Fairy Tale - Stephen King

Fairy Tale

By Stephen King

  • Release Date: 2022-09-06
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4.5
From 2,338 Ratings


A #1 New York Times Bestseller and New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice!

Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for that world or ours.

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.

Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.

King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle.

Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?”

“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”


  • Fairy Tale

    By bxj3
    Fairy Tale doesn’t really “feel” like Mr. King. He carefully combines fairy tales that readers remember with the life of a high school athlete who made a “spiritual promise” that someday must be fulfilled. He stumbles into a strange world because he loves a dog. Yes, there are monsters and evil to be dealt with along the way. However the story is really about relationships, determination, grit and loyalty.
  • Couldn’t wait to know what happened next

    By Not so hot!
    I love to believe in the idea that there is another world, and we just don’t know about it. I found this book fabulous. I love the fairytale part of it, modern day part of it and how it was all intertwined together. Definitely a different type of book for Stephen King. I highly recommend it.
  • It was brilliant and didn’t want the story to end.

    By JD Grantham
    I love when I immediately connect to characters, and that is what happened here. The world King created, both above and below, was vivid and had me hooked after the first chapter. I don’t know if we will get a sequel or a spin-off, but if it happens I will be first in line to buy it.
  • King’s Fantasy Side at its Best!

    Get ready to take an adventure into a fantasy world that perfectly conjoins our own familiarities and fantastical impossibilities. King is incomparable at creating worlds that are enough like our own to be relatable, and so magical and fantastic to be whimsical. The characters and their relationships are impeccable, leaving you wanting the absolute best for the good and beyond the worst for the bad. I always enjoy a SK read, but this one is special. It’s brutal and beautiful. It’s depressing and convivial. It ultimately leads to the question: could you give up absolute magic and beauty in order to save it? Incredible read, highly recommended.
  • Fairy Tale

    By G-phase
    Great story , the title of the book is exactly what it is . I really enjoyed reading it . Thank you
  • Great read

    By jdhdkdfd
    Another classic.
  • Still think of these characters long after leaving them ! Got me through some dark days - ty S.K.

    By truleegus
    Love it !!
  • Fairytale

    By soupsupper
    This book is gripping and unpredictable, yet wholesome. It’s started off reminding me of to kill a mockingbird and slid into home like American Gods. A rare read for sure. I only hate that it’s over and now I’m craving another.
  • Enjoyable read but nothing new

    By drummer4gsus
    I enjoyed the beginning of the book a lot. Depends on the reader I suppose. What’s good about this book: the main character is written in a likable and human way (but still somehow seems to be a collage of too many positive character traits that makes it a little unbelievable). What I mean by this is he is a 17 year old boy who is both a top-tier athlete as well as a book nerd (among other things). The fantasy aspect is interesting. Reminds me somewhat of the lore behind Dark Souls video games. However, getting lost in this lore is a little difficult as King tries to interweave modern appliances into a medieval setting. Meshing the two worlds seems to make the suspended disbelief a bit harder. It also ruins the enchantment with a sense of kitschiness. Along this thread, King also makes his prose a bit garish and slipshod. He attempts to get “meta” about his story in a way that just seems like lazy writing (like the stories about people writing stories). The narrator, toward the middle and end of the book, CONSTANTLY talks about fairy tales and how what’s happening to him is “unbelievable like those fairy tales”, but then says over and over, “but this isn’t a fairy tale, it’s real life,” as if it somehow makes the story seem more gripping. Honestly, it seems a little like a story that King took shortcuts on. Will you like it? Depends if you’re a picky fiction reader like I am. Again, not unbearable and it was a well paced book, but it definitely wasn’t anywhere close to a favorite of mine.
  • A Worthy Read

    By Zipster7
    Thank you, Stephen!