During a hiking trip with her brother and her recently divorced mother, nine year old Trisha goes off the path and can’t find the way back. Lost and alone in the woods for days, Trisha does what she can to survive. Luckily, she has her walkman with her. She’s a huge fan of Tom Gordon, a Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, and listens to the baseball games, and fantasizes that he’s there in the woods with her, taking care of her. But there’s something else with her in the woods. Something dark and dangerous.
First line of the book: “The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.”
Title: The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon
Author: Stephen King
My edition: Hodder & Stoughton Paperback, 223 pages.
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Fantasy, Adventure (Survival)
WHY THIS BOOK
This is also one of my earliest reads from Stephen King. I must have been about 11 when I read this book the last time, and I haven’t read it since then so I figured it was time to read it one more time. I’ve always loved this one, and I thought it would be interesting to see what I would make of this book now. And it turned out to be a whole new experience!
This plot spoke to me from the minute I read about the book at the age of 11, and it still does. I love all kinds of stories that evolves around surviving in places and situations where it is unlikely that the MC will survive, and I love the stories where a big part of it is the psychologial horror/development the character goes through. This time this plot hit me a little extra, because the character is the exact same age as my little sister… It put the whole story in a new perspective for me, because I couldn’t help picturing my sister in the situations, and it made it much more real and sorely. But, the plot is just amazing, how in the world does a girl of nine years survive alone in the woods? Which thoughts go through the mind of a nine year old when she’s alone in a dark forest, scared and hungry? And what is this thing following her?
In this one, King does a good job both writing in his usual descriptive and informative way, but also including the mindset of a nine year old girl as a part of the writing. We easily feel that we read the book through Trisha’s thoughts, and we also feel King’s presence. There are many good quotes from the book and a lot of good philosophical thoughts that I found so incredibly interesting now that I’m a bit older than 11. I’ve always loved the way King writes, and this book is no exception!
There are not many characters in this book. We read about Trisha, and a little bit about her best friend and her family, and Tom Gordon, but most of the other characters we get to know through Trisha and her thoughts. This is just natural, as she is alone in the woods, and everything just works really well. Although we get to know about the other chracters mostly trhough Trisha, it’s easy to picture them. Trisha herself is just a really well developed character. She gets to be the child that she is, and King makes room for her to be scared and sad and childish. At the same time, Trisha is a survivor and King make plenty of room for her to be that too. We get to know Trisha more and more throughout the book, and to me she felt so real and alive it was almost scary. I can easily picture this brave little girl struggling to survive in the woods.
ALL IN ALL
This book has made a deep impact on me throughout the years that I’ve read King’s books. I thought it was so freaking scary when I was 11. The thing in the woods is really, really creepy and King writes it in a way that makes it scary as hell. When I read it now, 11 years later, I found that it is also a really smart book that contains a lot of interestng, deep thoughts. Trisha struggles with being alone and want a God to pray to, but she never believed in a God. That’s one of the topics this book takes hold of, and I love how he reflects around that part. I love the hallucinations, the things that aren’t really hallucinations and the way Trisha get to be both a brave survivor and a young, scared girl. It’s just one of the books that will stick with me for ever. It’s not a long book (I think it is King’s second shortest if I remember correctly), and it’s worth the few days it takes to read it without a doubt.
(There are so many I’m choosing the one that has the least spoilers in it)
“Her giving away to panic wasn’t sudden, as it had been at the feel of the snake, but weirdly gradual, a drawing in from the world, a shutting down of outer awareness. She walked faster without minding her way; called for help without hearing her own voice; listened with ears that might not have heard a returning shout from behind the nearest tree. And when she began to run she did it without realizing.”