Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks
From international bestseller Stephen King, a classic story that engages our emotions on the most primal level, a fairy tale grimmer than Grimm but aglow with a girl’s indomitable spirit.

What if the woods were full of them? And of course they were, the woods were full of everything you didn’t like, everything you were afraid of and instinctively loathed, everything that tried to overwhelm you with nasty, no-brain panic.

The brochure promised a “moderate-to-difficult” six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her older brother Pete and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls.

Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and the gritty performances of her hero, number thirty-six, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio’s reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her—her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaughtered animals and mangled trees in its wake.

Topics: The Outdoors, Wilderness, Folk and Fairy Tales, Hiking, Monsters, Baseball, Survival, Childhood, New Hampshire, Forest, Maine, Spooky, Adventurous, Psychological, Suspenseful, Dark, and Bildungsroman

Published: Scribner on
ISBN: 9780684835839
List price: $7.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: A Novel
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Not terribly frightening story about a nine-year-old girl lost in the woods. Well-written and suspenseful.more
This was one my least favourites by King. Normally I give them 4 or 5 stars. Did not even want to re-read which is so rare for me, so if you are new to this author, don't start with this one.more
A simple, effective story about a liottle girl lost in the woods. I'm A Yankees fan, but I still enjoyed it!more
“I need to pee.” Trisha said. Well, this is an interesting book. It starts out with a young girl, maybe 8 or 9, getting lost in the woods. She is a HUGE Red Sox fan, so she admires Tom Gordon. SPOILERSShe is hiking in the woods with her divorced mother her older brother. Now, they’re arguing, because Pete(her brother), is very mad at his mother for making him go on this hike with her. Trisha needs to go to the bathroom, so she tries to tell them. Unfortunately, they don’t hear her. So, she is forced to go into the woods to do her business there. Eventually, she gets lost in the woods. Pete and Trisha’s mom call the police to try and look for her. She wanders in the woods, gets attacked by wasps, falls down cliffs, and even going through swamps and quicksand. When she gets out of the woods, she is saved by a hillbilly hunter. She was getting attacked by a bear, and the hillbilly shot at it, and I believe that he killed the bear. Honestly, I think this is a great book. Even though it’s not his later works, like The Stand and Salem’s Lot, it’s still a good read.more
I enjoyed this book. By the start of it, I wasn't sure, but the MC quickly becomes relatable and the storyline, though fairly simple is interesting. What this little girl survives and how is thrilling. It's a relatively short book for SK and, for once, I could say I wished for more back story into the family's lives.more
Trisha McFarland gets lost in the woods while on a six-mile hike in the Appalachians with her recently divorced mother and her angry older brother.And that, folks, sums up the plot of this tightly crafted, superb novel for young adults by Mr. King. In fact, I don't think I even knew what "tightly crafted" meant until I read this novel. I am in awe. From the very first sentence he had my hooked: "The World had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted."It is so simple, so elegant: A little girl gets lost in the woods. As Trisha would say, "Yeah baby."But then how would she act? What would she be thinking? What would she do right? What would she do wrong? What would she encounter? From this small thread, Stephen King weaves a complicated, tense and yes, extremely creepy tale. Trisha McFarland is a kid whose parent just got divorced. Who's brother is unhappy and acting out. Whose mother is preoccupied with getting them settled in a new place, with dealing with her older brother. Trisha's face hurts from trying to be the family's sole source of cheer and optimism. So when she lags behind on the hike and feels the urge to pee, she doesn't have the energy to interrupt her mother and brother's squabbling and simply ducks behind some tress. And then one bad decision leads to another. And they are all so plausible. You can see why she would choose to go one way instead of the other. Why she would try to keep going instead of sitting still and waiting to be rescued.King uses Trisha's love of baseball and her crush on player Tom Gordon as a structure for the novel. Each chapter is an inning. The question is, will Trisha be able to "close" the game like her Boston Red Sox hero? As time goes on and Trisha gets more and more lost, she must rely on her own inner strength to carry her through. But her inner strength isn't incredible or fraught with mad skillz à la Katniss Everdeen. Trisha is a city girl and only has a bare bones knowledge of nature survival. But she is smart and she is feisty and she does want to live. So despite getting stung, falling down a cliff, drinking bad water and starving, despite the feeling that she is being constantly watched, she soldiers on.Though there are no monsters in this book, no evil men bent on evil deeds, King still manages to make your adrenaline start pumping at every snap of the branch, at every shadow. You are so much in Trisha's head that you see her fears come to life and jump out of the bushes claws at the ready, teeth salivating for your flesh.I would recommend this book to anybody who loves a good yarn, but especially those young people who enjoy a thrilling survival story. If this story leaves you with anything it will leave you with this one truth:Nature sure is scary.more
