Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

October 26th, 2017 Kimberly Review 61 Comments

26th Oct
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King, Owen King
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Length: 25 hours and 20 minutes
Genres: Horror, Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Goodreads
Narration Rating: 4
Rating: One StarOne StarHalf a Star

In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place... The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously absorbing father/son collaboration between Stephen King and Owen King.

Audiobook HORRIFIC Small-town WTF?

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King was one of my most anticipated fall audio listens, and I am shocked and sad to say, I was not impressed. To be fair, I went into this cold, as I do all of King’s books and didn’t read the synopsis. It is indeed a world where men have to learn to deal without women. If this weren’t King, I probably would have DNFed this around the 50% mark.

My first thoughts on Goodreads after I finished, “I love King but this….it was just ok. It was a giant can of soup filled with characters I didn’t care about, political messages, and dolts.”

Caffeinated Aspects:

  • I loved the Appalachian town setting with its drug problems and women’s penitentiary. It’s the perfect setting for weird shit to happen.
  • I found the premise of the cocoons creepy and fascinating.  When the female population falls asleep a fine- spider-like web cocoons them. They are breathing and have regular pulse rates, but if you awaken them, they go insane. Crazy,  ax-wielding, freaks with a twist when it comes to their own offspring. Freaktastic right?
  • I loved what unfolded as women tried to stay awake, and the town scrambled to figure out what the heck was happening. Classic King goodness, similar to the Dome.
  • A unique woman named Evie doesn’t seem to be affected. She was a mystery and everything about her from the way she acted and spoke had my attention.
  • King has this gift for making you believe events as they unfold. Mystery, suspense, horror and even a little paranormal woo-woo found their way into Sleeping Beauties.
  • Marin Ireland delivered an excellent narration from pacing to character voices, and she enhanced the overall tale pulling me in even as I began to lose interest.

 

Decaffeinated Aspects:

  • Too many characters and villains with no one, in particular, to root for. While I don’t often snuggle up to King’s characters, I usually can tell the good from the bad, and find redeeming qualities in them. Not so here I just didn’t care about any of them. With so many Povs, I struggled in matching up couples and making connections.
  • The book is full of political messages aimed at man’s role in controlling and oppressing women.  Topics mentioned are particularly relevant to today’s current events, however,  in my opinion, Sleeping Beauties efforts failed miserably. The authors explored what would happen in a world without women and offered an idea of a world without men.  While I didn’t necessarily disagree with the overall message, the delivery was over the top and ultimately failed. I prefer a more subtle approach that makes one think and question. That presents all sides of a relevant issue in a show not tell manner. Some of the conversations, concepts, and actions had me rolling my eyes.
  • I love big books, and I cannot lie!  However, I genuinely feel this needed to be trimmed and edited. A lot of threads held little value, and the story dragged at times.
  • I needed more suspense, action-scenes, and freaky goodness. I cannot even believe I am saying this. I was bored.  Usually, with King, I cry it’s not nearly long enough. When Sleeping Beauties ended after twenty-five+hours, I cried, Hallelujah.

While Sleeping Beauties ended up being a sleeper for me, I did enjoy the premise and will buy King’s next audiobook sight unseen. What can I say? I love Stephen King.

 

Sadly, Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King was a disappointment. #audio Click To Tweet

About Stephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers. Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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61 Responses to “Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King”

  1. Ailyn Koay

    don’t know, i find that the book mirrors human behaviour quite well. Despite the multiple characters it was not hard to remember who is who… except towards the end.
    I didn’t mind it that much, but I am not a follower of the King works

  2. RO

    I saw Stephen and Owen on Good Morning America a little while ago as they talked about this book, and they have the coolest relationship. They have such witty conversations, that if I didn’t know who they were, would have thought they were comedy writers. Like you, I’m a fan, and looked forward to adding this to the TBR pile, but I have to admit that I enjoy early Stephen King a little more. Great review! Hugs…

    RO recently posted: UNFRIED ICE CREAM + STUFF
  3. Tyler H. Jolley

    I’m so burned to hear it wasn’t awesome. In the last five years I’ve become an avid King Reader, I’m finishing Rose Madder right now. I was really looking forward to Sleeping Beauties. But, right now everything is so political. When I read, I want to escape. I think I’ll skip this one. Thanks for the even review, Kimba.

