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Publishing his newest short story A Death in the highbrow The New Yorker magazine, Stephen King demonstrates, yet again, that he is a true master of the short story form.
Perhaps because of the literary prestige associated with this publication, King abandons the supernatural and horror genre with his newest piece and instead gives us a morality tale set in the old west.
He really shines (pun intended- so sorry Jay) here with this grim tale of a ten year old girl raped and murdered on her birthday. There is no blood or gore in this piece, yet it is still powerful and moving, perhaps even more so without the graphic violence he has become known for. The old timey dialogue is delivered perfectly. He gives us just enough details of the one street western town with its saloon and jail to set the scene and transport the reader to this antiquated time, yet never too much so as to burden us with useless details. The characters are realistic and very believable.
It is a gritty, harsh and ambivalent tale, and in the end, with A Death, King reminds us all of why we came to love him so much to begin with.
Note: this story will not be available to the public until March 9th when The New Yorker will hit the newsstands.