Trish is lost after wandering away from her fighting brother and mother, to use the restroom. She finds hope to survive from her hero , RedSox relief picture Tom Gordon. I didn't find this book to entertaining. I felt this book dragged on. I did however enjoyed the pop pictures in this book they were very elaborate.more
What would happen if you got stranded in the woods? Would you fight for your life, or give up all hope? This life changing decision nine year old Trisha has to make is not easy. With no one to talk to and no experience whatsoever, Trisha is in for the ride of her life.Trisha, the young protagonist is with her mother and brother one minute, and very lost and alone another. She hunts for food, only to find some nuts and berries. It's hard to go through the night alone, in the wilderness, but she tries to get by. Her baseball idol, Tom Gordon is a closer for the Red Sox, and is often on the radio early day, or late evening. She listens to the announcers on the radio, sometimes mocking them, to get her through the long, cold nights. Can she really fall asleep with someone watching her, though?The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, by Stephen King, was a disappointment in my eyes. I have heard that Stephen King was an amazing author, but he tampered with my feelings in this book. The reason this book was disappointing and bad was for many reasons. First of all, the story moved very slowly, and I did not feel like I was there watching the story unfold. I felt as if someone boring was reading this to me with a one-toned voice, This book had no depth, and kept me debating on whether or not I should continue reading. The plot was slow because Trisha was basically travelling in a circle, with really no new change of scenery. Lastly, the author’s descriptive language reminded me of how bland the rest of the book was, his strong words on the plot, sticking out like a sore thumb. I would not recommend this book to anyone, especially not a Stephen King fan because it is a poorly written book.more
I'm not a Stephen King fan, so I picked up this book with trepidation & only began to read because it was an assignment for one of my book groups, but I found it a pleasant surprise. Unlike his usual fare, this slim volume tells the story of a young girl's survival in the New Hampshire woods after she gets separated from her mother and brother on the Appalachian Trail.Trisha is tired of her brother and mother constantly arguing and ducks off the trail to pee. When she finishes she sees that they had come to a fork in the trail and, unfortunately for her, takes the wrong fork and soon finds herself hopelessly lost. Surviving on her ingenuity, her slim knowledge of how to survive in the woods,her nightly baseball games courtesy of her Walkman and her internal conversations with her Red Sox hero Tom Gordon, Trisha manages to keep herself alive.The only part that doesn't ring true is Kings inability to write a novel without throwing in a sexual predator and turning a bear, which would be scary enough without his machinations, into some kind of other-worldly creature. But those are minor quibbles. This is an engrossing novel for anyone's airplane trip.more
If ever I have read a book that should never have been written, this is it. The whole story could easily be reduced to 20 or 30 pages. If I had to sum it up this is what i would say...Girl gets lost in woods, girl swats bugs from face, girl falls down, girl swats more bugs from face. Girl then eats, adjusts backpack a few dozen times, swats even more bugs and falls down a bit more.The whold novel bored me to tears and I found myself wishing for the end more than any other book before. If you haven't the slightest idea about baseball, I would also give this book a wide berth as the girl constantly is in talks with an imaginery version of Tom Gordan.I really didn't think that King was capable of writing such crap, but he definately is.......more
In a nutshell: Somewhat desultory short novel about a girl lost in the woods.This one didn't really work for me. I think it would have been better as a longish short story, rather than a shortish novel - it seemed as if it was being dragged out to meet a length requirement rather than unspooling a good narrative. Especially distracting to me was the fact that this girl is 9 years old but some of her thoughts and comments were more fitting to a teenager or even an adult. I repeatedly kept shaking my head, thinking "No 9 year old would ever think that, much less be able to articulate it."more
Boring book. Some good writing from the mind of a nine-year old but how much diarrhea can a nine year old really expunge before she dies in the woods?I also found the ending to be comical. King needed to either go full out in the supernatural aspect or really just make it about the tricks a nine year old, delirious girl's mind would play on her while she's lost in the woods.Go Phillies.more
