Genre Shift

April 24, 2012
By Consirius BRONZE, Big Cabin, Oklahoma
Consirius BRONZE, Big Cabin, Oklahoma
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I sat at the dining room table long after dark, hands sweating and pulse racing as I read the words on the page. My eyes were pinned to the book; I could not stop reading. Every now and then I could break the bond between my eyes and the book, but only for a few seconds to check the perimeter. Once all was clear, I quickly returned to the novel. I was entangled in a plot that was so surreal, so frightening, that I knew it must be true. Their story was my story; their fear was my fear. I could not even begin to believe it. I was hooked to a book.

For much of my childhood, I enjoyed reading. I was introduced into reading at an early age and by the time I was old enough to understand what the small, black words meant, I was hooked. I could spend hours on end curled up in a soft, puffy chair with a cold, sweet glass of tea in one hand and a good book in the other. I did not think that my love of reading would ever end. Over time, however, my love of reading slowly subsided. I simply could not find anything that I wanted to read. On a cold, snowy day, I scoured the aisles of my favorite bookstore, Barnes & Noble, over and over again, but to no avail. I searched every genre, every author, but nothing caught my eye. It was not until I discovered Stephen King’s The Mist that I would love reading again and discover my new favorite genre.

I was in my Barnes & Noble when I first saw it. I unexpectedly found myself down the wrong aisle. I knew at once where I was- I was in the horror section of the bookstore. I knew that it is said to never judge a book by its cover, but, without my seeing that cover, I do not think that I would have even given it a second glance. It was green and black, reminding me of low-budget or low-tech horror movies from the mid twentieth century. The words The Mist were illuminated in foggy, green print against the dark background, giving the book an eerie and spooky aura. I knew the author, Stephen King, is very well-known for his exceptional horror books. Although I did not feel as though I would like it, I was somehow compelled to purchase it. I left Barnes & Noble, reminding myself that if I did not like it, I would not have to read it. Not wanting to read The Mist would not be a problem for me.

Any thought of not reading the book ceased after the first few pages. After completing the first chapter or two, I could not have put the book down even if I wanted to. I was hooked to the story. King wrote the story in such a way that I felt that I was part of it. In the beginning, King only spared the readers a few chapters without the “mist,” as it is called. The mist is a mysterious cloud that conceals horrifying monsters that consume all living things that enter it. The book was relatively calm until Chapter 3. The title for chapter three is “The Coming of the Mist.” By the time I had reached that chapter, the sky had lost its luminescent glow and the world was encased in darkness. It was at that time that I first began feeling fear by reading the book. “We,” that is, the characters in the story plus me, are in a supermarket, confused and terrified by the oncoming mist. King drags out most of the chapter, building fear and anticipation as the mist crawls slowly towards us. After what seems like hours, the mist hits.

Following the coming of the mist, the novel takes a turn for the worst. Even though it gets scary at that point, I still found that I liked it. The middle section did not take long to read, as I raced through it like one of the horrifying creatures flying through the evil cloud. King does not allow any parts of the book to drag so that they become boring, which is a feat for any author. I was constantly surprised by what I read. The ending was an absolute cliffhanger, with nothing resolved. The people have still not found themselves out of the mist, and the mist shows no sign of stopping. For the next few days, I constantly attempted to put my own ending on the book. It bothered me that I never resolved the story, but after four or five days, I eventually gave up. King had done something that no author has ever done; he made me stumped after reading a book, and I like that.

Reading The Mist left me wanting more. I wanted to read more books like the one that I had just read. Stephen King has become my new favorite author; mystery and horror have become my new favorite genres. I went to Barnes & Noble one day, only to leave with five books of all different types. I regained my love of reading again. Now, I try out books of all types again, with much better luck. If The Mist had never caught my eye that day in Barnes & Noble, I might still dislike reading today.

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