Stephen King teams up with long-time friend and award-winning author Richard Chizmar for the first time in this original, chilling novella that revisits the mysterious town of Castle Rock.
There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974, twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong—if time-rusted—iron bolts and zig-zag up the precarious cliffside.
Then one day when Gwendy gets to the top of Castle View, after catching her breath and hearing the shouts of kids on the playground below, a stranger calls to her. There on a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small, neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…
The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told—until now.
“Man, I love this story! The whole thing just races and feels so right-sized and so scarily and sadly relevant. Loved the characters… and the sense of one little girl’s connection to the whole world through this weird device. It all just sang.”
— JJ Abrams
“This absorbing novella by horror giants King (End of Watch) and Chizmar (A Long December) revisits one of King’s most popular locales.”
– Publisher’s Weekly
“Extremely well-paced…a fun read that never loses momentum.”
“It is a collaboration, and a seamless one at that…clear, idiomatic prose style and a flair for creating instantly recognizable characters…both a superior addition to the never-quite-finished saga of Castle Rock and a cautionary tale directed toward a world that grows crazier – and more incomprehensible – with every passing day.”
Don’t talk to strangers, don’t take from strangers, do not take candy from strangers.
One summer, a young Gwendy Peterson seems to ignore these rules, at the top of round about hundred and fifty iron steps, ‘Castle View’s Suicide Stairs,’ with an encounter with… a man on a bench.
A strange man one may think, only for a second, maybe a descendant of Willy Wonka. There is some chocolates, but no chocolate factory, and he is not dressed in colorful clothes, he is dressed in black and is wearing a black Derby hat.