I still can't believe how well Stephen King does women.Or in this case, a girl. As someone only a handful of years older than Trisha McFarland, the deliciously spunky, undoubtedly strong heroine of King's novella The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, I can speak with some degree of confidence about the uncanny quality of her character. And, as this story is utterly character-based, I can only call it a triumph--though I fear that King fans in search of a tightly-plotted volume redolent with King's usual supernatural shenanigans will have to look elsewhere.The year is 1998, and Trisha is a nine year old girl whose family--mom, dad, and petulant teenage brother--has been recently shattered by divorce. In an attempt at creating some semblance of togetherness, Trisha's mom Quilla drags her kids on one family-friendly field trip after another: to the auto museum, on a ski trip, and finally on a fateful summer hike through the Maine wilderness. Trisha only leaves the trail for a moment to pop a squat, but somewhat, she loses sight of her mother and brother--and so begins her nine-day-long harrowing trip through the wilderness.Trisha is a tomboy, the kind, I admit, I always aspired to be as a little girl. She's a daddy's girl--she and her father share a love of baseball and of Red Sox player Tom Gordon--but her mother's imbibed her with enough just enough wilderness knowledge (which berries are safe, how to pee without getting your jeans wet) to keep her afloat. As Trisha stumbles through the forest, we become increasingly aware of the tensions of her age. She and her girlfriend Pepsi are just beginning to explore pop music, and sexuality (they beg their moms to let them dress up as the Spice Girls for Halloween), but still memorize Double Dutch rhymes. Though Trisha's speech is peppered with her father's aphorisms (the kind of King-speech that just barely missed setting my teeth on edge in Lisey's Story, but is put to much better use here), she's also been growing increasingly aware lately of his predilection for beer. Though her character arc may be slight, this is a coming-of-age story, and that's no better evident than when Trisha muses that, after this experience, she'll quit quoting her father and her grandmother and start penning sayings of her own.It's good that King is so focused on Trisha's growth and character, because this truly is a character study, and not much besides eating berries and gathering nuts and following streams happens in this slim volume. There are hints of the supernatural, but they're never explained and could easily be hallucinatory, and the pacing flags a bit by the beginning of the "Bottom of the Seventh." But the book's short length and brisk structure saves it from being tiresome, and, like King's other meditations on claustrophobia (Gerald's Game, Misery) it's appropriately focused and realistically rendered. In a way, it recalls a book from my own youth--a story of a pair of snowbound teenagers called Snowbound!. But in that book, the relationship between the characters and nascent hints of romance were the focus. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is truly a story of survival, and Trisha's success rests squarely on her own shoulders, lending this book a feminist tint. Hell, never before have I felt so elated at the simple account of a girl catching a fish.There are a few problems here, but they're slight: a post-script that feels a bit saccharine for all that's come before it, a bottom-heavy structure. But frankly? Trisha herself is just so awesome that I hardly cared. I wish I'd read this when I was younger--closer to Trisha's age--and could have more directly drawn inspiration from it. As it is, all I can do is remind myself that sometimes a girl's moxy and smarts really can save the day.more
Great short read. It turns the fears of a child into something supernatural, and then one doubts oneself if it was real or imagined. A good novel.more
I just finished The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and have been wavering between giving it three stars or four stars. I ended up giving it four stars (even though in reality this book was more of a three and a half star book for me) because I felt that the good outweighed the bad. What absolutely made the book for me was the character of Trisha McFarland. If you don't care about the main character and what they are going through, then there's no way you're going to enjoy a book. As I was reading this, I found myself apprehensive about Trisha's fate. So much that I kept thinking, "If she doesn't make it, I'm going to be severely pissed off." I was enthralled as I was reading about her deteriorating mental state and kept thinking how terrified I would be if I were in her situation at my current age, let alone at her age (I've always avoided going into the woods and this book really just pinpoints why). Stephen King excelled in making Trisha a character that just rings true. Even though throughout most of this book, I was feverishly turning the pages, there were some parts that lagged for me and because this was a relatively short book, the lagging parts were way more obvious. Another thing that bothered me was the inclusion of the beast. I think I would've liked the book more if the beast were just a figment of Trisha's imagination, just one of her hallucinations or if he just been representing an Angel of Death in her imagination. Anyway, even though the book had some shortcomings, I thought it was extremely good. I just found it heartwarming how Trisha would picture her favorite baseball player to try to get her through the tough time of being lost in the forest. I thought it was all very sweet. I've only read three Stephen King books so far and this one wasn't my favorite or my second favorite. But still, it was pretty damn good.more
