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Billy Summers

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Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go w Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong? How about everything.


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Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go w Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong? How about everything.

30 review for Billy Summers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Each time I start a new KING novel, I feel like a child open up new Christmas gift box! Yes,I'm feeling like celebrating Christmas in August! Yaaaaayyy to me! Each time I start a new KING novel, I feel like a child open up new Christmas gift box! Yes,I'm feeling like celebrating Christmas in August! Yaaaaayyy to me!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    A stranger came, and he turned into a neighbour, but here's the punchline, he turned out to be a stranger all along. I can't say I liked everything about Billy Summers, but I did find myself reaching for it whenever I had a spare minute, eager to know what was next for this rugged antihero with his closet full of trauma. Sometimes King dives in with a creative (and often wacky) plot with lots of original touches (think It, Pet Sematary, Sleeping Beauties) but he's also a pro at taking on tired A stranger came, and he turned into a neighbour, but here's the punchline, he turned out to be a stranger all along. I can't say I liked everything about Billy Summers, but I did find myself reaching for it whenever I had a spare minute, eager to know what was next for this rugged antihero with his closet full of trauma. Sometimes King dives in with a creative (and often wacky) plot with lots of original touches (think It, Pet Sematary, Sleeping Beauties) but he's also a pro at taking on tired subjects and breathing new life into them. Here he takes a trope that is almost a subgenre in itself - that of the "one last job" spy/detective/assassin - acknowledges it in the text and invites us on his own exploration of it. The writing and dialogue are strong, as I would expect from King at this point. Billy Summers is a hired killer set to retire and disappear into obscurity after he completes this one last job, but it's a job like no other. It requires him to play a role for a duration of weeks, or even months, and befriend his neighbours, before his target is in sight. His cover is that he is an author writing a book. I found Billy likeable, the kind of character who will do the morally questionable stuff to survive, and punish those who deserve it, but still stays quite firmly on the hero side of antihero, in my opinion. Alongside befriending his neighbours and beginning to feel shittier and shittier for deceiving them, Billy really does begin to write a book. His own story. What emerges is a tragic history, of course. I "enjoyed" reading about Billy as a child and adolescent, if enjoyed can be the word. The scenes in Fallujah were less gripping for me, simply because I've never had much interest in war stories. It's a compelling plot with strong characters, especially the eponymous protagonist, and an overall quite touching message about what it is to be writer, the freedom it offers, as well as the ability to shape worlds to your liking. The (sort of) romance felt weird for numerous reasons, even with Billy openly acknowledging them. HUGE warning for graphic depictions of violence, sexual assault, and post-assault trauma.

  3. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    I promise I will write a review for this. I promise! I am so far behind on reviews right now. It's insanity! Full review to come...stay tuned!!! Earlier: My preorder has arrived! I can't believe I am starting my most anticipated book of the year!!! Original: Brace yourselves, Constant Readers. This is it. An all-new 500+ page novel from the King is being released on August 3, 2021!!! This sounds like a taut thriller, with no doubt a healthy dose of dark themes, and I'm so here for it!!! Preorder placed. I promise I will write a review for this. I promise! I am so far behind on reviews right now. It's insanity! Full review to come...stay tuned!!! Earlier: My preorder has arrived! I can't believe I am starting my most anticipated book of the year!!! Original: Brace yourselves, Constant Readers. This is it. An all-new 500+ page novel from the King is being released on August 3, 2021!!! This sounds like a taut thriller, with no doubt a healthy dose of dark themes, and I'm so here for it!!! Preorder placed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    Crime fiction. That’s what Billy Summers is. Let’s get that out of the way from the outset so Uncle Stevie’s Constant Readers can prepare themselves accordingly and the “I’ve never read Stephen King!” people can open their minds to finally giving him a try. And I do hope they will, because Billy Summers is a damn fine book by any measure. Many are saying its his best in years, and I have to agree with them. It’s a non-horror jewel in King’s crown that could possibly be mistaken for a novel by an Crime fiction. That’s what Billy Summers is. Let’s get that out of the way from the outset so Uncle Stevie’s Constant Readers can prepare themselves accordingly and the “I’ve never read Stephen King!” people can open their minds to finally giving him a try. And I do hope they will, because Billy Summers is a damn fine book by any measure. Many are saying its his best in years, and I have to agree with them. It’s a non-horror jewel in King’s crown that could possibly be mistaken for a novel by an author like S.A. Cosby or maybe even Dennis Lehane. No horror, no ghosts. (Well, unless you count the ghosts of King’s canon that float through the story in the form of delightfully placed Easter eggs. I see you, clown in the backseat! I adore you, Overlook Hotel hedge maze!) While Billy Summers the book comes close to perfection, Billy Summers the character is imperfectly perfect. He’s an Iraq war sniper who puts his post-battle skills to use as a hitman for hire. But he’s a hitter with a heart of gold, because he only takes jobs to take out “bad people.” (Yes, it’s a little “Barry” meets “Dexter.”) The first part of the novel meanders through the set up of his character and his “final job,” and then at the midway point it takes off in a direction I never saw coming. And that direction is in the form of a relationship between two characters I’ll remember for a long time. Billy Summers also features the book-within-a-book device, because Billy is writing a memoir about his childhood and war experiences. Readers get even more context to his motivations through those sections. Now, there is violence. There are very graphically described sexual assaults. There is a lot of anti-Trump sentiment. BUT, there is a beautiful ending. King has finally landed the plane on the runway of repletion. This one did indeed leave me satisfied from start to finish. Thanks, Uncle Stevie. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.D. Barker

    Wow. This might be Stephen King’s best yet. The ending is perfection. Releases August 3 - get your preorders in! —J.D. Barker, NY Times bestselling author of A Caller's Game Wow. This might be Stephen King’s best yet. The ending is perfection. Releases August 3 - get your preorders in! —J.D. Barker, NY Times bestselling author of A Caller's Game

