What if the woods were full of them? And of course they were, the woods were full of everything you didn't like, everything you were afraid of and instinctively loathed, everything that tried to overwhelm you with nasty, no-brain panic.
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 to 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 a 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 the gritty 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 animals and mangled trees in its wake.
A classic story that engages our emotions at the most primal level, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, explores our deep dread of the unknown and the extent to which faith can conquer it. It is a fairy tale grimmer than Grimm, but aglow with a girl's indomitable spirit.
About the Author
Few authors have tapped into our secret fears as adeptly as Stephen King, Master of the Macabre and one of the most widely read novelists writing today. With his trademark blend of fantasy, horror, and psychological suspense, this prolific and immensely popular contemporary writer continues to remind us that evil is still a potent force in the world.
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Comments about The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon:
I'm getting back to my roots – back in Junior High I took interest in reading through Stephen King, Isaac Asimov and Dean Koontz. Since graduating I have read little of their titles since, so am currently attacking King's back catalogue – maybe to recapture my youth, but definitely reliving the fun I had when reading. 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' was a great addition to my collection and a welcome distraction to many of the YA titles I've been reading of late.
I really liked the play of perception and the POV of Trisha (Patricia) our protagonist, lending the interpretation of the story open to the reader to draw her or his own conclusions.
Trisha has an indomitable spirit. I was really cheering for her and amazed at how she faced each challenge.
Tom Gordon, the form of Trisha's guardian angel, or inner strength was a great symbol to focus on. Though some of the baseball jargon got a little tiresome for me because I loath baseball – it's not really a big thing here in Australia – I appreciated it for what it was. A distraction and a coping mechanism to get Trisha from point A to point B.
Our antagonist could fall under many forms – nature, fear fuelled imagination, her family; and I loved how it morphed from one to the other, never leaving you certain of anything.
It took half the book to wind up and get interesting. I find every now and then Stephen Kings's books do get a bit waffly in setting up the story and exploring the casts back stories. I know it is to get us to care about the characters and offer some perspective, but sometimes it feels a little long winded.
'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' had the right amount of suspense and hair-raising creepiness. The second half of the novel was absolutely brilliant and I could not put it down.
I enjoyed this a lot more than many other of Kings titles, because it was based on character development and an inner struggle rather than gory monsters and demons (though this could be argued). It was a psychological thriller instead of horror, and appealed to my survival instincts. I have found myself lost in the bush many times, having to trek a day or so to safety. It was so vivid, and the descriptions of the landscape - mysterious and beautiful at the same time. Nature can be astoundingly picturesque and the face of death at the same time.
A great read that induces chills and makes you want to pull your feet up off the floor, with the hint of the disgusting and the unknown. Totally recommending this to all my friends who like a scare, but don't want to feel like tossing up their dinner from gore.
"USA Today" A delightful read, a literary walk in the woods, and not just for baseball fans.
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st February 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 17.12 x 10.52 x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.13