though not one of King's best (and, unfortunately, the most brilliant authors are usually rigorously compared to themselves) this work is one of his coolest -- his total lack of affectation and unapologetic, simple sentimentalism are effective and heart-warming. that's right, heart-warming; if you are not so much a King fan, but more of a horror fan (i.e., you'll read a King book to get your horror fix and for no other reason), you won't like this one. sure, King's typical elements are present -- the pleasantly and intentionally confusing mesh of real life and the supernatural, and the struggle of good versus evil -- though only mildly. this book is more of a tribute to the Red Sox and baseball than anything else. and it works. people from all walks will enjoy this book -- which, ironically, is why a lot of horror fans will hate it. Sports fans, suspense fans, heck, even those folks who like Chicken Soup for the Soul series will be glad they read it. i may be desensitized to horror, but i cried like a chump at the end. this book endears you to King. King enthusiasts won't be disappointed -- right when you think that the book is gonna be nothing but mild suspense and bids for your melancholia, King introduces The God of the Lost, the protagonist's own "special friend." ;)although King will never ever EVER learn that not every character in the multiverse, regardless of age, gender, or species, uses words like "swell," i gave up on that sometime around Needful Things.enjoy!more
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is not your traditional Stephen King horror novel. There are no monsters, killer clowns or ghosts in this tale. Instead the story is of horror on a more mundane, but believable level. Suppose you were a child hiking through the woods with your parents and brother and got lost? The author does a wonderful job of tapping into the fear of being lost in an unfamiliar place. And of conveying the mounting fear little Patricia has as day turns to night and she realizes that she is truly lost and the adults may not be able to find her. The novel is a short, fast read and one of King’s lesser known works. However it is worth a look as King successfully conveys that sometimes the scariest things are the ones that are actually possible.more
Shallow, redundant, really tiresome. These were never the thoughts and actions of a 9 year old girl even if she was big for her age Now I know why I don't read Stephen King. Never would have read it if it wasn't a discussion book club pick.more
[The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon] by Stephen KingAs small of a book as it is; a mere 220 pages, it took me two false starts to finish this book. On the third and final time, my wife kidded with me, “why did you pick that up, you know you’ll never finish it?” Well I did finish it dagnabit! And I can’t definitively say that I am glad I did. Well, I guess I am being a bit too harsh here; I did sympathize with the main character Patricia McFarland and Mr. King did spin a nice little tale. Trish is a nine year old girl who gets lost in the woods while on a day trip along the Appalachian Trail (in New Hampshire) with her mother and older brother. The story follows her as she wanders through the woods alone; or is she alone?It was actually a good story, but I guess I was expecting a bit more since I had received so many excellent reviews prior to finally finishing it. The third time is a charm.3 Starsmore
Although I have only read a handful of Stephen King books I was really disappointed in this one. It had all the twists and turns that a normal King book has....but it lacked his signiture suspense and complete mystery. If this is the first King book that you choose to read and don't like it, please pick up another and try it. You will completely surprised in the difference of this novel vs his others.more
9 yr old Trish goes for a walk on the Appalachian Trail with her mother and her 14 yr old brother. As Mom and Pete walk in front of her, they get into the typical parent-teenager argument and Trish drops back. When she needs to pee she goes off the trail so she won't be seen. Mom and Pete go on, Trish gets disoriented and tries to take a short-cut. I'd like to say the rest is vintage Stephen King, but this is the only one of his works I've read. His vivid, clear portrayal of Trish's attempts to survive alone in the woods are reminiscent of Hemingway. Sparse words, incredible imagery. Just enough 'scare' factor to keep you awake.more
This short novel is filled with realistic suspense about a young girl who mistakenly wanders off in the woods while out with her mother and brother. What's intriguing about this book is the mental state of the little girl and her belief that there's something following her. It's possible there's something out there, but then again, it's possible that her mind is playing tricks on her due to exhaustion and dehydration. The reader will have to decide if it's real.more
I read this while backpacking in Ecuador - it was pretty bad. I left it at one of the hostels...I don't know if I was doing anyone a favor. This was my first book of his (recommended by someone who I won't take advice from again), so I may give him another chance.more
