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on 3 June 2016
There was a time when all I read was Stephen King. But a few years ago, I read a couple of books that (in my opinion) didn't quite live up to my expectations of King. So I wandered off, found myself new authors to read. Now, as those few years have passed, I've realized just how many books have been published since I went wandering.
It's time to get back into King!!

So, to ease myself in, I started off with a sort story written by King and Joe Hill.
This book didn't disappoint! Back to true classic King. His mind scares me! But draws me in at the same time.
A brother and sister on a road trip, driving passed a field full of tall grass, they hear a child call out for help, apparently lost in the tall grass. They pull over and call out to the child, the child again calls for help, so in they go - into the tall grass to find the child......... No spoilers here - read the book to find out what happens. It's not a long book, but well worth the read.
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on 8 August 2013
In his heyday I loved King's stuff particularly his short stories and I liked the synopsis for this one - if anyone could make a patch of grass scary I figured Stephen was the one. I didn't pay too much attention to the fact that this is co-written but as I got into the story it was kind of interesting to speculate who wrote which bit. I found the brother and sister duo who star in this short a bit bland - and I only really got into the story once the spooky stuff started - give or take a few good descriptive passages which I thought were definitely the work of Stephen. The concept is pretty close to classic short 'The Raft' in nature in that it features characters who make an apparently harmless decision and and speedily find themselves endangered, as a seemingly safe terrain turns out to be treacherous. However while 'The Raft' relied on psychological terror of the unknown and the interaction between the (rapidly) dwindling characters, 'In the Tall Grass' soons descends to a slasher subplot which really didn't work for me (my feeling is this came from Joe Hill aka Stephen King Jnr). I thought the story worked best when we were inside the heads of the characters, especially the subsection where the sister is hallucinating.

As others have mentioned the ending is dire - a generic tag on ending where we suddenly switch from the characters we have grown to care about to a bunch of strangers whom we really can't bring ourselves to expend more empathy on.

The original idea definitely had promise and in the hands of the early 'Skeleton Crew' era Stephen King could have been a classic. However the execution was definitely flawed. I will probably try downloading a Joe Hill book just in case the brilliant inspired bits came from him and he has inherited his father's talent - but I'm not actually all that hopeful!
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on 2 December 2012
A brother and sister driving across Kansas with the windows rolled down, hear a young boy calling for help in the middle of a field of Tall Grass. Stopping to investigate, they enter the Tall Grass, become separated, and get lost in the Tall Grass. Then they can't get out of the Tall Grass because the Tall Grass is weird and you can never leave the Tall Grass once you enter the Tall Grass. Huh. Tall Grass, eh?

The premise is interesting: a field of Tall Grass that is somehow an evil living thing where no matter how close you can hear the people caught within it, you will never find them and so the characters are eternally ensnared within this bizarre field of Tall Grass. But then the story continues and gets progressively more of a chore to read, which is odd to say about a short story that's only about 50 odd pages long.

How can a tense and exciting scenario have the vitality sucked from it? Too much description, repetitiveness, and stupid limericks. The excessive goriness is the literary equivalent of the crappy "Saw" movies and feels like King is trying too hard to shock his readers. "In the Tall Grass" is a decent attempt at horror, at least in the first half, but only serves to underline how fresh his stories in "Night Shift" read today some 30 years after being published and how tired his work these days reads in comparison.
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on 3 January 2013
*slight spoilers!*

Just ordered and read the short story "In The Long Grass" by the King and his mate last night. It didnt go down quite the route I thought it might have as far as the main source of the evil, and because of this and due to the way events are told of there are some "loose ends" for you muse over yourself and interpret in any way you seem fit, which not only always lingers with you after but also makes you think you got your moneys worth.

There is great tension building as our main characters enter the tititular Long Grass and realise they're in a spot of bother and as the tale unfolds and the antagonists start to appear things go from threat to terror to twisted. Some bits were rather grisley but I couldnt put it down until I was finished! The story tells of only a short spell of time, only two or three days I think, and most of it is spun out in almost a real time fashion which I think holds your tension and forces you to read mile-a-minute style.

I think it was worth the quid, especially as it has a little teaser of Doctor Sleep (due out in Sept 2013? The sequel to The Shining) and after reading the first few pages of that, I almost darent turn off the light! I was worried I was going to have dreams, and really I should know better!

Give it a go if you like the gruesome (I mean, what WERE they actually eating???) and the more sci-fi type King baddies. It might not be so much for you if you like "real baddies" like ghosts, zombies and possessed things. I prefer my antagonists a bit more tangible :D
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on 11 June 2014
I'm a huge King fan, I don't know why but I've grown so accustomed to his writing that I find myself missing his style if I'm to read horror by anyone other than him. I only came across this short recently and was dying to know what all the fuss was about. I read the book in one sitting, the pace moves the story forward so it's easy enough to finish.

It takes a lot to make me flinch when it comes to horror (in literature and on the big screen) and although In the Tall Grass does have a stab at some very controversial material, it didn't offend me like some other reviewers suggest. I just found the whole story a little unnecessary. It didn't have any purpose or meaning, it didn't have much of an explanation and although it held my attention, I can't say that I enjoyed it as the entire time I was hoping that something was going to happen besides the repetitive sequence that the second half of the book entails.

It's only a short read and was easy to get through but for the money, there are better titles to be read.
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on 31 March 2014
I really liked this story until near the end. Plenty of tension, interesting characters, a scary situation, and then a poor ending.

Although it is well-written and the plot is gripping - a blend of folk-myth and science fiction - the finale reads like something from a teen horror movie. A bit too Se7en for my liking, though of course YMMV. I felt let down.

As King doesn't usually write gore for gore's sake I'm guessing that the bit I didn't like was written by the collaborator Joe Hill. I could be wrong. I hope so as I'm generally a King fan.
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on 8 November 2014
If Daddy's name had not been on the cover I would not have bothered to buy this. I did, I read it, and I wished I had not bothered. The story is rubbish, the atmosphere as frightening as a Big Mac and a huge part of the book is a trailer for another book. Joe Hill should get a day job.
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on 13 March 2013
I much prefer King's short stories to his novels and Joe Hill's work is always of a good standard. Together they have written a great addition to their libraries. Their writing gel's together so well it is impossible to tell who wrote what (compared to King's work with Peter Straub). It's very creepy from the off and keeps the atmosphere going to the end. It loses one star only because I thought the ending was a little abrupt. Recommended.
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on 8 June 2013
I would recommend this e-book to anyone who likes Stephen King, Joe Hill, horror, or just want a short interesting story to read.
Parts of this book were terrifying, I loved the descriptions of how the wind bristling over the field of grass manages to move the people in the grass around like leaves in a breeze.
Parts of the book are a bit gory, so some people may not enjoy those parts.
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on 9 April 2013
As a fan of both authors I expected a lot from this, having just read their other collaboration Road Rage, and on the whole I wasn't disappointed. The tale starts well and is very similar to Children of the Corn and a number of other King shorts but is over just when it gets going. On the down side there are some aspects of grue that, although are becoming trademarks of Hill, on this occasion just seem mean spirited and added for shock value and as a parent made me uncomfortable.

The inclusion of the beginning of Doctor Sleep and NOS4R2 was very welcome and left me wanting more, which was probably the whole point of this publication.
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