References to other books: a brief mention is made to The Shop (Firestarter). A reference to IT (chuckling noises near the drains in a Derry hospital). A reference to John Smith in The Dead Zone. Reference to a cursed Micmac Indian burial ground (which is near a certain Pet Sematary). There’s a reference to a horror writer who swears a lot and who lives in Bangor and that may be the grownup Bill from IT (or could, in fact, be Stephen King himself). There’s a later reference to IT (Pennywise is seen).
This is one of the books that I was most nervous about re-reading. It’s one of the longer ones (979 pages, according to Kindle) and about 550 pages on my battered hardback copy. (No, I don’t know why there’s over 400 pages of difference between the Kindle and physical copies.) This is the first of the re-reads that has real references to other books in the Stephen King universe. And honestly, that’s one of the best things about reading his books: the idea that these are real places and real events, and that what happens in one book has a bearing—however brief and however minor—on events in later books. These things make me incredibly happy—although they probably shouldn’t, given that these are not happy books. Also on the plus side, while I don’t think this is a book I’ll ever read again, it was much, much better than I remember it being. It will never be one of my favorites, of course, and it’ll actually stay as one of the three of his that are my least favorites, but it was nowhere near as painful as I expected it to be. And now I am two-thirds of the way through the ones I dread (or dreaded, since I do only have one left). The last one is Dreamcatcher, which I will get to later this month, but for now, I will tackle some of the shorter books (Gerald’s Game is next on my list).