So what have I been listening to lately? A whole heck of a lot of short stories interspersed with some longer works. There are times when I’m driving when I just want a quick tale to encompass my drive somewhere and the short story is the perfect length. While they’re hard to find in audio format, they do exist! The first of these I’m going to review is Stationary Bike by Stephen King.
When commercial artist Richard Sifkitz finally gets around to having that physical he’d been putting off for years, and his cholesterol comes back dangerously high, he does what so many thirty-something, junk food-eating couch potatoes have done before him: He buys a stationary bike, and vows to ride it regularly.
Unlike many a mid-life exercise convert, however, Richard actually starts to ride his new stationary bike. A lot. Soon he’s spending so much time on his bike that he decides to put his artistic talents to use and paint a mural on the wall opposite his stationary bike. But it turns out that Richard’s mural is no ordinary picture, and soon his stationary bike is taking him places he doesn’t want to go, and can’t stay away from.
A riveting take on artistic frustration, mid-life mortality, and hard-won redemption, Stationary Bike is a thrill ride that could come only from the mind of Stephen King.
I have to admit that I’ve not always been the biggest fan of King’s long fiction, but I do really enjoy his short fiction. Each tale is cleverly told and as such, very easy to listen to. I enjoyed the tale of Richard Sifkitz and his stationary bike, and found the way in which King wove his need for the bike into the story as both a character and the setting. Not typically horrific in any way, there was definitely a supernatural and horrifying element to it. Well worth the read or the listen.
Rating: 4 stars