Lovely stuff. It's a bit of a relief to say The Library Policeman creeped me out. I even thought (hoped?) it might invade my dreams one night after reading the part that got to me most just before turning in for the night. It didn't, but the uneasy sleep would have been worth it to know I'm not completely overcome by imaginative ennui. I liked the classic ghost story feel of the early chapters (although the roaring success of the speech seemed to be a set up that was never really followed through) and am going to choose this point to self-designate myself a Constant Reader. I know the echoes of the Deadlights from IT and the mention of Paul Sheldon from Misery aren't the most arcane of references and neither are the interlinking Castle Rock or Dark Tower details found elsewhere, but it's satisfying to pick them out and place the story, and also your readership, in the grander patchwork of King's work. It's the little things...
Perhaps if more of Danse Macabre was staying in my head rather than almost literally going in one ear and out the other*, this and others of my reactions (I really can't call them reviews) to the books would show a deeper understanding, awareness and appreciation of the tenets, conventions and formulas of the horror genre. But, as things are going, that's not looking likely.
As I move onto The Sun Dog, I'm still sticking with my earlier thought that this collection would be the book I'd recommend to a King first-timer. It's not too gory to put off the unaccustomed reader but serves as a good introduction to King, the depths he plumbs and the heights to which he can propel us. The Library Policeman is right up there in bolstering that recommendation. If you haven't read it, do.
I've borrowed this book from the library, as it goes. Hope I a) don't lose it and b) don't get bummed when I try to return it.
*I started reading Danse Macabre ages ago. About 18 months ago actually, but didn't get too far before I decided to pick up the next novel, with the hope of reading both concurrently. It didn't happen and the book is left on my shelf giving me the odd, half-hearted dirty looks. It's not that it's not a good read (it does stray on the dry side) but the pull of fiction was too strong and any divergence from the fiction is a detour I can scarcely afford. Yes, I know my extra-King reading should fit that category also, but throw me a bone, man cannot live by bread alone. Anyway, I solved the problem by hunting out the audiobook for Danse Macabre. Audiobooks have their downsides, particularly those read by Alyssa Bresnahan (good god she's the worst...in the world...ever), but in this case, William Dufris is pretty good. He brings the conversational tone of King's non-fiction writing to life and is making it much easier to get through the thing. I should be back with some rambles on it before the leaves turn.