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    Absolutely amazing! Billy Summers will likely be in my top books of the year. You know the feeling you get in where you finish a book, slowly close it, and just sit there trying to absorb it all? Yeah, that’s how this book felt for me, emotions, and all! I was not expecting to enjoy this new book by Stephen King as much as I did. I’ve unfortunately become more critical as I get older of my favorite authors. I know they have put out great books in the past and I try to keep my fangirl in check. It’s al Absolutely amazing! Billy Summers will likely be in my top books of the year. You know the feeling you get in where you finish a book, slowly close it, and just sit there trying to absorb it all? Yeah, that’s how this book felt for me, emotions, and all! I was not expecting to enjoy this new book by Stephen King as much as I did. I’ve unfortunately become more critical as I get older of my favorite authors. I know they have put out great books in the past and I try to keep my fangirl in check. It’s almost more pressure on them because of this mindset! But with Billy Summers, I can say that this book is well done! If you are looking for horror, you’ll not find it here. The only horror you will find in the book is bad men and the actions they take. The fact that this is not horror might sway some Stephen King fans away, but I’m happy with him putting out books for different genres! Billy Summers is about a hired killer. He has decided to do one last job, but he doesn’t realize how complicated the hit is going to get. One of the great things in the book is Billy’s disguise while waiting to do the hit. He's disguised as a writer and living in the suburbs. He comes to live in Red Bluff and decides to write a book while he waits. I really enjoyed the book in a book theme. It really works in this. Billy writes about his life and the layers just start peeling off, one at a time. He is a grey character and I love these characters the best. In his book, you see he’s not a good man, but he’s not an evil one either. His upbringing and combat experience have slowly made him who he is when we meet him for the first time. I loved Billy and I loved how Stephen King puts a spotlight on veterans and the struggles they endure when they get back to their country. Well done sir, well done. I can see two things that people might struggle with in this book: ✔️ It’s a bit slow in the beginning. The book slogs a bit until the hit happens. I do not have issues with a slow build, but I can see how this would offset some readers. ✔️ And the last thing is Stephen King takes some jabs at Trump and MAGA voters since this is set in a deep red state. He doesn’t necessarily get political; he just shows how much he doesn’t like the guy and struggles with hatred that’s directed at immigrants in this country. And if you don’t know this about King, I’m sure his Twitter account will tell the tale. 🧐🤣 Personally, I didn’t have a problem with the jabs since it’s wrote before 2020 and pre-Covid. Trump was very much in the focus with everything he said and did back in 2019. I do hope King gets away from the slight political digs not because I don’t agree with him (I very much do!), but I don’t necessarily want that in a fiction book about a hired killer. It just seems like everything has become political these days and I'm tired. Ha! There is a place and time for everything, and he could lose fans on this. But then at the same time, I’m sure he’s made enough money, enough fame, and doesn’t give a shit at this point in his life. 🤷🏼‍♀️😂🤣 Other then that, I loved the characters. I loved the ending and thought it was fitting. Powerful stuff! And with that, I will end this spoiler free review right here!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    Some may say that Mr King chose a theme that has been covered in several books earlier, and they are right, however, I just enjoyed meeting Billy and that is what matters to me. Billy's background is what shaped him and yet despite calling himself a bad man, he recognizes evil when he sees it, which means that he is not totally lost in my eyes. Moreover, what he does for Alice, a young woman mistreated brutally, while thinking about the little sister he lost tragically in childhood, shows that em Some may say that Mr King chose a theme that has been covered in several books earlier, and they are right, however, I just enjoyed meeting Billy and that is what matters to me. Billy's background is what shaped him and yet despite calling himself a bad man, he recognizes evil when he sees it, which means that he is not totally lost in my eyes. Moreover, what he does for Alice, a young woman mistreated brutally, while thinking about the little sister he lost tragically in childhood, shows that empathy is still in him. Billy's story gripped me, yes, and my stars are for the reading pleasure I was offered by Mr King. The book is not poetic or intelectually challenging but it ticked several boxes, which was grand.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Frankly, I’m always happy to read a Stephen King. It’s as easy as that. He never disappoints. Case in point: Billy Summers could easily have turned out to be a Dexter-like romp or a thriller in the vein of all hit men. It could have turned out a Stockholm-type romance spiced up with a little revenge and moral outrage to get all those types of juices flowing, too. And make no mistake, Billy Summers DOES have those elements. But King is a king of subversion when it comes to plots. He welcomes us dow Frankly, I’m always happy to read a Stephen King. It’s as easy as that. He never disappoints. Case in point: Billy Summers could easily have turned out to be a Dexter-like romp or a thriller in the vein of all hit men. It could have turned out a Stockholm-type romance spiced up with a little revenge and moral outrage to get all those types of juices flowing, too. And make no mistake, Billy Summers DOES have those elements. But King is a king of subversion when it comes to plots. He welcomes us down those long dark paths, leading us to believe that that monster WILL be down one, but the real monster isn’t there. It’s actually in your back pocket all along. And I loved it from start to finish. Intelligence, the burden and release of art in a most unexpectedly delightful way, and real connection. I was invested from start to finish not only for the initial hook but MORE for all the wonderful extras. King rocks.

