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Summary

Includes a conversation between Stephen King and Richard Chizmar.

Stephen King teams up with longtime friend and award-winning author Richard Chizmar for the first time in this original, chilling novella that revisits the town of Castle Rock - paired on audio with King's Edgar Award-nominated story 'The Music Room'.

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine, has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told...until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974, 12-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zigzag up the cliffside. At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminium bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labour Day charity game.

One day a stranger calls to Gwendy: 'Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.' On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small, neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat....

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, best-selling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December.

©2017 Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. 'The Music Room' © 2016 Stephen King. (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What listeners say about Gwendy's Button Box

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Enjoyable but too short

Too short, but very enjoyable. Narrator was great free me in from the start 😃

3 people found this helpful

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I'm not usually a fan of collaborations but...

If collaborating on a story is good enough for my hero Stephen King then the least I can do is give it a read, or in this case a listen to.
Overall a nicely paced little tale, even thought provoking in parts. However it felt a teeny bit 'YA' for me. I was reminded of those mystery stories for kids that Alfred Hitchcock did which I would greedily devour in one sitting as a child. Gwendy's Button Box had a satisfying enough resolution despite being the first of an apparent trilogy. It would be perfectly okay to read this as a stand alone story in itself.
I already have the second book on my TBR pile even though King isn't credited on that one. I'll read on as I'm intrigued enough by the story and I love the character Gwendy. I'm also keen to get to know Richard Chizmar's writing style in his own right. I enjoyed the recording of the little chat between RC and SK which kind of answered some of my reservations regarding the whole collaborative nature of this book. The added bonus of a short story from SK was a nice surprise. Maggie Siff's narration was excellent, she was as believable as a twelve year old Gwendy as she was as the older wiser version.
I think this story could be a nice gentle introduction to King - we constant readers are always happy to introduce newbies to our ranks! There is a modicum of gruesomeness and a foreboding, sinister feel to the story but probably won't give anyone nightmares... not really bad ones anyway!
[It could do with a trigger warning re suicide though although that is dealt with sympathetically and is not the main focus of the story]

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A novella of hard choices.


I enjoyed this short book with two stories, the period and the characters work, the plot is a bit less accomplished as many of the reasons and whys are never explored in depth, but in the end, it is a visit to territory we know well.
A good short read.

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Disappointed

Had so much promise. Just leaves you thinking, what was the point of any of that.

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Constant Reader.

I enjoyed this, i would love to read the second book in the series but it is unavailable, the third book is available though :/ make it make sense Audible.

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A wonderful shorter listen

I really enjoyed this listen. Gwendy is such a sensible child, nothing like I was. This will stay in my mind for a long time, wondering what I would do with the button box. A wonderful collaboration, very well narrated. Thanks guys.

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Nice short story but lacked action

This is an interesting idea for a book, and it worked well. I just wished there had been more action. I cant say much without spoiling it, but I think a lot more could have happened and she could have used the box more.

The narrator had a good voice for this book, and was easy to listen to. I've returned books before, simply because the narrator was hard to listen to.

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Interesting plot and cute story. A very nice voice

loved the narrator's voice and the story was easy to follow and exciting in the same time. kept wondering what the box is about but left with a lot of answers.

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Great Collaboration and wonderful reader.

I was a little disappointed at first as my saw a lot of possibilities that couldcome out of a button box, but when you sit back and realise what's just happened you know it was a wonderful story.

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  • Sharon
  • 29-06-22

Not creepy, not a horror story, not a thriller

But it is a nice story with an interesting premise. Honestly it made me want to know what happens next, so that is a plus. But there isn't any creepiness that we associate with Mr. King.

The narrator did a good job, with good use of accent and voice to distinguish between the characters.