The brochure promised a moderate to difficult six mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls.Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and the gritty performances of her hero, number 36, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio's reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her -- her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaughtered animals and mangled trees in its wake.A classic story that engages our emotions at the most primal level, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon explores our deep dread of the unknown and the extent to which faith can conquer it. It is a fairy tale grimmer than Grimm, but aglow with a girl's indomitable spirit.more
Read all 55 reviews

Reviews

Not terribly frightening story about a nine-year-old girl lost in the woods. Well-written and suspenseful.more
This was one my least favourites by King. Normally I give them 4 or 5 stars. Did not even want to re-read which is so rare for me, so if you are new to this author, don't start with this one.more
A simple, effective story about a liottle girl lost in the woods. I'm A Yankees fan, but I still enjoyed it!more
“I need to pee.” Trisha said. Well, this is an interesting book. It starts out with a young girl, maybe 8 or 9, getting lost in the woods. She is a HUGE Red Sox fan, so she admires Tom Gordon. SPOILERSShe is hiking in the woods with her divorced mother her older brother. Now, they’re arguing, because Pete(her brother), is very mad at his mother for making him go on this hike with her. Trisha needs to go to the bathroom, so she tries to tell them. Unfortunately, they don’t hear her. So, she is forced to go into the woods to do her business there. Eventually, she gets lost in the woods. Pete and Trisha’s mom call the police to try and look for her. She wanders in the woods, gets attacked by wasps, falls down cliffs, and even going through swamps and quicksand. When she gets out of the woods, she is saved by a hillbilly hunter. She was getting attacked by a bear, and the hillbilly shot at it, and I believe that he killed the bear. Honestly, I think this is a great book. Even though it’s not his later works, like The Stand and Salem’s Lot, it’s still a good read.more
I enjoyed this book. By the start of it, I wasn't sure, but the MC quickly becomes relatable and the storyline, though fairly simple is interesting. What this little girl survives and how is thrilling. It's a relatively short book for SK and, for once, I could say I wished for more back story into the family's lives.more
Trisha McFarland gets lost in the woods while on a six-mile hike in the Appalachians with her recently divorced mother and her angry older brother.And that, folks, sums up the plot of this tightly crafted, superb novel for young adults by Mr. King. In fact, I don't think I even knew what "tightly crafted" meant until I read this novel. I am in awe. From the very first sentence he had my hooked: "The World had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted."It is so simple, so elegant: A little girl gets lost in the woods. As Trisha would say, "Yeah baby."But then how would she act? What would she be thinking? What would she do right? What would she do wrong? What would she encounter? From this small thread, Stephen King weaves a complicated, tense and yes, extremely creepy tale. Trisha McFarland is a kid whose parent just got divorced. Who's brother is unhappy and acting out. Whose mother is preoccupied with getting them settled in a new place, with dealing with her older brother. Trisha's face hurts from trying to be the family's sole source of cheer and optimism. So when she lags behind on the hike and feels the urge to pee, she doesn't have the energy to interrupt her mother and brother's squabbling and simply ducks behind some tress. And then one bad decision leads to another. And they are all so plausible. You can see why she would choose to go one way instead of the other. Why she would try to keep going instead of sitting still and waiting to be rescued.King uses Trisha's love of baseball and her crush on player Tom Gordon as a structure for the novel. Each chapter is an inning. The question is, will Trisha be able to "close" the game like her Boston Red Sox hero? As time goes on and Trisha gets more and more lost, she must rely on her own inner strength to carry her through. But her inner strength isn't incredible or fraught with mad skillz à la Katniss Everdeen. Trisha is a city girl and only has a bare bones knowledge of nature survival. But she is smart and she is feisty and she does want to live. So despite getting stung, falling down a cliff, drinking bad water and starving, despite the feeling that she is being constantly watched, she soldiers on.Though there are no monsters in this book, no evil men bent on evil deeds, King still manages to make your adrenaline start pumping at every snap of the branch, at every shadow. You are so much in Trisha's head that you see her fears come to life and jump out of the bushes claws at the ready, teeth salivating for your flesh.I would recommend this book to anybody who loves a good yarn, but especially those young people who enjoy a thrilling survival story. If this story leaves you with anything it will leave you with this one truth:Nature sure is scary.more
Trish is lost after wandering away from her fighting brother and mother, to use the restroom. She finds hope to survive from her hero , RedSox relief picture Tom Gordon. I didn't find this book to entertaining. I felt this book dragged on. I did however enjoyed the pop pictures in this book they were very elaborate.more