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    Stephen King did not write this book. I mean, yes, his name is on the cover and he is the author, but this is not the same writer Stephen King whom I've known for the last 20 years or so. And I mean that in the best way possible; in every great, wonderful way. But back to my opening statement. While I was reading BILLY SUMMERS, one thought kept popping into my head: "What if I was given this book to read, with no author's name emblazoned on the cover or on the pages inside? If I didn't know who Stephen King did not write this book. I mean, yes, his name is on the cover and he is the author, but this is not the same writer Stephen King whom I've known for the last 20 years or so. And I mean that in the best way possible; in every great, wonderful way. But back to my opening statement. While I was reading BILLY SUMMERS, one thought kept popping into my head: "What if I was given this book to read, with no author's name emblazoned on the cover or on the pages inside? If I didn't know who wrote it, (and the nod given to the Overlook Hotel was omitted) who would I guess was the actual writer?" Well, my first thought was that BILLY SUMMERS would have been penned by Michael Koryta, because it fits his style and character development. He was a solid choice for me, but other guys that came to mind were Charlie Huston, Stephen Dobyns, and maybe even Tim O'Brien. Again, remove the Overlook reference, and there was really no way I would have ever suspected that Stephen King wrote this novel. So, why WASN'T this a King-esque type of book? Or better stated, why was this book more like pre-2000 King? Well, there is really no horror involved, but that's not a factor at all; he's written non-horror before. Three things impressed me about the author here: 1. RESEARCH- Early in his career, King was once quoted as saying he didn't like to spend much time researching his novels and stories. In BILLLY SUMMERS, King did one helluva job digging into the Iraq war and organized crime, and it paid off in spades. 2. CHARACTERS- This is the BIG ONE and it's King's winning hand, in my opinion. The characters feel REAL, and they behave and speak in a BELIEVABLE manner. They are fully fleshed out with no corny dialog or forced interactions. Mr. King did not stumble through banalities with these people. 3. PACING- was PERFECT and I never felt myself wishing he would wrap things up or that this was another "overlong" King offering. It was JUST RIGHT! And, he absolutely nailed the ending. I take a lot of long afternoon walks. Yesterday I walked six miles, and all I could think about was BILLY SUMMERS. I know when that happens with a book I've just finished there was something really special about it. I know that the story moved or touched me in some way, and everything about it has basically taken over my thoughts. Now, while I thought THE OUTSIDER was good, and 11/22/1963 was quite excellent, for me, BILLY SUMMERS was on another level entirely. I sincerely believe it stands among the best books Stephen King has ever created. In my case, BILLY SUMMERS will be included in my top 5 Stephen King novels of all time. Thank you Mr. King for returning us to the days of THE SHINING and SHAWSHANK and SALEM'S LOT. BILLY SUMMERS is fresh and different and has taken your writing to new heights. Just fabulous...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook…. Read by Paul Sparks …..16 hours and 57 minutes My overall thoughts….tidbits….but no spoilers…. are as follows: Great ride….entertaining…often heart endearing…. …more crime thriller/than horror…. …a story within a story…. …mostly ‘gruesome-graphic-lite’….but does include ‘outrage-fallout’ from a ghastly gang-rape. The three-little-evil-pigs: Tripp, Jack, and Hank….have some punishment coming. …Other characters have payment punishment coming as well. …I Loved the first few hours…totally Audiobook…. Read by Paul Sparks …..16 hours and 57 minutes My overall thoughts….tidbits….but no spoilers…. are as follows: Great ride….entertaining…often heart endearing…. …more crime thriller/than horror…. …a story within a story…. …mostly ‘gruesome-graphic-lite’….but does include ‘outrage-fallout’ from a ghastly gang-rape. The three-little-evil-pigs: Tripp, Jack, and Hank….have some punishment coming. …Other characters have payment punishment coming as well. …I Loved the first few hours…totally hooked. …Then my interest started to dip for a couple of hours. …THE LAST HALF OF THE BOOK WAS THE BEST! Billy Summers may be on the spectrum—‘might’—(readers can decide)…. but, either way, I liked the ‘complex-multifaceted’ guy. Billy was not an old fart — but a horrific childhood event could have turned him into one. Billy has killed others (only bad men)—seventeen times—when we first meet him, but…. we care for Billy Summers—similar in ways we did Dexter. We also care for… *Alice Maxwell* SOME OF THE BEST SCENES OF THIS NOVEL…..are when ALICE and BILLY are together. The development of the Billy/Alice relationship is genuine—straight from the heart. Wonderful journey they take together — and TERRIFIC STORYTELLING! Alice was a shy, confused, girl, but she was not a dumb girl. Alice was in shock, humiliated, felt shame, was nauseated, and vomiting when Billy first meets her. Billy saved Alice's life. Alice knew that Billy was a wanted killer, but Billy was hoping that she would trust him. She does. Alice grows to love Billy. Billy loves her back. He did not wanna fuck her, he sincerely cared for her. We witness Alice blossoming- healing- showing up more beautiful. We also witness changes in Billy - showing up more beautiful Fun&Funny parts: wigs, fake pregnancy belly, dancing & laughing…..etc. Unlikable and likable characters. Puzzling part: …..a painting on the wall in a summer cabin (voodoo tricks?/!) Assassinations, hitman adventures, lack of honesty and honor, outlaw mentality/bounty hunters’, shopping sprees, car rides, killings…mystery-suspense…cheating, writing, books, Netflix watching, tensions, love…. and…. ONE LAST JOB… …..”It is what it is, so fuck it”!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    4.5 stars.. but could be 5. Gonna sit on it. But wow, this one really got its hooks into me! Very emotionally invested!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael || TheNeverendingTBR

