An Old-Fashioned Fairy Tale
Stephen King and a classic cocktail
I’m moving away from both historical fiction and wine in this edition. In fact, I’m liking the idea of a cocktail recipe once a week. But let’s start with the book.
Fairy Tale by Stephen King
Pages: 608 (typical Stephen King, really)
My format: eBook
I have never been a huge Stephen King fan because I don’t deal well with horror. I like my dead to stay dead and people to not break other people’s ankles. I’m terrified, absolutely terrified, of clowns.* I was very ill my senior year of college with pneumonia and bronchitis. My roommate had an entire bookshelf dedicated to horror and I was out of things to read. I grabbed The Stand because it was huge. Well, I was coughing a lot and basically had all the symptoms in the book. I was terrified I was dying. I was also not sleeping, so in less than a week, 20-year-old me plowed through The Stand. Because of that book, I am now forever afraid I’ll die in a tunnel, trapped by traffic with no light ahead. I kept a copy of The Stand in my garage for years, the book I wanted to like but couldn’t quite trust. I was afraid to bring it inside. Then we had a pandemic, I declared Stephen King a little too prescient for my liking, and donated the book. It didn’t get rid of the pandemic - I tried.
This is Stephen King writing something altogether different. I happen to love fairy tales, and I collect both classic fairy tales and modern takes on the stories. I loved King’s Fairy Tale and I tore through it in four nights. Stephen King pays homage to so many different classic tales here, it’s hard to acknowledge them all. If we take a bird’s-eye view, it follows The Wizard of Oz as it’s overarching outline.
It’s the story of a boy and his dog** who find their way to a magical land where all sorts of typical (yet not) fairy tale things happen. The boy becomes a prince. There are battles with magical giants. There is a little old woman who mends shoes, and her house is covered with them. There is a goose girl who is a cursed princess and her talking horse. Everything you could ask for in a fairy tale, but with a Lovecraftian twist.
It takes about 1/3 of the book to even get to the magical land. Those first 200 pages are all about character building in our own world. I know that seems tedious, but by the time we came upon the magic, I was both invested in the characters and all-in for the story. It only got better from there. It’s amazing to me how much I was able to visualize this entire book. (It has already been optioned for a movie, which will probably not match up to my imagination).
Pick it up and read it if you want a story that will bring you joy, with some creepy moments here and there - after all, it’s Stephen King.
This one will be on my shelf in its physical format as well as in eBook.
*🤡 Clowns are not happy - they are hiding something [evil] under all the makeup; I just know it. *shudder*
**🐶 Does the dog die? I won’t read a book if something happens to a dog, so I searched out that answer ahead of time. (Enough said.)
And for the the Cocktail: An Old-Fashioned
Why an Old-Fashioned? Because King has written an old-fashioned story for us, and like the cocktail, it’s pretty damn good. This is a whiskey drink, rye in particular, and I recommend using at least Woodford Reserve Rye to mix, if not better.
1 lump sugar
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Ginger Ale
1 jigger Rye
Orange slice and cherry for garnish
Muddle together the sugar, bitters, and ginger ale.
Add to mixing glass or shaker, along with 2 lumps of ice and rye.
Stir. (Do not shake.)
Pour into a glass and garnish with orange slice and a cherry.
Thanks for reading and enjoy that cocktail!
Until next week, my friends …