I’ve been a fan of King since the beginning and have more recently become a cheerleader for Richard Chizmar (his anthology of shorts, “A Long December” is terrific and I recommend it very highly). So, naturally, I pre-ordered “Gwendy’s Button Box” sight unseen.

Gwendy’s was a good, easy read. It is the story of a young girl who is approached by a mysterious stranger in a bowler hat who bestows upon her a marvelous box which from one end, dispenses sweets and from the other, Morgan silver dollars. But it’s the buttons on top  Gwendy must be wary of.

Filled with simple declarative sentences, the novel flows effortlessly as it traces the young protagonist’s journey as guardian of the box.

However, I found the ending to be rather flat. Too many loose ends remained untied – why was Gwendy chosen? Who was Farris? What did the black button really do? Where did the box come from? And many more. Now, I don’t believe all threads in a plot structure have to be tied off … it’s good at times to let the reader’s imagination supply the missing links. However, there were just too many here and it left me feeling unsatisfied and wishing King/Chizmar had given us more.

Hence, only 3-stars for this one. But, if you are a fan of old-fashioned bump in the night horror, do check out Chizmar’s “A Long December.”

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