Later by Stephen King - anyone else read this? (closed spoilers)

I was ready to get hurt again. OK, being a bit dramatic, but about a year and a half ago, I treated myself to the latest Stephen King book, specifically the audiobook. I went in unspoiled, didn’t even read the premise, and was excited to experience it blindly. It was The Institute. It was really boring.

So, here we are and Stephen King has released another book, this time called Later. The advantage is that this one is much shorter, so the commitment is much less. I decided to go for it again.

I really liked this book. It’s about a young man who sees dead people. He says it isn’t like that “Bruce Willis movie”, but it really kind of is like that. He lives with his mother, has no idea who his father is, and ends up helping with some ongoing criminal investigations by, you guessed it, interviewing dead people.

This is a shorter Stephen King novel and that serves it well. Nothing in this story demands a 500+ page book and its short length serves it well.

Did anyone else read this one? I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a great job.

Some questions that spoil the ending, all closed here.

  1. What did you think of the reveal that Uncle Henry is his birth father? It felt unnecessary to me and did not explain why he sees dead people or serve any other purpose than to be weird and unexpected.

  2. So, call me Mr. Doesn’t-Pay-Attention, but how did he defeat the Dark-Light/Terio thing the second and final time? He just fought it off again like he did earlier in the book?

  3. Is this IT from the book IT? I have not read that book, but know it comes up sometimes in his other books. Was this “IT” or totally unrelated?

I read it also and really liked it. I did want to talk to someone about that final secret!

I’m so naïve, my first thought was, “Then his mom wasn’t really his mom?”

Yeah, I guess there’s room for a sequel here, although I don’t think that’s really a thing with Hard Case Crime.

To your second question, it’s been a few weeks since I read it, but

I think he just didn’t take up the challenge (though he considered it). However, I don’t think he’s seen the last of it either.

And to the third question

I didn’t believe that it was IT…but maybe, maybe it was!

Overall, not one of the crap ones, (and I agree, The Institute was not great).
Have you read Joyland? It has a similar feel to this one. I think you’d like it.

OP, I think you should start a thread:

Love good Stephen King books, but hate the bad ones. Is there a writer I’d like who’s more reliable?

You could list your King favorites, and the stinkers, unless you’d want to avoid an argument over that.

Hmm, I suppose people could post other authors and warn you: “Koontz does a great job with _____ and his ___ ___ series, but avoid _____ and ___ __ ___ , and anything with a Golden Shepherd in it.”

No, but I might just add it. I did see he has released three crime novels, though this one is the most supernatural I take it? This one was a horror story, as Jamie(protagonist) even keeps saying.

I haven’t read the middle of the three, but Joyland is also quite supernatural with a dash of horror.

I haven’t read Later yet, but Joyland is quite good, and I enjoyed The Colorado Kid as well.

Similarly, has anyone watched The Outsider? I’m binging it through HBOMax right now. I’m about to start episode 8. I read the book when it first came out, but I don’t remember much of it to compare to the miniseries.

I enjoyed it, including the twist at the end. I’ve seen enough of real life to know that such a thing is not rare, and it gives the protagonist even more to ponder.

I suspect the malignant agent in the tale is just some demon left over when the Prim receded, but not so high powered as the Crimson King or It. Pops in from Todash as it pleases.

I’m reading Slaughterhouse Five right now for the first time. The Forever War is next after that, and probably Joyland from Stephen King after that based on recommendations here.

I’m just at the beginning of it now. So far I like it. Stephen King has been inconsistent in some of his writings, particularly the more recent ones, which is hardly surprising for such a prolific writer. Sleeping Beauties, a novel co-written with his son, was perhaps a new low – the first King novel that I ever abandoned and simply couldn’t be bothered finishing. But I enjoy the escapism of good storytelling and horror, and in Later, King seems to be back to the simple style of plot and storytelling that has served him so well all these years. But as I said, I’m just through the first half dozen short chapters, and I may yet change my mind!

Can’t recall on #2, but for the other two…

For the first, there’s a moment early on seems to also see a ‘ghost’. It helps explain where the ability came from, it’s familial.

For the third, I can’t find the link but I remember seeing an interview where King said it’s not the same type of creature as It, but may come from the same “place”, Todash Space - kind of the space between universes where monsters hang out. There’s speculation that that’s where the critters in the The Mist came from too.

Hey, me too! But I’ll still read anything he’s written, and I’ve enjoyed the stories he’s co-written with his other son, Joe Hill or whatever pseudonym he’s using.

It popped up on my online lending library hold list so I read it in one night last night since I was having trouble sleeping. Good, short read. I thought King did a good job writing from the point of view of a young guy, 22-23, who was not an experienced writer but had a story to tell.