I finally got around to Stephen King’s “UR.” I listened to the audiobook version, as I don’t yet have a Kindle. As it turns out, you need one to read the story, as Stephen King released the book only on that platform.
It’s about an English teacher named Wesley Smith who receives someone else’s mail. He orders a Kindle from amazon.com and instead of the standard Kindle, the one he gets is pink and can access other dimensions.
In these other dimensions, he finds authors we know and love have written more books than they did in our world. He is lured into buying these new books and is shocked at what he finds. Ernest Hemingway, for example, lives longer and produces three or four more books! I wish King focused more on this, he spends a decent amount of time, but it’s over just as it gets interesting!
The first six chapters of the book are amazing and fast-paced. It’s just that last, seventh chapter where I draw my objections.
I’m assuming you’ve read the book if you are reading this spoiler section. I have several issues with the way King finished UR. And it comes down to this: It doesn’t make sense.
I accept everything that happens in the book at face value. Smith gets a Kindle, which can access different dimensions. I’m sold. My problem comes when the ridiculous “Paradox Police” show up and only give Wesley a slap on the wrist.
Why would these two monsters warn Wesley about this horrible thing he had done, only then to say, “We’re giving you a pass.” By all estimations, Wesley screwed up big time. They just want to come and get the Kindle and leave? And then there is the whole point, they are taking the Kindle. Why would they warn him not to do anything like this again, if he physically can’t without that pink little device?
One more thing, the monsters lecture Wesley that he should have realized about the importance of the “Paradox Laws.” But, why would he? He just got the Kindle a few days before – he’s still adjusting to the whole idea of everything.
These two paradox police officers are scary as hell, I wish Stephen King would have really socked it to Wesley. It would have been a great twist, if by saving the life of the one he loved (and breaking the law), the monsters would have taken him to a different dimension where she had originally died. Or something along those lines.
Far be it from me to accuse the great Stephen King for rushing to meet a deadline, but the last chapter of UR seems to have been written in a different dimension. A dimension where Stephen King writes children’s books with happy endings.
The first six chapters of the book are amazing. It’s just that last, seventh chapter I fear will leave readers with a nasty taste in their mouth.
END OF SPOILER SECTION
The book is worth buying. It’s a great deal at only about $3.00 in the Kindle Store on amazon.com. Many have accused King of writing UR as nothing but an advertisement for the Kindle Reading Device. I’m not as cynical to believe this, but the story does make the Kindle sound pretty darn awesome. Awesome enough to spend $250.00 on it? Maybe, especially if you get a pink one…
A side note about the audio book. It’s read by Holter Graham, and as usual, does a fantastic job. He captures the book perfectly and makes the listening experience a delight.