    Billy Summers, a Iraq veteran turned professional assassin, a double crossing mobster and a whole lot in between. This story just flows so well, the characters are loveable and it's just a really good book in my opinion. It will be interesting seeing an adaptation put forward for this. What I really liked also is there's a lot of references/connections to his other books like Alice Maxwell, The Overlook Hotel and Hemingford Home; I really like it when he does this. Definitely worth a read for fans o Billy Summers, a Iraq veteran turned professional assassin, a double crossing mobster and a whole lot in between. This story just flows so well, the characters are loveable and it's just a really good book in my opinion. It will be interesting seeing an adaptation put forward for this. What I really liked also is there's a lot of references/connections to his other books like Alice Maxwell, The Overlook Hotel and Hemingford Home; I really like it when he does this. Definitely worth a read for fans of crime/thrillers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    For many readers the most awaiting book of the year. It made me very curious when picking it up. In the first part you'll find King meeting up with Jack Reacher. Billy Summers, a hitman and former sniper, takes over his last job. He assumes the fake identity as a writer (!) and soon troubles begin. He doesn't trust his client, then there is a young girl named Alice, an old buddy of his, Bucky, and a story full of revenge and getting owed money. Oh, where's the horror? As a true King fan you can For many readers the most awaiting book of the year. It made me very curious when picking it up. In the first part you'll find King meeting up with Jack Reacher. Billy Summers, a hitman and former sniper, takes over his last job. He assumes the fake identity as a writer (!) and soon troubles begin. He doesn't trust his client, then there is a young girl named Alice, an old buddy of his, Bucky, and a story full of revenge and getting owed money. Oh, where's the horror? As a true King fan you can easily guess what memories of the past lie hidden in Colorado (I don't give any spoilers). But that part was told in a brilliant way. At the end of the story you'll even find two endings... This was a great King novel. We have a modern war (Irak, seen from Billy's perspective), a strong female character (Alice) and some fine crime story with a shot of horror rolling along. The characters were great, the setting unusual, very entertaining, this will be a great movie in near future, I'm sure about it. Couldn't put the book down. Probably his most unusual book so far. Liked it and can highly recommend reading it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    Not horror, nothing supernatural here.  Not sure how to categorize it.  It's Stephen King.  You know how adept he is at spinning a tale.  Billy Summers.  I want to say that he is a hitman with a heart, but that sounds too icky-poo-poo.  And yet, it enters into the equation, at least in part.  A master of disguise, a magician who can seemingly disappear into thin air after an assassination has been completed.  He does not believe in fate or coincidence.  He has one last job to do.   There are at le Not horror, nothing supernatural here.  Not sure how to categorize it.  It's Stephen King.  You know how adept he is at spinning a tale.  Billy Summers.  I want to say that he is a hitman with a heart, but that sounds too icky-poo-poo.  And yet, it enters into the equation, at least in part.  A master of disguise, a magician who can seemingly disappear into thin air after an assassination has been completed.  He does not believe in fate or coincidence.  He has one last job to do.   There are at least a couple of schools of thought with regard to Stephen King's predilection for including Easter eggs in his novels.  Some find them distracting and pompous.  I think of them as a tip o' the hat to the author's Constant Readers.  If you miss them, it doesn't hurt a thing; if you recognize them, you give a little nod to your own self.  (view spoiler)[Loved the picture in the summerhouse that mimicked the topiary beasts at the Overlook before it burned. (hide spoiler)] Yep.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    New Stephen King coming August 3rd! Read an excerpt HERE. New Stephen King coming August 3rd! Read an excerpt HERE.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Billy Summers is not an all-out horror story from King, it’s about an assassination and has a side-story about the Iraq war. The most horrifying thing here is the evil actions of men. You’re left hoping that the more vile characters here get their just desserts… It took me around 200 pages to properly get into it, when the character of Alice was introduced is when the story really picks up the pace for me. It’s as though the spark really comes back into King’s writing at this turning point and i Billy Summers is not an all-out horror story from King, it’s about an assassination and has a side-story about the Iraq war. The most horrifying thing here is the evil actions of men. You’re left hoping that the more vile characters here get their just desserts… It took me around 200 pages to properly get into it, when the character of Alice was introduced is when the story really picks up the pace for me. It’s as though the spark really comes back into King’s writing at this turning point and it makes me nostalgic. From then on, it’s classic King style at his best. Although Chapter 10, when the hit takes place, is also really good and fast-paced. Of course there are some Trump jabs thrown in throughout and they work well. The way Billy and Alice bond by him helping her through panic attacks (he clearly has struggled with some PTSD from the war) by singing the nursery rhyme Teddy Bear’s Picnic is surprisingly sweet. He had to use this tactic to help his comrades out at war too. After what happens to Alice, she is really going to have a hard time coming to terms with that and Billy senses that. The duo work really well, and I like the interactions between Bucky and Alice as well. Can we take a minute to (ambiguously) discuss THAT ending please !?! My jaw was on the floor, honestly you are best going into this one as blind as possible, PLEASE try to avoid spoilers for the ending. In fact, I was pretty captivated by the last 30 or so pages. In my opinion, they were damn near perfection. Solidified me rating this higher than a 4, even if I did find the start a tad slow. It’s made me want to check out even more of King’s crime-based novels as this one is so well done. ”When I was writing, I forgot to be sad. I forgot to worry about the future. I forgot where I was. I didn’t know that could happen.” 4.5 Stars, rounded up to a 5. tw:// the aftermath of a horrific assault on Alice

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Oh I love to be different! I’m not going to unhaul my hardback just yet. I’m going to stew on it and maybe reread certain things. I did a skim read at one point due to boredom and King’s crap he puts in all of his new books. I’ll insert my own stuff in here somewhere to throw things off. I have to say I loved his last book better. What was it called 🤔. I have chemo brain. That noir type book. Anyway……. *its [email protected] like you that’s ruined the country for the next four years*. I totally loved th Oh I love to be different! I’m not going to unhaul my hardback just yet. I’m going to stew on it and maybe reread certain things. I did a skim read at one point due to boredom and King’s crap he puts in all of his new books. I’ll insert my own stuff in here somewhere to throw things off. I have to say I loved his last book better. What was it called 🤔. I have chemo brain. That noir type book. Anyway……. *its [email protected] like you that’s ruined the country for the next four years*. I totally loved the Billy bad person killing theme!! That would be so much fun!!! I love Alice and all he did for her. Makes me mad and sad and happy. I guess I really only loved the last bit of the book so I’m not sure about keeping it. I love the hell out of the cover. I loved a few things with references to other books that I didn’t skim over: Danny, Tripp, the Overlook. Anyhoo, that’s all for now. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  18. 5 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    This is quite easily the worst Stephen King book I've ever read. It drags on... and on... and on... and then when he can't think of a way to drag the story out any farther, he shifts gears to a completely different plot that drags... on... and on... and on... until eventually the end of the book is like a completely different novel than the one you started reading. And Billy is such a bland nothing of a character that I never even bothered to get a mental picture of what he looked like. He was a This is quite easily the worst Stephen King book I've ever read. It drags on... and on... and on... and then when he can't think of a way to drag the story out any farther, he shifts gears to a completely different plot that drags... on... and on... and on... until eventually the end of the book is like a completely different novel than the one you started reading. And Billy is such a bland nothing of a character that I never even bothered to get a mental picture of what he looked like. He was a lump of clay bouncing from one situation to the next. And hey, you guys like The Shining? Because he literally has a character stand on a hill, point, and basically say "Look, that's where The Shining took place, that's cool right? Y'all remember The Shining? That was great." It was Ready Player One level of reference porn, made even worse because it was King referencing himself. Disappointing to say this as a King fan, but this one is absolute trash. I'm not even listing the dates I read it so it won't show up on my 2021 reading list. I'd rather just forget I ever read it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Kuhn

