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Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (book review)

I had high hopes for mr. Mercedes! I was thinking this is the one, the novel that will make me discover what kind of writer Stephen King is. Such a shame this novel turned out the way it did! The fist chapter was brilliant! The second one was interesting, but not enough for me to keep on reading it immediately. I actually took this book on vacation with me. The reason why I didn't picked it up was that my friend decided to read it but also because I had carried a lot of books that were more my cup of tea. Last night, suffering from a bad case of insomnia, I took up this book again. It wasn't difficult to get back into the story. The third chapter was going well...and the fourth one wasn't bad, despite the fact that I saw there will be some repetitons...and then? what happened? That is what I would like to know. 

I read this novel last night in a span of a few hours. Not because it is a genuine page turner, although it was just interesting enough to keep my pages turning, but I think it was mainly because I just wanted to get it out of the way. The narrative itself isn't bad, but there are holes in the plot and besides I think it could have benefited from being shorter. The story kept my interest, but only on a superficial level. Reading it was like drinking lukewarm coffee. Nice but not really sastifying. 

It is not a bad book and I certainly didn't hate it. I can't say that Stephen King is a bad writer, for he certainly isn't, but I can say that his writing doesn't do a thing for me. He writes well enought, but there seems to be something missing and I can't quite put my finger on it. The story itself isn't terribly interesting but it isn't boring either. At times it gets predicatble and I think that more than once it is not that difficult to see what will happen....I was surprised only once, but even in that case, I must say that even didn't seem to handled well. As far as the end goes, I totally saw it coming. Did you? If you read it, that is. Were you happy with the end?

The protagonist is a well rounded character, but I didn't really relate to him on a human level. He wasn't annoying, I liked him but he didn't warm my heart. Mr. Mercedes was all over the place and in my opinion his characterization wasn't handled that well. It felt rushed and at times illogical. As far as the other characters, I had a feeling they weren't that well developed. The stereotypes were very present when it comes to female characters (the rich heiress, the crazy spinser, the drinking single mother and the 190 cm lesbian) were present, but not handled with enough subtle irony to make them seem a part of the story, they were not a charming addition to novel nor were they worked well into the story. Sure one could say they are a part of the genre, but they just felt like boring stereotypes and lack of imagination. It was like King was trying to avoid stereotypes, but was he succesful? I'm not sure. All in all, there were a few really likeable characters, but I felt like we as readers weren't given a chance to connect with any of them on a more meaningful level. 

The best I can say about this novel is that it made me laugh a few times. However, it failed to me move me on any level whatsoever. This novel didn't scare me. It didn't excite me, it didn't raise any curiousity whatesoever, it didn't make me ask any questions or anything like that. The writer took his sweet time developing the story and about half way there I was ready for the conclusion. I kept reading and I don't regret it. King can write but it can be that his writing that doesn't appeal to me.

King spends a lot of time making fun of CSI and crime shows in this novel. Basically, he says they are crap, not convincing, that the dialogues are badly written etc....and maybe they are. I'm not exactly a fan, but then again the only things I watch on TV are history or wildlife documentaries, so I'm not exactly an expert on anything small screen. That all being said, it is my opinion that King didn't do much better. Mr. Mercedes is no literary masterpeace and I'm not even sure I would recommend it to readers of crime genre. There are way better works in this genre.

On overall, this novel feels average. The motivation of a serial killer in question, mr. Mercedes, often didn't seem to make much sense to me. That goes for the actions of some other characters as well. I know human being can be unpredicatble but I'm sorry, but mr. Mercedes didn't seem convincing. The ending of the novel seemed a bit fairy-like, like a story for children. Reading that first chapter I was pretty sure that I'm holding a good book, but by the time I finished it, I realized that it is only a mediocre one.


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