Nine year old Trisha McFarland strays from the path while she and her recently divorced mother and brother take a hike along a branch of the Appalachian Trail Lost for days, wandering farther and farther astray, Trisha has only her portable radio for comfort A huge fan of Tom Gordon, a Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, she listens to baseball games and fantasizes that her hero will save her Nature isn t her only adversary, though something dangerous may be tracking Trisha through the dark woods


10 thoughts on “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

  1. Lyn Lyn says:

    I could say that Stephen King hits a home run with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon but that would sound trite and campy.But what the hell.King hits a home run, this is a great book.It s about a nine year old girl but big for her age who gets lost in the woods and a lotThis is about fear, deep primal fear that is at the roots of our childhood and never really goes away, just retreats back into a far, dark corner to wait Most everyone has a memory from childhood when a hand held was su I could say that Stephen King hits a home run with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon but that would sound trite and campy.But what the hell.King hits a home run, this is a great book.It s about a nine year old girl but big for her age who gets lost in the woods and a lotThis is about fear, deep primal fear that is at the roots of our childhood and never really goes away, just retreats back into a far, dark corner to wait Most everyone has a memory from childhood when a hand held was suddenly not held when a parent was there and then not there.When a path in the woods was suddenly lost Everyone has a memory from when they were suddenly alone.King knows better than most any writer today about fear, and here he demonstrates his incredible ability to awake in the reader a deep primal fear that we all can recognize, and what better illustration of that recognition than a little girl lost in the woods Trisha realizes when she felt the first winnow flutter of disquiet that she was lost in the woods, and from there King leads us in an uncomfortable, suspenseful long walk in the woods with a very likable protagonist.Reminiscent of Algernon Blackwood in his brilliant The Willows and especially in The Wendigo, King creates an antagonist in an almost personified menace of the woods or the wild and finally in a mystic representation of a wild god.And of course baseball BRILLIANT As a baseball fan himself, King plays on the spiritual quality of the game while adopting baseball s natural rhythm in the novel s structure Tom Gordon really did have a phenomenal season in 1998, an all star election and 46 saves, finishing 69 games


  2. Reed Reed says:

    Let me begin by saying I am an ardent Stephen King fan and have been since reading The Stand back in 1978 First, I like the genre Second I believe him to be the best story teller alive on the planet today That being said, even though I have read nearly everything he has written under any pen name, this is the only review I plan to write for the extensive King library What is unique about this book was that it barely stepped into the usual worlds of Stephen King It is a story about how a y Let me begin by saying I am an ardent Stephen King fan and have been since reading The Stand back in 1978 First, I like the genre Second I believe him to be the best story teller alive on the planet today That being said, even though I have read nearly everything he has written under any pen name, this is the only review I plan to write for the extensive King library What is unique about this book was that it barely stepped into the usual worlds of Stephen King It is a story about how a young girl survives being lost in the woods And while there are some supernatural elements in it, they are not the overriding storyline The focus ison her psychological battle to survive It s a tale of courage and the strength of will You don t have to be a soldier or an athlete to be strong, you simply need the heart and mental toughness to never quit This is a book you won t put down until you ve finished it


  3. Mario the lone bookwolf Mario the lone bookwolf says:

    Theminimalistic the setting, theingenious a writer has to be to make it suspenseful and King does this by describing a scared, small girl in the wilderness, fighting to survive with cleverness and perseverance How the marvelous description of the relentless but wonderful nature, one seems to be inside while reading, switches with the thoughts of the girl and how she motivates herself to stay optimistic and move on is exciting at any moment I am a European who knows absolutely nothi Theminimalistic the setting, theingenious a writer has to be to make it suspenseful and King does this by describing a scared, small girl in the wilderness, fighting to survive with cleverness and perseverance How the marvelous description of the relentless but wonderful nature, one seems to be inside while reading, switches with the thoughts of the girl and how she motivates herself to stay optimistic and move on is exciting at any moment I am a European who knows absolutely nothing about baseball and even those passages are interesting, because they are directly linked to her emotions and symbolize the importance of hope and that hope can be awakened by the seemingly most trivial and mundane things one doesn t find worthy noticing any until an extremely exceptional situation occurs Near death experiences, surviving a potential terminal illness, overcoming a trauma it all opens the consciousness for the worth of the moment and mindfulness So the girl is pretty Buddha too Readers who aren t so interested in literary experiments and just one character based narratives might find no pleasure with this one, but everybody who is open for a new, rather short read, should trie it I have to say, I am biased, praising the King is one of my favorite hobbies, people tend to run fast and as far as possible as soon as I mention his name, but I am pretty fit, so the poor fellows have no chance, although it s difficult talking too much and quickly during exhausting pursuits and sometimes they intentionally run against obstacles or buildings and that s great because it s much easier to blather sitting in an ambulance, despite the annoying sirens but I haven t found someone just close to his uniqueness and one of the largest fanbases in the history of literature may agree with me Praise him, hail him, worship the King The most amazing fact is that King is no plotter, but lets the characters take control and gets lost in the creative flow while listening to music One day in his shoes, man, how must it feel to be in such a creative process Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique


  4. Brina Brina says:

    With my holidays finally coming to a close after a busy month, I was in need of a quick, fast paced read A few of my goodreads friends in a group I regularly participate in, the reading for pleasure book group, engage in many buddy reads of thrillers and spooky stories that are otherwise out of my comfort zone Psychological thrillers have been known to give me the creeps, and I still can not watch a scary movie past three in the afternoon in case it plants an idea in my head that would give me With my holidays finally coming to a close after a busy month, I was in need of a quick, fast paced read A few of my goodreads friends in a group I regularly participate in, the reading for pleasure book group, engage in many buddy reads of thrillers and spooky stories that are otherwise out of my comfort zone Psychological thrillers have been known to give me the creeps, and I still can not watch a scary movie past three in the afternoon in case it plants an idea in my head that would give me a nightmare Yet, when the small group decided to read Stephen King s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon I decided to join them King is an ardent Boston Red Sox fan and even owns a minor league team, so what could be better than a book by an impassioned baseball enthusiast read during baseball s post season.Trisha McFarland is nine going on ten and tall for her age Her parents had gotten divorced the year before and her mother won custody Both Trisha and her older brother Pete would have rather lived with their father Larry McFarland Even though he on occasion could down a few beers too many, he still lived in the house that they knew as home, and they would be allowed to stay in the same schools Trisha also shares a bond with her father, a love of baseball, specifically the Boston Red Sox Larry saw how much the divorce had taken a toll on his kids so he wrote to Tom Gordon, Boston s closer at the time of this book 1998 and Trisha s favorite player, and asked him to sign a Sox cap for her This cap cements the bond that Trisha shares with her father and becomes her most prized possession While Trisha and Pete prefer the company of their father, their mother Quilla Andersen over compensates by dragging them on outings each Saturday when Pete would rather be playing video games and Trisha hanging out with her friend Pepsi or watching the Red Sox After the divorce, Quilla appeared to lose sense of who her children were, becoming self centered and uncompromising Her staunch behavior would come back to haunt her.On a seemingly normal Saturday outing, Quilla has dragged Pete and Trisha to an Appalachian Trail hike near the Massachusetts New Hampshire border Instantly, Quilla and Pete commence on one of their classic arguments, losing site of Trisha Immediately, she becomes lost in the woods King paints a picture of a girl on the cusp of adolescence who is forced to come of age before her time Relying on basic survival skills taught by both her parents and in science class, Trisha is forced to utilize her knowledge to not succumb to the big bad woods The one link to the outside world that Trisha has left is her Walkman radio and with it Red Sox broadcasts each night as long as her batteries last It is Trisha s imagination and her love of the Sox and Tom Gordon that have her creating life imparting wisdom from Gordon as a means for survival This wisdom comes from being the ninth inning pitcher, the one called on when the game is on the line, who must have ice water in his veins at all times In creating these imaginary scenarios in which Tom Gordon is her safety net and guiding light, Trisha attempts to defeat the opposition, the woods, unscathed.In his prose that comes from being a master of his genre, one can see that King can create a scary story in no time at all Yet, for someone who is scared if a person walks up behind her, I was not scared at all Part of this is having an imagination as rampant as Trisha s, especially an imagination that created scenarios with a childhood me having conversations with my favorite baseball players That time is based on when the Red Sox play and how the team kept her tethered to reality felt normal to me If I ever got lost as child, g d forbid, I would probably have had imaginary conversations with baseball players in my head too, if it meant staying focused on the task ahead of me Empathizing with Trisha s situation and having a similar imagination, I did not scare when she created big bad monsters, real or imagined All along I figured that Tom Gordon would save Trisha just as baseball players saved me from a recurring nightmare I had as a kid.For someone who does not enjoy being spooked, I was not scared at all by reading Stephen King I viewed this story as a coming of age tale of a girl who is a product of divorce and finds herself lost in the woods, using baseball as her anchor It is evident from reading The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon that Stephen King is a huge fan of the game, as he inserts baseball facts and statistics within the story Perhaps for someone who does not have as large of an imagination as I have or who is not a fan of baseball, this book would be scary After all, the woods, as King states initially, is a scary place, especially for a girl who is nine turning ten and big for her age, who finds herself lost If I really want to get scared, I will maybe just maybe read another of King s non baseball centric stories at a later date That is, if I read it before three in the afternoon so it doesn t give me nightmares.3.5 stars