    Warning – sexual assault and PTSD triggers in this book. Like a tightrope walker, Stephen King toes some fine lines in this novel. It’s all about balance, and while he wobbles and sways a few times, imho he ultimately succeeds. Billy Summers is a killer for hire, an Iraq war vet that is willing to use his considerable talents, if the pay is right and the target is a ‘bad guy.’ This is the first wobble, is killing ever justified? Billy struggles with it and King wants you to, as well. Through his Warning – sexual assault and PTSD triggers in this book. Like a tightrope walker, Stephen King toes some fine lines in this novel. It’s all about balance, and while he wobbles and sways a few times, imho he ultimately succeeds. Billy Summers is a killer for hire, an Iraq war vet that is willing to use his considerable talents, if the pay is right and the target is a ‘bad guy.’ This is the first wobble, is killing ever justified? Billy struggles with it and King wants you to, as well. Through his writing, you’ll find it hard not to like the guy, but there is always this little nagging issue – he’s a murderer for hire, after all. Another stagger on the rope, is that the plot itself is a trope, or even several tropes - “Hired Killer gets Shot at Redemption” or “One Last Job.” King addresses this by taking it head on. Main character - Billy Summers himself recognizes that his own story, his own life is a trope. King wants you to know he understands and he’s marching forward anyway. But he does more than just point it out. He makes sure that his MC is not perfect – he makes mistakes, he forgets little details, and while he’s highly skilled, he’s not infallible. He also introduced a brilliant component to the well-worn plot line. In Billy’s next sniper job, he must become embedded, and the cover story for him, is that he’s a writer, working on a novel. Billy, with much time on his hands, decides to write his own bibliography and it’s this balancing pole that keeps the book from being just a trope. We get to read some of that backstory and dive deep into Billy’s motivations and trepidations. We get to experience his joy of realizing he can write, and King nails this component. The next tremor on the line, is Billy’s primary relationship during the majority of the tale. I’ll do my best not to make this a spoiler, but if you want nothing about the plot, you may not want to expand this section. (view spoiler)[ At some point, Billy rescues a sexual assault victim. Their relationship itself is the biggest tightrope act of all and the point at which King’s story almost falls (again imho). She has just experienced brutal, horrific sexual assault, yet she quickly trusts this hired assassin. In fact, she not only trusts him, but she also rapidly falls in love with him, as he tenderly helps her through her PTSD panic attacks. King navigates these treacherous steps by Billy being a perfect gentleman and resisting the growing sexual tension by refusing to give into his urges. Honestly, it made me uncomfortable and borders on cringy, but Billy genuinely cares about her, and recognizes the issues (Stockholm Syndrome, age gap, etc.) with their relationship. However, it doesn’t stop him from using her to help him deal with the fallout of his last job. It might be another step too far, but at least Billy understands he’s probably crossing a line and continually gives her the opportunity to walk away. Still, big wobble on the tightrope, but their relationship (and watching King navigate the fine line) certainly keeps you engaged in the story. (hide spoiler)] What keeps the story firmly on the line, are the things you might expect from King. The tale hooks you quickly with authentic-feeling characters and lots of possibilities in the plot. King inserts little observations of life & people that fire the synapses in my brain. I also have been enjoying King’s occasional departure from the supernatural. This is a straight up action-adventure tale and the only supernatural encounter is a fun callout to a prior novel that’s really unnecessary to the plot. Being a King fan, I always enjoy these little connections between his works. Finally, the ending, well the final ending, is fun, and this is an area where King occasionally stumbles. I’ll just say that King gets a bit introspective and pays homage to the joy that writing has brought to his life though this finale. Four bullet-ridden stars for this carefully written story of a troubled war-hero who’s trying mightily to write the proper ending of his life.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dave Edmunds

    Anyone who knows me knows who my favourite author is. Just has to be Stephen King.  The guy is a literary legend and a hero of mine. He's the reason I'm a constant reader and why I constantly have a book in my hand. Some people say he's lost his touch. Well, they can now shut the hell up!  In his latest release Billy Summers he proves he's still got it. It's no secret that King is regarded as the big cheese in horror fiction.  With his influence on the genre and pop culture in general it's pretty Anyone who knows me knows who my favourite author is. Just has to be Stephen King.  The guy is a literary legend and a hero of mine. He's the reason I'm a constant reader and why I constantly have a book in my hand. Some people say he's lost his touch. Well, they can now shut the hell up!  In his latest release Billy Summers he proves he's still got it. It's no secret that King is regarded as the big cheese in horror fiction.  With his influence on the genre and pop culture in general it's pretty much undisputable. But in the last two decades he's branched out and invested a lot of his effort in crime fiction, as he somewhat reinvents himself.  He still dabbles in the supernatural. But in books like the Bill Hodges series, the Colorado Kid and Later we've seen he has developed a passion for hard crime.  With Billy Summers he takes a walk on the dark side as we follow an assassin on his last job before he leaves the criminal underworld for good. " It goes without saying that he has made a living working for bad people, yes, but Billy doesn’t see this as a moral conundrum. He has no problem with bad people paying to have other bad people killed. He basically sees himself as a garbageman with a gun." Ex army sniper turned hitman Billy Summers is tired of the violence and working in criminal circles.  He's an anti hero with a moral compass as he only shoots bad guys.  The opening of the story see's Billy presented with the opportunity for a huge pay day for taking out a fellow professional killer.  What could possibly go wrong? While waiting for his opportunity to take the shot, Billy posses as a writer. Something which he embraces by starting to write his first book.  It's an autobiography, and provides a story within a story where we get to see Billy's history, from childhood and through his time in the military.  It's quite frankly some of the best and most intense aspects of the story and a fantastic device King uses to provide the character development that's a major feature of all his novels.  I enjoyed it immensely. I was initially reminded of 11/22/63, in the way he has to build an identity within a community whilst looking to assassinate an individual.  Although it starts out fairly formulaic, there's plenty of twists and turns and King takes us in some completely unexpected directions.  I won't go as far as to tell you what's in store, but the narrative is multifaceted with plenty to offer the reader. The story takes on some heavy subject matter and then winds up going to some surprising places. This is an emotional ride and King uses his ability expertly to pull on the readers heart strings.  Ultimately this is a story about redemption as Billy strives to make amends for the past and turn his life around and have a positive impact, it's so engaging. Can a person who kills people of a living ever be a good person? If, like me, you're a fan of movies like Leon, you'll know how effective this can be. "Did you know that you could sit in front of a screen or a pad of paper and change the world?" While Billy Summers probably won’t wind up being heralded as one of his great works of fiction, it is absolutely brilliant.  The sumptuous character development and King's portrayal of life in small town American is a joy to behold.  King sometimes seems out of touch, children still playing monopoly rather than on I Pads, but his writing is as magnificent as ever. King also goes deep into the art of writing.  He's famous for featuring writers in his stories, as we've seen in Salem's Lot, Misery, the Dark Half and Bag of Bones.  But a fundamental change in this one is that Billy is never writing to sell books and make money.   King instead explores how empowering and cathartic the process can be when you write for yourself. The ability to create new worlds and explore possibilities as well as relive the past. If you're a fan of writing you really will eat this up. "The door to the past is open,” Summers reflects. “He could push it shut, latch and lock it, but he doesn’t want to. Let the wind blow in.” My only gripe is King's political commentary. He just can't give up trying to ram it down the readers throat. Every bad character is a republican and all good guys are democrats. Trump is the antichrist and the root of all evil. It would be great if he stuck to Twitter and didn't use his books to air his political views. But honestly don't let that stop you from reading this great book. There's also the issue of this being a slow burn and taking its time, which may present an issue for some readers. But King's writing is so good I loved those parts. His ability to dissect human behaviour and pick out those aspects that make us who we are is second to none. Yes he can terrify his reader and build suspense, but those slice of life moments are what sets him apart from other authors and this book is loaded with them. Fantastic stuff! I'll stop there before I bore you to death. My longest review for my favourite author. He deserves nothing less. Just read the damn book and enjoy a true great who's showing us all that he's not lost it. Peace! [image error] Stephen King

