Monday, 29 May 2017

Book Review: Roadwork by Richard Bachman

Roadwork tells the story of Bart Dawes, a man suffering from grief following the death of his young son. To add to his woes, he is to lose both his workplace and home as a consequence of the extension of a nearby interstate highway.

"I know something else as well: there's a place in most of us where the rain is pretty much constant, the shadows are always long, and the woods are full of monsters."

Let me give you a little background into my history with the Bachman books... before Roadwork, I had read The Running Man and Thinner. I thought The Running Man was okay, I liked the idea and I enjoyed the ending, however it felt like it dragged a bit in the middle. I had a better experience with Thinner, it felt more like a King book to be honest and that's probably why. The Bachman books seem to have a pretty bleak outlook with dark endings, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, I like that sometimes. It just feels a bit depressing at times and I much prefer reading King when he is actually King - I prefer his general writing style and the types of stories we get. So I went into Roadwork feeling a bit apprehensive and not really looking forward to it.

However, I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this one way more than I thought I would. I didn't love it, but it was a quick, addictive read. Some people on bookstagram had said they had struggled to plow their way through it, but I didn't find that to be a problem. The character of Dawes was very easy to sympathise with. Initially my thoughts were, "This guy is annoying, just get over it", but this swiftly turned into feeling a lot of sympathy for the character once you learned more about him and his history, as well as the reasoning behind his actions. The loss of a child can very easily send you into a downward spiral, especially when combined with the knowledge that you're going to lose your house. It's very understandable that you'd want to hold onto whatever is left in your life.

When reading more about Roadwork, I found out that King wrote this book as a way of dealing with the grief after losing his mother to cancer. Once I knew that, it really did make me view it differently and you can see the pain and heartache entrenched in the pages, and the inability to let go. This is clearly King trying to work through the pain and try to make sense of it all. I believe that over time it has become one of King's favourites of the earlier Bachman books.

Usually I don't rate books using half stars, but I was so stuck deliberating between 3 and 4 stars for this one, that I've had to introduce half stars! So I give this one 3 and a half stars out of 5. An enjoyable Bachman book for me personally, but I can understand why others may not have enjoyed it as much.


1 comment :

  1. You know what gives me rage? Long walks, roadworks and running....


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