Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher--for that world or ours.
Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself--and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.
Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.
King's storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy--and his dog--must lead the battle.
Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: "What could you write that would make you happy?"
"As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city--deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn't know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell."
"A page-turner driven by memorably strange encounters and well-rendered, often thrilling action." --The New York Times Book Review
"You'll be grateful that there are 600-plus pages of it to remind you several times over how much fun that kind of reading experience is... Good, evil, a kingdom to save, monsters to slay--these are the stuff that page-turners are made from." --Laura Miller, Slate
"Spellbinding...packed with glorious flights of imagination and characteristic tenderness about childhood...vintage King at his finest." --Esquire
"Just as full of magic, adventure, and the temptations of treasure as the title implies... In Fairy Tale, King takes tropes and twists them, making for a highly entertaining read." --AV Club
"An escapist, enchanting tale of a place that's familiar but feels entirely new." --The Washington Post
"This is vintage King, in the best way." --USA Today
"Magnificent . . . classic King, and clearly written with joy. He is one of the best writers on childhood and teenagers, which continues in Fairy Tale." --London Sunday Times
"King's storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy --and his dog --must lead the battle." --Bookreporter.com
"A grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King...A tale that's at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists--vintage King, in other words." --Kirkus, *STARRED* review
"A new novel from King means lots of interest and lots of holds... it should please King's existing fans, especially those who enjoyed the more complex otherworlds of the Dark Tower series or King's earlier fantasy work, The Eyes of the Dragon (1987)." --Booklist
Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Fairy Tale, Billy Summers, If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, and Doctor Sleep are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
Seth Numrich won the Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Newcomer for Sweet Bird of Youth at The Old Vic. Additional Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include: The Merchant of Venice (Broadhurst Theatre), War Horse (Vivian Beaumont), Golden Boy (Lincoln Center), Travesties (American Airlines), Orpheus Descending (Theatr Clwyd), and Fathers and Sons (Donmar Warehouse). Numrich starred in four seasons of the AMC drama Turn: Washington's Spies and appeared opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the film Imperium.