  21. 5 out of 5

    Justin Tate

    Lots to love, lots to meh. In the end it's a solid feel-good novel in the vein of Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me and Elevation. Just not as good as any of those. The major issue is that it takes far too long to reach a premise. Half the book must drudge by before we understand what we're reading—the story of an unlikely pairing, the hitman who only kills bad guys and a young girl who was left for dead. Their partnering is the highlight of the novel, allowing both characters to emerge as charism Lots to love, lots to meh. In the end it's a solid feel-good novel in the vein of Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me and Elevation. Just not as good as any of those. The major issue is that it takes far too long to reach a premise. Half the book must drudge by before we understand what we're reading—the story of an unlikely pairing, the hitman who only kills bad guys and a young girl who was left for dead. Their partnering is the highlight of the novel, allowing both characters to emerge as charismatic figures. It's too little too late by that point, however. Many readers will give up before the girl even appears and those of us who trust King enough to march on aren't given a dynamic enough character study to justify the slow chunks. We cheer on their pursuit to punish the world's "real" bad guys, but their methods are cheesy and without an ounce of suspense. Everything falls into place exactly as we expect. No twist, no surprise. However, Billy Summers is a surprising spin on the "last job gone wrong" genre and hitman fiction in general. Certainly it is unexpected for a noir protagonist to spend most of his time penning a memoir instead of dodging kingpins and outrunning the law. Pairing him up with a girl whose situation mirrors his own experiences is a clever way to add humanity to the situation. There just isn't enough evidence that this quiet take on the genre is effective. Ultimately it's not King's best effort, but still a decent adventure with engaging characters and lovely concluding message. Given the choice of King screwing up the beginning or the ending, I would much prefer him to falter at the start. Since it does end so well, I can forgive much of the opening bloat. PS: Fans will enjoy a number of references to the Overlook Hotel as the characters pass through Colorado country. There are enough mentions of the hotel, and Alice's desire to live in Colorado, that I wonder if King is setting groundwork for another sequel to The Shining.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Putnam

    Loved this book King is a true master craftsman. Billy Summers is written in third person, first person, with multiple points of view and jumps tenses, past and present. He does it seamlessly and if you’re not watching it’s easy to miss. Billy Summers is an antihero and follows in the footsteps of some of the great antihero’s created by Richard Stark and Jim Thompson. He is a killer for hire with a conscience. He’ll only kill if the person deserves it. When his contractor double crosses Billy, he Loved this book King is a true master craftsman. Billy Summers is written in third person, first person, with multiple points of view and jumps tenses, past and present. He does it seamlessly and if you’re not watching it’s easy to miss. Billy Summers is an antihero and follows in the footsteps of some of the great antihero’s created by Richard Stark and Jim Thompson. He is a killer for hire with a conscience. He’ll only kill if the person deserves it. When his contractor double crosses Billy, he goes after them to make it right. Not unlike Payback a great book that has been made into a movie twice, once with Lee Marvin and once with Mel Gibson. Of course, in King’s capable hands this iteration has far more depth of character. Though Billy is breaking the law he lives by a code and sticks to it. One of my favorite kind of stories. King also tells two stories the current and the past. He does this by having the character write a book. Billy shares some the pages to this book with the reader. It’s truly a brilliant vehicle, the backstory is told without stopping the forward motion of the current day story. Billy Summers is a crime novel, a romance and a revenge story all in one interwoven with verve and enough emotions to pull the story along. At the same time evoking a tear now and again. This one is going up in the top four King novels: Bag of Bones (what a wonderful read), Tommy Knockers, The Stand, 11/22/63 and Full Dark No Stars. I highly recommend this book. David Putnam author of the Bruno Johnson series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Blaine

    He's thinking of all the movies he's seen about robbers who are planning one last job. If noir is a genre, then “one last job” is a sub-genre. In those movies, the last job always goes bad. … “If he was hurt, that would make me happy. I suppose that makes me a bad person.” “It makes you human,” Billy says. “Bad people need to pay a price. And the price should be high. … “Now tell me what really did happen.”I never know what to think when someone says that a new book is “the best Stephen King novel in He's thinking of all the movies he's seen about robbers who are planning one last job. If noir is a genre, then “one last job” is a sub-genre. In those movies, the last job always goes bad. … “If he was hurt, that would make me happy. I suppose that makes me a bad person.” “It makes you human,” Billy says. “Bad people need to pay a price. And the price should be high. … “Now tell me what really did happen.”I never know what to think when someone says that a new book is “the best Stephen King novel in years.” It seems to me that the statement usually says a lot more about the reader than about King himself. Do you prefer his short story collections, his shorter novels, or his doorstoppers? Which of his genres is your favorite—horror, supernatural, fantasy, or the more reality-based ones? Is the latest novel “the best in years” simply because King has cycled back through that person’s favorite combination of length and genre? So, with all that said, please know that I am fully aware of the irony when I say … Billy Summers is the best Stephen King novel in years. Billy Summers was a Marine sniper during the second Iraq war, and he’s been working as a hit man since he got back home. He agrees to “one last job,” taking out another hitter for $2 million. The job will require him to settle into town for a few months before the hit, and his cover will be that he is a writer, which gives Billy the time to tell the story of his life: his troubled youth, his time “in the suck” in Iraq, how he became a hit man. But things get complicated. Of course, nothing is as it seems with his “one last job.” And more importantly, he meets Alice Maxwell…. Billy is a completely believable, complex character who literally carries the story until Alice’s arrival. His backstory is haunting and full of keen observations, especially about the second Iraq war. Alice is an equally great character with her own tragic past, one that links the traumas of Billy’s youth and time in Iraq. Her arrival allows the reader to see a different side of Billy as well as secondary characters such as Bucky. The writing and dialogue is excellent throughout Billy Summers. King fully flexes his technique of using a phrase—the House of Everlasting Paint, the Fun House, the baby shoe—as an emotional shorthand both before and after telling the reader the story behind the phrase. As with other King novels about writing and writers, this novel asks whether writers write for themselves, strangers, or both? And no recent King novel is complete without a few Easter eggs, here to The Shining and, much more subtly, to The Stand (which I never would have noticed except I reread that book last year). Billy Summers starts out feeling a bit like 11/22/63 morphs first into something like Misery, before shifting again into something altogether new, perhaps closest to the movie The Professional. So why are so many, including yours truly, saying that this novel is King’s best in years? For some, I’m sure it’s because there’s nothing supernatural here, and the only horror is all-too-real. For me, I think it’s that Billy’s and Alice’s stories are just that absorbing. That, and the fact that for all the grief King (unfairly) gets about allegedly not being able to write an ending, Billy Summers has an incredible ending that had me close to tears. If I’m recommending a Stephen King novel for someone who’s never read one before, I usually go with the classics, depending on the person’s tastes and tolerance for length: The Shining, The Stand, It, Misery, Pet Sematary. But Billy Summers is going into that list. It’s that good. Highly recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Derrick

