Beauties, however, I think of having guessed the chapters written by Stephen and the ones written by Owen King. The latter wrote more creepy descriptions, carnages and underground violence, while the chapters by Stephen King kept the usual style of the Master of horror, with an emotional strain and a suspense that only Stephen King can create.
I also suppose that at a certain stage of the story, the father said to his son: Hey, my dear guy, stop writing please, let me continue the plot… Yes, I noticed that in Sleeping Beauties, central and final chapters are entirely written trough the unmistakable and unchallenged style of Stephen King. For this motive, I wondered why the novel Sleeping Beauties have been written by two authors. Maybe Stephen King got tired of horror writing or he fears to be too old to keep writing?
I also noticed that many readers blamed the writing style of Sleeping Beauties. They are disappointed because they couldn’t find the usual style of Stephen King. I disagree with them. A bit of style went lost with the pen of Owen King, but in the most of the chapters I saw back the usual and great master of horror.
I must also say thanks to Mr. Stephen King because through Sleeping Beauties, as The New York Times said, he gave an homage to women. The story about the malicious flu that pushes women to kill is a sort of revenge by women plagued by the usual and common male power. They became protagonists of a horror story, but the meaning is totally different. Under the veil of the words and of an excellent plot, I saw the most sensitive greetings of Stephen King to women all over the world.
I saw the respect of the author for women, his affection, especially in the chapters where he tells about the local sheriff Lila who must fight the sleeping women or in the dialogues between Frank Geary, the town’s animal control officer, and his wife, while he tries to save his daughter from the strange flu.
Marriage, divorce, abusive partners and unhealthy relationships are the real characters of Sleeping Beauties. Maybe I am an avid fan of Stephen King, but the latest novel by the master is, as always, outstanding. Now, just because I know very well the writing style of this great novelist, I can’t help but wait to read and review the recently released novel titled The Outsider.
Title of the book: Sleeping Beauties
Author: Stephen and Owen King
Price: $ 17.70