  4. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Oh my. I haven’t read anything by King in a long while but when I did I was always totally hooked and could hardly stop reading. His writing is so rich and so detailed that I would get totally immersed in the story. But this… wow. The premise is plenty creepy (cocoons? Ew!) and I’m intrigued by Evie but it sounds like the message got lost in the delivery. And I’ve usually enjoyed the big, meaty size of King’s books but 25 hours of audio? Egads! Sorry this one just didn’t work for you, Kimberly.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted: Review: His Convenient Husband
    • Kimberly

      I was worried this was all me, but after reading reviews from other die-hard fans, I see it wasn’t. Ah, well I will till grab his next one.

  5. Jenea's Book Obsession

    I am really sad now. I was just telling my husband that I was going to go and buy this over the weekend, I have been wanting it for so long. Your cons seem to out was the pros though. I don’t do all that well with the whole man dominating the women thing. I might have to put this on the back burner for a little while. *sighs*

    Jenea's Book Obsession recently posted: Review for The November Girl by Lydia Kang
  6. lisa thomson

    It’s a bit of a shocker that you didn’t care for this one, Kim. I only say that b/c it’s the almighty Stephen King *sticks tongue out* . Not that I don’t like Stephen King—who couldn’t resist his amazing story telling. Interesting that it’s when he brought his son on board that the story became lack luster.

    lisa thomson recently posted: Happy 6th Blog Birthday!
  7. Sophia Rose

    I don’t read his books, but I still admire the impact of his writing. I can imagine the let down of actually being bored by it. Glad you’re keeping the faith and anticipating the next release.

  8. Bookworm Brandee

    Great review, Kimberly. You did a fab job in describing what you liked and what you didn’t and I appreciate how you laid it out. It’s too bad this one wasn’t a “winner” since you’re such a fan of King. I think it’s almost worse when it’s a bad read from a favorite author. At least the narration of good. 🙂

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: That's What HE Said #76 ~ Impulse ~ Dannika Dark
    • Kimberly

      Right. It killed me that I wasn’t loving it, and as I said any other author I would have walked away and not finished but I do love his writing.

    • Kimberly

      Well for your sake I hope you enjoy it. I love his books, and for the past 4 years have listened to them which has been until now delightful.

    • Kimberly

      It isn’t even that I mind them and would have loved some thought-provoking turns but this particular story didn’t work for me.

  9. Lily

    I heard about the Political message issue. I think that is one reason I didn’t buy it, because a lot of people on amazon had an issue with it. But I am curious, so still waiting for it to become available at a library near me. Not sure the political will bother me. I am a bit disappointed that it’s not as scary tho. Considering he has a way of weaving political messages into his books for years now. I think this is the first time people felt it looked too upfront.

    Lily recently posted: Review: Sanctum by Madeleine Roux
    • Kimberly

      The library is a good call, and its King so bits are worthy 🙂 I completely agree, he does pepper them with messages but this just did not work for me.

  10. Bleu Bailey

    Oh no! I was really excited about this book. I’m a huge King fan, so needless to say, I’m still going to pick this one up. Guess I’ll have to take the good with the bad, huh? But it just seems to be a book you should have in your collection because of the collaboration with his son. Awwww man……

  11. Darlene

    The cocoons sounds deliciously creepy, so that’s a big letdown that the book was a disappointment for you. I love King as well, but he is very wordy. I finished It last month, and it took me four weeks to get through 45 hrs on audio.

    I know what you mean about being thankful when a book is over. Sometimes, it’s just that way! I can’t do a DNF. I feel compelled to finish, no matter how bad.

    Hope your next read is better!

  12. Cee Arr

    I’m going to assume the Appalachians are in America…? *runs off to Google* Yup. That’s America. (Lol.)

    Maybe what with the world *makes flappy hand motion* being what it is… they felt subtlety wasn’t the way to go!

    Cocoons? *shudders* Weird!

    Cee Arr recently posted: Nerd Church - The Book Eater
    • Kimberly

      Maybe you will enjoy it, Jo. Even if you told me it was pure bullshit, I would still have to try..but maybe as a library read.

  13. Lauren

    oh man, that uh, that message about women. i dont think i’ll be reading it any time soon., not that i would’ve any way because the copy i haveunder my bed is my dads christmas present

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