Mr. Mercedes

     Stephen King - Mr Mercedes 5/5

      Mr. Mercedes Review


      I know I complain a lot about Stephen King's current output, and maybe it's a little mean. King after all was a huge influence on me and made realize that I wanted to be a writer. Had it not been for Pet Sematary I would have never become a writer, and it's quite possible that I wouldn't have been such an avid reader. This was the only writer I have ever followed with rabid obsession. When you bought a Stephen King book you knew what you were getting into. To a twelve year old kid this was some serious shit. No one wrote like King. There would of course be other horror writers later on, but Stephen King was my gateway drug. Now the odds of him creating a classic horror novel are pretty slim, and I haven't been a fan for quite some time. His books just aren't as good as they used to be. They contain a bit too much filler and sadly they're a bit too boring. I really miss the God of horror and wish he would write just one new novel that didn't force me to swear and stop reading. Of course much like a battered housewife I always go back, and I tell myself each time that things are going to be better, but they never are.

      So, that brings me to Mr. Mercedes. I wasn't exactly looking forward to reading this, and even promised myself that this time I wouldn't swear, I wouldn't bitch and I wouldn't whine. I have come to terms with the fact that this wasn't going to be a pleasant read, and the God that King used to be is gone. We all now that there are people that are going to praise this novel no matter what so I knew going in that this was going to be painful, and if anything I would just end up not finishing it. Kind of like I did with Doctor Sleep and countless others. I took a deep breath and plunged in. The one thing that I noticed is that this is a different type of novel for King. He's not trying to bore us which is quite nice and a lot of the filler that comes with most Stephen King novels is gone. Mercedes at times feels like one of James Patterson's Alex Cross novels, but then King hits the accelerator and floors it. This is when you get glimpses of why King was so damned good. He has crafted the perfect villain in Brady and you get to see him start to slide deeper and deeper into insanity. This is where the strength of the novel lies. Who cares about the fat ret det when you have such an evil character like The Mercedes killer.

      If this book had been released ten, or twenty years ago it would have been a highly controversial novel, but given the state of our society today King uses this as fuel to keep his novel chugging along. The strengths lie in the story itself and there are a few moments here and there that leave you scratching your head a little, but King uses these moments to cement the plot together. What a plot it is. Is it totally plausible? Not really, but King has written a little over fifty novels and he knows what he's doing. It all serves a purpose in the end. Is it a tale of revenge? Sure, but it's also a chance for Brady to become a legend. In the end maybe you may hate him, but you won't ever forget him. The ending though felt a bit too rushed for me and all of the excitement I felt as I read the novel began to drain away. For such a strong novel I wasn't expecting it to end so weakly. If I had any problem with Mr. Mercedes it would be with the ending. How in the hell can you end a book like that?

      Despite that I would have to say that Mr. Mercedes is easily one of my favorite King novels. He has crafted the kind of story that is more addictive than crystal meth. Everything that Stephen King is, and was shines through in this book. It feels as if he was really trying to craft the kind of novel that older and newer fans can embrace. It's everything the thriller genre wants to be but has never quite been able to accomplish. It's a dark, and engrossing novel that reminds us of who King used to be. Mercedes has its flaws, but overall it's the type of fiction that you read just to be entertained. It's not your usual run of the mill thriller. It has teeth and it will bite you when you least expect it. I actually read a new Stephen King book and I wasn't swearing. I need a t-shirt for this one.