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The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,549142814 (3.44)1 / 165
A portable radio helps a girl survive after she is lost in the woods of New England. During her nine-day ordeal, Trisha McFarland fights thirst, wasps and the terrors of the night, all the while keeping up her spirits by listening to music and baseball games.
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English (135)  German (5)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (142)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
The quality of writing here is good, as you'd expect from King, but I did feel like this would have worked better for me as a 10,000-word short story than it did as a novel. I also struggled a little with the occasional snippets that drew you outside of the usual close third person narrative. You also need to suspend disbelief a little when it comes to the characterisation of the protagonist. Sometimes she's extremely mature for nine and sometimes she acts more like a five-year-old (like with pretty much everything related to her walking halfway to Canada instead of just staying put or back-tracking). A pacy read if you can turn off your brain! ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
En az beğendiğim King kitaplarından birisi oldu.Bunun nedeni kitapta hiç aksiyon olmaması ve konuşma kısımlarının çok kısa olmasıydı.Bu yüzden okurken çok sıkıldım ama kitap yine de akıcıydı. ( )
  Tobizume | Jun 9, 2020 |
Stephen King is always a great storyteller. He has a talent for the linking the things that make us most human to the things we most dread and making us care as much as we fear. During the course of his (usually long) books, he slowly lures us into the places where the supernatural is so close, we can smell the rotting flesh of its last meal on its breath.

I'd expected him to do that again with “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”. I’d thought I’d get a tense story about the bad things that happen to little girls who get lost in the woods, invoking all the things that lurk in the deep dark and remind us what it feels like to be prey.

Instead, Stephen King did something quite different and wonderful: he narrowed his focus down to the internal dialogue that drives Trish, nine years old, almost ten and big for age, to persist in struggling not to die in vast Maine woods that she is alone and lost in.

In some ways, this is a book in which nothing much happens. Trish gets separated from her mother and brother and finds herself lost in the woods and does her best to find a way to walk out again. Yet, from the beginning, I kept wanting to know what happened next and by the end I cared passionately about whether Trish would survive.

Trish is brave and resourceful and unyielding. She’s also, as she tells us from time to time, just a kid. She’s afraid. She’s furious at the unfairness of her situation. She cries. She throws tantrums. Then she persists.

Following along with Trisha, we learn about her (recently divorced) parents, her brother, her best friend and her favourite boy bands. We share her triumphs, her setbacks, her hallucinations and her growing awareness, as the days pass, that death is stalking her.

Trisha has two prized possessions with her, her Red Sox baseball cap, signed by Tom Gordon, her favourite player, and a Sony Walkman that allows her to listen to distance Sox games when the forest night surrounds her. The games become her anchor, a symbol of her hope, a connection to the world she is trying to get back to. Tom Gordon, who is the Sox closer, brought in at the end of the game to close down the other team, becomes the emblem of her courage and the means by which she explains to herself her relationship with growing probability to of her own death. From him she learns that you may be beaten by the other team but you should never be beaten by yourself.

The writing is wonderful, simple on the surface but with flowing rhythms beneath the entrance the ear and build meanings on simple phrases until a verbal Fibonacci Sequence unfolds. Stephen King can take a radio jingle, “Who do you call when your windscreen ‘s busted” and turn it into a leitmotiv for the desire for rescue. The pace is perfectly controlled and cleverly structured around the innings of a baseball game.

I recommend the audiobook version of “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”. It’s performed by Anne Hech, who does a superb job of making Trisha real and made this an even better read. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Anne Heche narrated. 3.5 stars. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Haven't read hardly any Stephen King, as I'm not into horror. I was given this so would not have read it otherwise.
It is not to bad, there is not much suspense, just a general feeling of unease and disquiet that the little girl feels and she stumbles through the woods and into more and more danger.
It is not a fully believable story as I do not think a nine year old would last that long alone. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
As the narrator puts it: "The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. She knew that now. She was only 9, but she knew it, and she thought she could accept it."

Thanks to King's gruesome imagination, you as a reader feel the sharpness of those teeth.
 

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heche, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for my son Owen, who ended up teaching me a lot more about the game of baseball than I ever taught him.
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The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.
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The brochure promised a "moderate-to-difficult" six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls. Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as defense against the elements, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and tahe griity performances of her hero, number 36, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio's reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her - her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaughtered animanls and mangled trees in its wake. (0-684-86762-1)

AR6.4, 10 pts.
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