What would happen if you got stranded in the woods? Would you fight for your life, or give up all hope? This life changing decision nine year old Trisha has to make is not easy. With no one to talk to and no experience whatsoever, Trisha is in for the ride of her life.Trisha, the young protagonist is with her mother and brother one minute, and very lost and alone another. She hunts for food, only to find some nuts and berries. It's hard to go through the night alone, in the wilderness, but she tries to get by. Her baseball idol, Tom Gordon is a closer for the Red Sox, and is often on the radio early day, or late evening. She listens to the announcers on the radio, sometimes mocking them, to get her through the long, cold nights. Can she really fall asleep with someone watching her, though?The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, by Stephen King, was a disappointment in my eyes. I have heard that Stephen King was an amazing author, but he tampered with my feelings in this book. The reason this book was disappointing and bad was for many reasons. First of all, the story moved very slowly, and I did not feel like I was there watching the story unfold. I felt as if someone boring was reading this to me with a one-toned voice, This book had no depth, and kept me debating on whether or not I should continue reading. The plot was slow because Trisha was basically travelling in a circle, with really no new change of scenery. Lastly, the author’s descriptive language reminded me of how bland the rest of the book was, his strong words on the plot, sticking out like a sore thumb. I would not recommend this book to anyone, especially not a Stephen King fan because it is a poorly written book.more
I'm not a Stephen King fan, so I picked up this book with trepidation & only began to read because it was an assignment for one of my book groups, but I found it a pleasant surprise. Unlike his usual fare, this slim volume tells the story of a young girl's survival in the New Hampshire woods after she gets separated from her mother and brother on the Appalachian Trail.Trisha is tired of her brother and mother constantly arguing and ducks off the trail to pee. When she finishes she sees that they had come to a fork in the trail and, unfortunately for her, takes the wrong fork and soon finds herself hopelessly lost. Surviving on her ingenuity, her slim knowledge of how to survive in the woods,her nightly baseball games courtesy of her Walkman and her internal conversations with her Red Sox hero Tom Gordon, Trisha manages to keep herself alive.The only part that doesn't ring true is Kings inability to write a novel without throwing in a sexual predator and turning a bear, which would be scary enough without his machinations, into some kind of other-worldly creature. But those are minor quibbles. This is an engrossing novel for anyone's airplane trip.more
If ever I have read a book that should never have been written, this is it. The whole story could easily be reduced to 20 or 30 pages. If I had to sum it up this is what i would say...Girl gets lost in woods, girl swats bugs from face, girl falls down, girl swats more bugs from face. Girl then eats, adjusts backpack a few dozen times, swats even more bugs and falls down a bit more.The whold novel bored me to tears and I found myself wishing for the end more than any other book before. If you haven't the slightest idea about baseball, I would also give this book a wide berth as the girl constantly is in talks with an imaginery version of Tom Gordan.I really didn't think that King was capable of writing such crap, but he definately is.......more
In a nutshell: Somewhat desultory short novel about a girl lost in the woods.This one didn't really work for me. I think it would have been better as a longish short story, rather than a shortish novel - it seemed as if it was being dragged out to meet a length requirement rather than unspooling a good narrative. Especially distracting to me was the fact that this girl is 9 years old but some of her thoughts and comments were more fitting to a teenager or even an adult. I repeatedly kept shaking my head, thinking "No 9 year old would ever think that, much less be able to articulate it."more
Boring book. Some good writing from the mind of a nine-year old but how much diarrhea can a nine year old really expunge before she dies in the woods?I also found the ending to be comical. King needed to either go full out in the supernatural aspect or really just make it about the tricks a nine year old, delirious girl's mind would play on her while she's lost in the woods.Go Phillies.more
