Now, I love me a long book. There have been times I've said "The longer the better". But this time? Way too many words!
To be honest it took me from July 26 to around August 7 to read half way through Book II. Once I hit about half way through Book II I read the rest every time I sat town with my iPad.
During the slow reading period there were moments that engaged me but there were more moment where I was skipping swaths of narrative because I really didn't care. I did enjoy getting inside the heads of characters I had only met via the TV movie. It helped to understand their actions and reactions.
Though it's been years since I saw the movie I felt like most of the characters were true to their book origins. Nadine was, for me anyway, quite different. I actually found her more sympathetic in the book. Harold was creepier in the book and Fran and Stu had more layers. Seeing Larry's progression from self involved user to sacrificial lamb was wonderful to behold.
The overall tone of the book was, as expected, dark and honestly hopeless. Because it's really about a battle that is as old as time and continues to be fought - good versus evil. While there are sparks of hope, of promise, you also realize that it's not ever going to be an easy journey, that there will be losses along the way and that you might not see a victory in your lifetime.
Overall I enjoyed the book and though I skipped parts I'm not entirely sure how it could have been cut down.
Recommended for Stephen King fans, lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction and how relationships are impacted by that.