Gwendy’s Button Box

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Reviewed by: Tom Muckian
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Tom Muckian

Gwendy’s Button Box is the latest offering from Stephen King. Co written by Richard Chizmar its the tale of  a young Gwendy Peterson  a resident of King’s regular stomping ground of Castle Rock, Maine. The year is 1974 and Gwendy is twelve when we first meet her, on the day that will change her life irrevocably.  She meets a mysterious man named John Farris who presents her with the titular button box. The box is studded with a series of colored buttons and has a lever that dispenses “pure” chocolate treats and silver dollars. Not only do the chocolate treats taste incredible, eating them changes Gwendy’s fortunes dramatically. At school her grades improve, she becomes a star athlete and captain of the ladies soccer team. Does the box have anything to do with it though, and if so will there be a price to be paid? And then there are the buttons. What happens if you press the buttons?

Small but perfectly formed, regular readers of Stephen King may feel a little short changed, as this is a slim volume at just 170 pages. Its a tale of temptation, opportunity and responsibility. It’s a testament to Richard Chizmar’s writing/input that the joins in this collaboration are seamless. The story will certainly make you want to check out his solo material. Not quite as dark a tale as you might imagine and there are a few plot holes here and there but Gwendy’s Button Box is a glorious addition to the Castle Rock cannon. Well worth checking out if you can find a copy.