19 January 2010

Review: UR by Stephen King

UR is an Amazon Kindle exclusive apparently published nearly a year ago, but I have only just come across it.

It is not a long work, more of a novella really, and designed to tickle the fancy of the Kindle owner.

Provoked by his girl friend, and by a student in his Modern American Fiction class, mild mannered college professor Wesley Smith orders a Kindle, out of spite. One of his colleagues tells Wesley that the Kindle comes only in white, but when Wesley's is delivered within 24 hours, he un-boxes it to find his is pink.

When he explores his Kindle Wesley discovers that the Menu button presents him with a number of choices. Right near the bottom is something called EXPERIMENTAL - there are choices here for basic web, music download, text-to-speech, and UR FUNCTIONS. And so Wesley enters the worlds of UR BOOKS where he finds hitherto unknown books by great writers like Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare and others.

This is really not a work that is meant to be taken seriously, but I can see on the Amazon site comments by Stephen King fans who express their disappointment in this book. I'm not a reader of Stephen King otherwise I gather that I too might have been a bit miffed at his tongue in cheek homage to the Kindle.

Here's a thought though: we are all used to the idea of the power of a book to transport us to a different reality, but what if there were millions of different realities where events that have happened in our world don't occur, where authors are born earlier, die later, and write books we don't have available to us here?

I enjoyed this very quick read. My rating 4.3

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks so much for this review - and for your recommendation of it to me yesterday. I haven't a Kindle, so I can't read it yet, but as soon as I get one, it goes on my list!

Vivian Lee said...

This was the first book I downloaded on my kindle. I loved the story!

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