I still can't believe how well Stephen King does women.Or in this case, a girl. As someone only a handful of years older than Trisha McFarland, the deliciously spunky, undoubtedly strong heroine of King's novella The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, I can speak with some degree of confidence about the uncanny quality of her character. And, as this story is utterly character-based, I can only call it a triumph--though I fear that King fans in search of a tightly-plotted volume redolent with King's usual supernatural shenanigans will have to look elsewhere.The year is 1998, and Trisha is a nine year old girl whose family--mom, dad, and petulant teenage brother--has been recently shattered by divorce. In an attempt at creating some semblance of togetherness, Trisha's mom Quilla drags her kids on one family-friendly field trip after another: to the auto museum, on a ski trip, and finally on a fateful summer hike through the Maine wilderness. Trisha only leaves the trail for a moment to pop a squat, but somewhat, she loses sight of her mother and brother--and so begins her nine-day-long harrowing trip through the wilderness.Trisha is a tomboy, the kind, I admit, I always aspired to be as a little girl. She's a daddy's girl--she and her father share a love of baseball and of Red Sox player Tom Gordon--but her mother's imbibed her with enough just enough wilderness knowledge (which berries are safe, how to pee without getting your jeans wet) to keep her afloat. As Trisha stumbles through the forest, we become increasingly aware of the tensions of her age. She and her girlfriend Pepsi are just beginning to explore pop music, and sexuality (they beg their moms to let them dress up as the Spice Girls for Halloween), but still memorize Double Dutch rhymes. Though Trisha's speech is peppered with her father's aphorisms (the kind of King-speech that just barely missed setting my teeth on edge in Lisey's Story, but is put to much better use here), she's also been growing increasingly aware lately of his predilection for beer. Though her character arc may be slight, this is a coming-of-age story, and that's no better evident than when Trisha muses that, after this experience, she'll quit quoting her father and her grandmother and start penning sayings of her own.It's good that King is so focused on Trisha's growth and character, because this truly is a character study, and not much besides eating berries and gathering nuts and following streams happens in this slim volume. There are hints of the supernatural, but they're never explained and could easily be hallucinatory, and the pacing flags a bit by the beginning of the "Bottom of the Seventh." But the book's short length and brisk structure saves it from being tiresome, and, like King's other meditations on claustrophobia (Gerald's Game, Misery) it's appropriately focused and realistically rendered. In a way, it recalls a book from my own youth--a story of a pair of snowbound teenagers called Snowbound!. But in that book, the relationship between the characters and nascent hints of romance were the focus. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is truly a story of survival, and Trisha's success rests squarely on her own shoulders, lending this book a feminist tint. Hell, never before have I felt so elated at the simple account of a girl catching a fish.There are a few problems here, but they're slight: a post-script that feels a bit saccharine for all that's come before it, a bottom-heavy structure. But frankly? Trisha herself is just so awesome that I hardly cared. I wish I'd read this when I was younger--closer to Trisha's age--and could have more directly drawn inspiration from it. As it is, all I can do is remind myself that sometimes a girl's moxy and smarts really can save the day.more
Great short read. It turns the fears of a child into something supernatural, and then one doubts oneself if it was real or imagined. A good novel.more
I just finished The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and have been wavering between giving it three stars or four stars. I ended up giving it four stars (even though in reality this book was more of a three and a half star book for me) because I felt that the good outweighed the bad. What absolutely made the book for me was the character of Trisha McFarland. If you don't care about the main character and what they are going through, then there's no way you're going to enjoy a book. As I was reading this, I found myself apprehensive about Trisha's fate. So much that I kept thinking, "If she doesn't make it, I'm going to be severely pissed off." I was enthralled as I was reading about her deteriorating mental state and kept thinking how terrified I would be if I were in her situation at my current age, let alone at her age (I've always avoided going into the woods and this book really just pinpoints why). Stephen King excelled in making Trisha a character that just rings true. Even though throughout most of this book, I was feverishly turning the pages, there were some parts that lagged for me and because this was a relatively short book, the lagging parts were way more obvious. Another thing that bothered me was the inclusion of the beast. I think I would've liked the book more if the beast were just a figment of Trisha's imagination, just one of her hallucinations or if he just been representing an Angel of Death in her imagination. Anyway, even though the book had some shortcomings, I thought it was extremely good. I just found it heartwarming how Trisha would picture her favorite baseball player to try to get her through the tough time of being lost in the forest. I thought it was all very sweet. I've only read three Stephen King books so far and this one wasn't my favorite or my second favorite. But still, it was pretty damn good.more