    Due to circumstances beyond my control, it took me almost the entire month of August to read this. I won't go into why here, but they know who they are.... I thought this was an excellent book! King's character building is just as superior as it was 40 years ago. The story does start off a little slow but I found I didn't really mind it. I enjoyed taking the time getting to know the characters and understanding the situation. Once things start to come together, it's hard to put down. There are so Due to circumstances beyond my control, it took me almost the entire month of August to read this. I won't go into why here, but they know who they are.... I thought this was an excellent book! King's character building is just as superior as it was 40 years ago. The story does start off a little slow but I found I didn't really mind it. I enjoyed taking the time getting to know the characters and understanding the situation. Once things start to come together, it's hard to put down. There are some really "edge-of-your-seat" parts in the story and they were so much fun to read! Once we got introduced to Alice, the relationship between her and Billy was really all that mattered, to me at least. I absolutely love when other King books get referenced and it happened a few times here. The climax was pretty suspenseful and for a little while, I wasn't exactly sure how things would turn out. The ending...for better or for worse, King just kills me sometimes with these endings. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. The imagery was appealing and the storytelling was enchanting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    Did anyone else get a strong Barry vibe after reading the description? -------- above was my original review/thoughts, below is my completed review ------- Well, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It is not at all like the TV show Barry like I initially thought after reading the book description. This book had a similar feel of other books/stories/movies of a sniper just living their life, having one last job. I really enjoyed the character building and the relationships that came and gone Did anyone else get a strong Barry vibe after reading the description? -------- above was my original review/thoughts, below is my completed review ------- Well, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It is not at all like the TV show Barry like I initially thought after reading the book description. This book had a similar feel of other books/stories/movies of a sniper just living their life, having one last job. I really enjoyed the character building and the relationships that came and gone throughout this book. It was very well done. I may be a bit biased, but I feel like Stephen King books as of late have been just excellently written. They have the right amount of creepiness and horror and still keep up with the realistic fiction trope. (view spoiler)[ I wish that they would have brought up that nice family again after all was said and done in the book. That was the one part I felt was missing at the end (I can't remember the name of the family but the one where the little girl colored that drawing for Billy). (hide spoiler)] Audiobook narrator Paul Sparks rating: 4.5 stars The narrator was great for this book. He had subtle changes in voice which was helpful. Though, most of the book was an inner monologue of Billy. I have been surprised at the diversity of Stephen King’s narrators (by diversity, I mean he writes a lot of books and has many different narrators instead of just sticking with one or two).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Dear Mr. King, I hate you for breaking my heart. Again. Sincerely, A Very Distraught Reader In this brand new novel by one of THE best writers of our time, we follow a gun for hire, Billy Summers, as he is doing the fabled "one last job". Naturally, as all those stories go, this goes wrong. And when it rains, it fucking pours. Billy is a USMC veteran with a code: he only kills bad people. Has to do with his childhood which the reader uncovers together with certain select memories from Billy's Dear Mr. King, I hate you for breaking my heart. Again. Sincerely, A Very Distraught Reader In this brand new novel by one of THE best writers of our time, we follow a gun for hire, Billy Summers, as he is doing the fabled "one last job". Naturally, as all those stories go, this goes wrong. And when it rains, it fucking pours. Billy is a USMC veteran with a code: he only kills bad people. Has to do with his childhood which the reader uncovers together with certain select memories from Billy's time in the Corps over the course of this book. But it's not just that last job that goes south (not really a spoiler: he is betrayed), it's what exactly goes wrong and how that makes him meet certain people as well as the whole fucking road right to the end that is ... daunting. Sure, it's fast-paced, it's clever, it's full of tropes that Mr. King once again toys with like a sardonic child before twisting them to suit his own needs. However, it's also heart-breaking. Because Billy is THE guy. The kind of person that makes you feel as if you were important, as if you mattered and as if all could be well in the end - and he's the guy who will do whatever it takes to make sure it will be. I honestly LOVED how the author "fooled" everyone in the beginning about (view spoiler)[Billy being a bit slow (hide spoiler)] . I mean, I suspected it was a ruse but you never know with the King. However, I was also hoping right down to the last sentence of the book that (view spoiler)[he would NOT let Billy die but let it instead be a ploy by Billy and Alice to get away clean, even from Bucky (hide spoiler)] . Foolish, I know, but I couldn't help myself. So this is a novel about a contract killer who does what he is paid for, then (view spoiler)[gets stiffed (hide spoiler)] , goes on the run, hides, things go wrong and he has to find his way out of the shit. But it is so much more than that, too! It's about how most things are connected, it's about the therapy that is writing, it's about finding yourself, it's about human connections, and definitely about how the right thing isn't always the pacifist thing to do. Just think of Alice's (view spoiler)[rapists (hide spoiler)] and what Billy did - it was justice, pure and simple. How the "good" people usually aren't good at all. The book made me chuckle and laugh out loud, it had me cheer, it had me cackling with very dark Schadenfreude of which I am NOT ashamed, it had me tear my hair out (literally, unfortuantely, ouch) and cry like a little girl. In short, it's one of the best books King has written and it's now in my top 3 SK books! P.S.: Nice reference to (view spoiler)[ The Shining (hide spoiler)] P.P.S.: FUCKING MARGE!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marchpane

