{Short Read Sunday} The Reaper’s Image by Stephen King – A Book Review

skeleton-crew

Carrying on with my weekly meme ‘Short Read Sunday’ in which I read something short … every Sunday (It’s a tricky name, really it is), I thought I would look to the master of horror himself: Stephen King.

The following details are for Skeleton Crew as a whole seeing as that is the collection I am reading from, not solely The Reaper’s Image:

Author: Stephen King

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date:22/03/2010

Genre: Horror

Pages: Unknown. Part of a larger collection.

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating of The Reaper’s Image: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Book Depository

Review

Originally I purchased ‘Skeleton Crew’ purely because I wanted to read ‘The Mist’ which is brilliant and I would highly recommend to any King fan yet to read it or, simply, any fan of horror. When I was looking for some material for this week’s short read, I came across Skeleton Crew in my kindleΒ and the short story ‘The Reaper’s Image’ which King says he wrote when he was only eighteen years old. Naturally, as a fan, I was eager to try out some of his earlier writing.

The Reaper’s Image did not disappoint. It is very short, only a few hundred locations on a kindle (not certain of actual page count due to only owning the kindle version) and yet it gives a satisfying story in so short an amount of time (something that I can attest to being quite difficult. I have tried many a time and only got it right a handful).

In The Reaper’s Image an antique collector by the name of Johnson Spangler visits the Samuel Claggert Museum … which is essentially a ‘museum’ filled with tat and the occasional rare and valuable piece. But, apparently, mostly tat. His visit surrounds a finely crafted mirror, one of only a handful left in the world made by an Elizabethan craftsman by the name of John DeIver.

The mirror has a sinister reputation, it is said that to select people who gaze into it, the image of the Reaper will appear standing close by them. The Reaper’s Image tells the tale of the mirror and the unknown fates of those who look into its depths. King does well to convey the pure horror of one man and the sheer unbelieving sceptical nature of another. In so short an amount of time he brings across a range of emotions surrounding the mirror and gives the reader a tantalising problem that is never solved: Just what happens to those who look into the mirror and see the Reaper staring back at them?

All in all, if you have ten to fifteen minutes to spare, The Reaper’s Image is well worth your time. It has made me want to delve deeper into Skeleton Crew, so you may well see more from those pages gracing my Short Read Sunday feature in the future.

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14 thoughts on “{Short Read Sunday} The Reaper’s Image by Stephen King – A Book Review

  1. Short read Sunday really is a tricky name, could you explain it a bit better for those of us who don’t understand the name please?? Whatever is it all about??πŸ˜‚

    Haven’t got this collection, might have to pick it up though as I’ve always wanted to read the Mist as I loved the Mist film.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK… I have been staring at The Stand on my bookshelf for ages now, too intimidated to actually start reading it… but you’ve got me here.. The Reaper’s Image sounds like straight down my alley and I will read it… tonight… I think! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re twisting my arm!!! I agree though, I just gotta jump into action with that book… I keep pushing it into the future because of some review requests… however.. I made no timeline promises so I shall just do as I very well please and decide to Kingify myself!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Totally understand that. It’s one heck of a hefty book. And, as I mentioned on my audio book review (a great way to read it whilst not actually reading, and you’d be treated to Grover Gardner’s amazing performance) it’s quite a slow burn of a novel.

        Reaper’s Image is a nice 10 minute bite-sized read, though πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, it’s the slow burn I’m worried about… pity I don’t do audios… I’m broken I think, I can’t focus at all on listening a book πŸ˜€
        However, I shall tackle the tome for sure, so I shall!
        Reaper’s Image first though… can’t wait πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah… I’ll see how I get along with The Stand… because I recall trying one of King’s books and I didn’t get very far with it tbh… so… we’ll see… πŸ™‚ Great review though… I feel like I will one day give in to my curiosity and get the whole collection πŸ™‚ Never know, I might just love it… oh! or maybe the library has it?! dun-dun-duuunnn!

        Liked by 1 person

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