though not one of King's best (and, unfortunately, the most brilliant authors are usually rigorously compared to themselves) this work is one of his coolest -- his total lack of affectation and unapologetic, simple sentimentalism are effective and heart-warming. that's right, heart-warming; if you are not so much a King fan, but more of a horror fan (i.e., you'll read a King book to get your horror fix and for no other reason), you won't like this one. sure, King's typical elements are present -- the pleasantly and intentionally confusing mesh of real life and the supernatural, and the struggle of good versus evil -- though only mildly. this book is more of a tribute to the Red Sox and baseball than anything else. and it works. people from all walks will enjoy this book -- which, ironically, is why a lot of horror fans will hate it. Sports fans, suspense fans, heck, even those folks who like Chicken Soup for the Soul series will be glad they read it. i may be desensitized to horror, but i cried like a chump at the end. this book endears you to King. King enthusiasts won't be disappointed -- right when you think that the book is gonna be nothing but mild suspense and bids for your melancholia, King introduces The God of the Lost, the protagonist's own "special friend." ;)although King will never ever EVER learn that not every character in the multiverse, regardless of age, gender, or species, uses words like "swell," i gave up on that sometime around Needful Things.enjoy!more
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is not your traditional Stephen King horror novel. There are no monsters, killer clowns or ghosts in this tale. Instead the story is of horror on a more mundane, but believable level. Suppose you were a child hiking through the woods with your parents and brother and got lost? The author does a wonderful job of tapping into the fear of being lost in an unfamiliar place. And of conveying the mounting fear little Patricia has as day turns to night and she realizes that she is truly lost and the adults may not be able to find her. The novel is a short, fast read and one of King’s lesser known works. However it is worth a look as King successfully conveys that sometimes the scariest things are the ones that are actually possible.more
Shallow, redundant, really tiresome. These were never the thoughts and actions of a 9 year old girl even if she was big for her age Now I know why I don't read Stephen King. Never would have read it if it wasn't a discussion book club pick.more
[The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon] by Stephen KingAs small of a book as it is; a mere 220 pages, it took me two false starts to finish this book. On the third and final time, my wife kidded with me, “why did you pick that up, you know you’ll never finish it?” Well I did finish it dagnabit! And I can’t definitively say that I am glad I did. Well, I guess I am being a bit too harsh here; I did sympathize with the main character Patricia McFarland and Mr. King did spin a nice little tale. Trish is a nine year old girl who gets lost in the woods while on a day trip along the Appalachian Trail (in New Hampshire) with her mother and older brother. The story follows her as she wanders through the woods alone; or is she alone?It was actually a good story, but I guess I was expecting a bit more since I had received so many excellent reviews prior to finally finishing it. The third time is a charm.3 Starsmore
Although I have only read a handful of Stephen King books I was really disappointed in this one. It had all the twists and turns that a normal King book has....but it lacked his signiture suspense and complete mystery. If this is the first King book that you choose to read and don't like it, please pick up another and try it. You will completely surprised in the difference of this novel vs his others.more
9 yr old Trish goes for a walk on the Appalachian Trail with her mother and her 14 yr old brother. As Mom and Pete walk in front of her, they get into the typical parent-teenager argument and Trish drops back. When she needs to pee she goes off the trail so she won't be seen. Mom and Pete go on, Trish gets disoriented and tries to take a short-cut. I'd like to say the rest is vintage Stephen King, but this is the only one of his works I've read. His vivid, clear portrayal of Trish's attempts to survive alone in the woods are reminiscent of Hemingway. Sparse words, incredible imagery. Just enough 'scare' factor to keep you awake.more
This short novel is filled with realistic suspense about a young girl who mistakenly wanders off in the woods while out with her mother and brother. What's intriguing about this book is the mental state of the little girl and her belief that there's something following her. It's possible there's something out there, but then again, it's possible that her mind is playing tricks on her due to exhaustion and dehydration. The reader will have to decide if it's real.more
I read this while backpacking in Ecuador - it was pretty bad. I left it at one of the hostels...I don't know if I was doing anyone a favor. This was my first book of his (recommended by someone who I won't take advice from again), so I may give him another chance.more
The brochure promised a moderate to difficult six mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls.Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and the gritty performances of her hero, number 36, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio's reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her -- her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaughtered animals and mangled trees in its wake.A classic story that engages our emotions at the most primal level, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon explores our deep dread of the unknown and the extent to which faith can conquer it. It is a fairy tale grimmer than Grimm, but aglow with a girl's indomitable spirit.more
Load more
scribd