Steven King (note the spelling) longs to live the life of a famous
writer. He dreams of attending parties in his honor, waving from
the backseat of a limo in midtown Manhattan, autographing books for
an endless line of fans. Not to mention the money. For Steve, the
dream comes true. But it comes at quite a cost. Steve has an
embarrassing secret that threatens to ruin his exciting new life.
He faces the possibility of losing everything he holds dear, though
he has to figure out what he really wants and make some hard
decisions. He capers through his problems with a sort of
devil-may-care attitude, which sometimes left me more fearful of
what might happen than it appeared he was.
The first half of THE STORYTELLER read like a television show I
once saw. It seemed fairly predictable. But then the twists started
winding their way into the plot after about 100 pages. Since it's
an engaging read, getting to the good stuff takes very little time
and effort, and it's time well spent.
King, who changes his name to Konigsberg --- an old family name ---
leaves the glitter of Key West, Florida for a quiet town in Maine,
writes by day and bartends by night. His girlfriend, Tina, visits
often while they plan for her move up and their eventual marriage.
His faithful dog, Chester, accompanies King on his daily walks,
listening intently to his ramblings. He meets an old fellow named
Ben who mentors him in his writing, helping him vastly improve his
So why isn't King happy? His novel is coming along, but not fast
enough to please him. He desperately wants his parents to think of
him as a success. And he wants to prove to his agent, Cousin
Stuart, that he's just as good as any of Stuart's other clients.
Tina already loves him, but he figures a bestselling novel wouldn't
hurt their relationship. So he makes one very bad decision, then
compounds it with a host of poor choices, which finally plunge him
into an abyss he can't see his way out of. King's luck takes him
through some rough spots, drops a bomb on him now and then, and he
emerges on the other end. But unscathed? Well…
The author Arthur Reid --- actually a pseudonym as the authors are
publishing insider Howard Kaminsky and his wife Susan, who is a
former editor --- likely fashioned Steven King after a collage of
writers. Initially, Reid seemed to have the same trouble as King
does in fleshing out his characters. He takes his time building the
personalities. By midway, his dubious hero, King, has become almost
the boy next door, a fellow you can't help but root for. THE
STORYTELLER is a fanciful tale with a bit of a moral to it, and
makes for an enjoyable day of light reading.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 24, 2011