You can. You should. And if you’re brave enough to start, you will. —Stephen King
A riveting riff on artistic frustration, midlife mortality, and hard-won redemption, Stationary Bike is a thrill ride that could come only from the mind of Stephen King.
I think most people find the prospect of insanity far more frightening than the bogeyman. The main character in this book loses his marbles a little after beginning to exercise for the first time in his life. His doctor tells him to picture a work crew inside his body, a metaphor he takes a bit too literally and starts to have some powerful hallucinations about them. Where does Stephen King come up with this stuff? And how does he make you believe it without feeling ridiculous? An added bonus is that the moral of the story seems to be that you should occasionally have some cheesecake, which is a lesson I can really get behind.
This book took me on a philosphical roller-coaster from start to finish. Initially, I thought the book was just a sweet life journey, until the full ride began and King did what he does best. The story follows a man subconsciously struggling to come to terms with the untimely death of his wife, and has since continued on into unhealthy eating habits. His doctor has called him in to warn him that while it’s ok now, it won’t be as he gets older. His attitudes make you believe that he won’t take the warning seriously, however from this point, the fun ride begins!
It’s not often I give King stories place in my Horror shelf. King writes fantastic character stories, but these character stories just happen to be placed in bizarre situations. He only does this to see how these specific characters would react though, and most of the time, he’s not scary at all. This character story, however, earned it’s shelf placement of horror. Of course we know that none of the horror in this story was psychological. As in every King story, the universe bends to his whim and these sorts of paradoxes actually take place. Whether you bare this is mind or believe it was all in the characters head is irrelevant, you’re in for one hell of a bike ride regardless…
Now, while I was becoming confused midway through the story (which isn’t surprising knowing Kings other works and methods – Looking at you Dark Tower), King did what he does best, swept me up, turned me around, and showed me his life changing metaphors and beliefs. This ultimately awarded the five stars you see, from the four I was originally going to place it with due to his execution and my confusion. The ending is quite amazing. Simple but amazing. Everyone should read this story, and I know more then one person who would benefit from it immensely. It opens your eyes to what life is, and what we should do to live the best we can with what we have. Just because one person exercises hard daily and limits themselves to Kale only, does not mean they will live any longer then someone who allows themselves that one Kripsy Kreme. Do yourselves a favour and read it. Then read it to your gym junkie friends.