Book Review: The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon


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.
Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Fantasy, Adventure (Survival)

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.

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.

Favorite quote:
(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.”


4 comments on “Book Review: The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon

  1. […] The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King My second full score of 2016! Stephen King is my absolute favorite writer of all time, and I tend to full score his work. Not only do I love the way he writes, but also the world he creates and how I’m never able to put down his books. This is no exception, and I read this for the first time when I was about 10 years old. That’s probably why it has stuck with me – because I related so much to the character and I was so scared. It wasn’t as scary to read now, but I still feel so much for poor Trisha and I love this little world. My very first tattoo, which I got in July this year, is an illustration from this book.  […]


  2. […] Then I jumped on a challenge on IG which was #theriseoftheking, and I read my first Stephen King book; The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, which Ida so kindly borrowed to me. This was an entirely new experience, and I guess that since I’ve never been a thriller-fan when it comes to books, this made me read a little longer than most books would. To be honest I was seriously sick with a fever and goo coming out of my nose when I read it, but this was absolutely the right book at the right time. It’s short, simple and incredibly cool! I gave it a 3.5/5! You can read the review here, and you can also read Ida’s review here. […]


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