    [Edit: getting down off the fence to give this 2 stars] Not going to rate this one because it was too mixed of an experience for me. I loved the first half—professional hitman on ‘one last job’ embedded in a small town, his ‘cover’ is that he’s a writer so we also get a book-within-a-book about the hitman’s early life. I could see why the reviews were saying this is King’s best in a long time. But something that happens midway really soured me on this novel. How Billy treats Alice when he finds he [Edit: getting down off the fence to give this 2 stars] Not going to rate this one because it was too mixed of an experience for me. I loved the first half—professional hitman on ‘one last job’ embedded in a small town, his ‘cover’ is that he’s a writer so we also get a book-within-a-book about the hitman’s early life. I could see why the reviews were saying this is King’s best in a long time. But something that happens midway really soured me on this novel. How Billy treats Alice when he finds her and what he does later to attain vengeance on Alice’s behalf disgusted me and made me hate Billy to the point that I could not regain my earlier enjoyment. Yes, I recognise the irony—Billy was a murderer and a ‘bad person’ from the beginning—but these specific acts crossed a fictional line for me, they are presented as heroic and never challenged within the text. Writers need to do better than this when writing about sexual violence (no exceptions for genre fiction, or just because your name is Stephen King). On this book’s politics: the ultimate villain is clearly modelled on a very politically influential person, and there are about a dozen mentions of Trump throughout the book, usually in the context of whether certain characters are Trump supporters or not. King likes to use historical signposts (in this book he also namedrops Netflix, MacBook, Zillow etc, to the point that it looks like product placement) and that includes political references, but I have another theory about this novel. King has said in interviews that originally Billy Summers was to be set in 2020. When the pandemic happened, he could not make it work so he moved the setting back to 2019. Was the timeframe so important? Billy Summers is embedded in suburbia in a red state for the better part of a year, with the action finally culminating on Halloween (followed by a 21 November coda). I think this was intended to be—very specifically—an election year novel. Would it have made that much of a difference? Who knows… but it’s intriguing to think about.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    Billy Summers is an exceptionally talented sniper. He kills for money, but will only do so if the target is a truly bad person. When offred a huge sum of money for one last job Summers knows that things may be about to go seriously wrong. I've been reading Stephen King stories for about 40 years now & what still amazes me is his ability to draw the reader into his wonderfully character driven world in just a few chapters. In some ways I love his characters so much that the plot is irrelevant....w Billy Summers is an exceptionally talented sniper. He kills for money, but will only do so if the target is a truly bad person. When offred a huge sum of money for one last job Summers knows that things may be about to go seriously wrong. I've been reading Stephen King stories for about 40 years now & what still amazes me is his ability to draw the reader into his wonderfully character driven world in just a few chapters. In some ways I love his characters so much that the plot is irrelevant....well, almost! Bill Summers has a great small town setting, but King takes a bit too long to set this up. Thankfully things pick up in the second half of the novel & the story really comes to life. Stephen King often makes references to his other works & Billy Summers is no exception. A brief reference to one of his classic novels would have been fine, but King labours the point & it's unnecessary. Referencing one of his horror novels tore me away from the believable characters & world he had set up so far & it took me a while to get back into the atmosphere he had ruined. Billy Summers is a very good story, but by editing some of the book & deleting all references to one of his own iconic novels it could have been a great one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kon R.

    I wanted to share this exerpt to best illustrate what reading this book felt like: "At two minutes past twelve the door opens and two men come into the lobby. Fuck Trump, Billy thinks but doesn’t say. One is tall with black hair combed in a 50s pompadour. He must be a shitty Trump supporter. The other is short and bespectacled. He's definitely a dirty Republican. Both are wearing suits, but you can tell they usually fashion a MAGA hat by the crease of their hair." Are you confused? Yeah, so was I wanted to share this exerpt to best illustrate what reading this book felt like: "At two minutes past twelve the door opens and two men come into the lobby. Fuck Trump, Billy thinks but doesn’t say. One is tall with black hair combed in a 50s pompadour. He must be a shitty Trump supporter. The other is short and bespectacled. He's definitely a dirty Republican. Both are wearing suits, but you can tell they usually fashion a MAGA hat by the crease of their hair." Are you confused? Yeah, so was I. They're sprinkled all throughout like some sort of tourette outbursts. I know Uncle Stevie is getting up in age, but what was his editor thinking by not removing these? Toward the end of the book he refers to an aggressive driver as "a Yankees fan." We get it, you love the Sox and Hillary Clinton and hate people who don't agree with you. This story was amazing from start to finish. It was one of the best I've read from him in a very long time. Easily a 5 star book. But man were his hateful sentiments detrimental in jarring me from the world of Billy Summers time and time again. For that reason I have to knock down the rating. This is more ridiculous than Crichton lecturing about global warming in State of Fear, except that State of Fear was actually about global warming, so it gave Crichton some leeway to preach. This book is about a hitman. Everyone involved are career criminals. There were zero politicians.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    I was looking forward to reading this. I started this book and before I got far, went and did a 9 book series which is why it took me so long. I read most of it in 3 days. I have to say, this subject matter is not something I would pick up and I don't really enjoy movies about hitmen and their last job. I would not have picked this up if it didn't have Stephen King's name attached. He made it worth reading. His characters were so alive and amazing. I like Billy. He seems like a good enough guy, w I was looking forward to reading this. I started this book and before I got far, went and did a 9 book series which is why it took me so long. I read most of it in 3 days. I have to say, this subject matter is not something I would pick up and I don't really enjoy movies about hitmen and their last job. I would not have picked this up if it didn't have Stephen King's name attached. He made it worth reading. His characters were so alive and amazing. I like Billy. He seems like a good enough guy, with huge baggage. The world is rich and alive like most of King's novels. The one thing that annoys me is that there was no supernatural element. I prefer to have a supernatural element in his stories and in this one, not so much. And yet, I was still into this story. I read 250 pages one day and could not put this down. It's almost like there are 2 parts to this story. It does take an unexpected turn at one point and I found myself even more engaged. Everything feels researched, feels plausable, feels like real life. There are plenty of surprises. I loved the relationships built in this story, especially between Billy and the neighborhood kids. Stephen is still so readable. The story feels like it pulls you along and it's effortless. This won't be in my top 10 books of his because there is no supernatural, but it's worthy of the King name. It will sit nicely with the many other good novels King wrote. Stephen is getting older and I do hope we get many more stories from him. We know there will be at least one more next February, but it's also a sequel with a co-author, so it's not entirely his. I hope there is another full novel next year as well. I feel like this year was an excellent year to be a King fan. 'Later' and now 'Billy Summers'. Both were great books.

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