The King community was surprised recently to learn that a new "story" from Uncle Steve had been released (to literally no fanfare) over the summer. Specifically, "Thin Scenery" had appeared in the summer issue of Emerson's College's Ploughshares, which, if Amazon's listing is to be believed, debuted in mid-July.
|Guest-edited by King collaborator Stewart O'Nan!|
The publication was brought to my attention by Peter Hansen, to whom The Truth Inside The Lie issues a hearty thanks and acknowledgment!
I got my copy in the mail this week and read the "story," and if you're wondering why I keep putting the word in quotation marks like that, it's because "Thin Scenery" isn't a short story at all; it's a play. I suppose you'd technically refer to it as a one-act play. It runs for 32 pages, and while it is not a short story in designation, it'll take you about as long to read as a moderate-sized short-story-length piece of prose.
So, in other words, this is a substantial piece of work. When I first heard it was a play, I wasn't sure what to expect; the only other play King has published is the "one-minit" play "An Evening at God's," which is a decidedly insubstantial piece of work. (Also, if you want to get technical, an unpublished one; King wrote that brief work as a giveaway to be auctioned off for charity.)
"Thin Scenery," though, absolutely has the heft of merit to it. I'm not sure it will be included in his next story collection, but it will absolutely deserve to be.
And there you have it: that's my review. I mean, sure, I could tell you what it's about, I guess. But if you're like me, you don't really need to know what it's about. It was written by Stephen King! What more do you need to know than that?