Thursday, November 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

In which I chat about books I read long ago that have stuck with me, though my recollections might be vague.

As I've mentioned before, I've been reading Stephen King since I was a teenager (in Maine - I think it's required there.) Many years ago when I had a driving commute I began listening to audiobooks and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon was one of the first. In the story, a young girl gets lost in the woods with only her radio as a companion. She listens to baseball and thinks about her favorite player, Tom Gordon, while hoping for rescue. Meanwhile she feels like there may be something in the woods with her, something more dangerous than what is found in nature.

This isn't a horror novel, not really. Though Trisha is afraid there's something after her, it could so easily just be her own imagination. I don't even really remember that part of the story. What has stuck with me is Anne Heche's voice as narrator reading about this little girl in the woods being bitten by insects, clutching her radio and listening to baseball games. The story had such a lonely feel and somewhat desperate as Trisha suffered minor irritations like bug bites while knowing there was a real possibility she could die if she stayed lost for too long.

It has been close to 15 years since I listened to this audiobook, but I can still remember listening raptly while clutching my steering wheel and making my way through rush-hour traffic on the highway. It didn't matter how many cars were around me, I felt like I was alone in the scary woods, lost and waiting for rescue. Like much of Stephen King's work, this is very character-driven, creepy, and atmospheric story. If you like King, this is a must-read.

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