  5. Nandakishore Varma Nandakishore Varma says:

    Stephen King has confessed that he suffers from literary elephantiasis that is, his novels tend to bloat I would agree Compared to the three to five hundred page efforts of his early days, the current productions weigh in starting at a thousand plus even though his books remain eminently readable, I for one prefer the early, slimmer King novels before he caught this disease.But in between these gargantuan tomes, Steve produces small novellas rather like master chefs produce snacks once in Stephen King has confessed that he suffers from literary elephantiasis that is, his novels tend to bloat I would agree Compared to the three to five hundred page efforts of his early days, the current productions weigh in starting at a thousand plus even though his books remain eminently readable, I for one prefer the early, slimmer King novels before he caught this disease.But in between these gargantuan tomes, Steve produces small novellas rather like master chefs produce snacks once in a while as a break from five course dinners While many of them are light reading by his standards, suitable to while away an afternoon but nothing to write home about, some exceed expectations The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is such a book.The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted Trisha MacFarland discovered this when she was nine years old.This is a suspense novel about a girl lost on the Appalachian Trail On a hiking trip with her mother and brother, young Patricia MacFarland wanders off the path, ostensibly to take a piss but actually to get away from the constantly bickering pair of her parent and sibling A small miscalculation and wham She suddenly finds herself lost in the woods, frantically searching for a way out As her situation growsanddesperate, she has only her walkman for company and through it, Tom Gordon, the Red Sox player Soon, Tom who points to the sky as if invoking God as he throws deadly balls to pluck out victory from the jaws of defeat joins Trisha in her increasingly hallucinatory journey and his advice proves to be her salvation in the gripping climax.Stephen King is a master of infusing the fantastic into the humdrum He tells us that the facade of normalcy is only a sham which can tear at any moment and expose the terrifying visage beneath that your parents may tell that there is no boogeyman in the closet but we know better, don t we Trisha s trip across uncharted woods soon turns into a metaphorical passage across the primeval forest of the psyche and the monster stalking her takes on mythical dimensions.When human beings reach the end of their tether, they call out to God even if they don t believe in Him but what God Steve gives us three choices the New Testament God the one Tom prays to with his finger pointed to the sky who physically intervenes, but not always to one s benefit the God who is immanent in the universe but non intrusive Trisha s father s subaudible ,of a dormant force than a person and the terrifying ogre God of all primitive religions including the Old Testament, the God of the Lost who comes from the thing in the woods Trisha has to choose and when the time comes, she enters into the zone as sportsmen like Gordon would say and closes As Tom says, it s God s nature to come out in the bottom of the ninth.Modern sports have a lot of things in common with tribal religion Even though I don t know anything about baseball, I could imagine a youngster like Trisha in India bonding with a cricketer like, say, Sachin Tendulkar Stephen King has used this trope perfectly to craft a delicious little tale


  6. Raeleen Lemay Raeleen Lemay says:

    I really enjoyed this The 1999 audiobook was incredible, I really liked how the narrator brought the 9 year old protagonist to life without sounding incredibly annoying I d recommend it for fans of Gerald s Game or Misery, as it has similar vibes, what with all of the SURVIVAL and whatnot


  7. Susan May Susan May says:

    This isn t a big book, but it s one of my fave Stephen King books It s brilliantly written and I think any lost in the woods book will pale against it King keeps his I digress waffling moments out of this one Don t get me wrong I love his waffling most of the time it makes for great characters.The ominous feeling of the little girl being stalked by something unknown is so powerful.I read this in one sitting Any reader who thinks Stephen King isn t a literary genius should read this boo This isn t a big book, but it s one of my fave Stephen King books It s brilliantly written and I think any lost in the woods book will pale against it King keeps his I digress waffling moments out of this one Don t get me wrong I love his waffling most of the time it makes for great characters.The ominous feeling of the little girl being stalked by something unknown is so powerful.I read this in one sitting Any reader who thinks Stephen King isn t a literary genius should read this book This man is neverformidable when he is writing in a small set with one character This book should be studied in schools.Also, there s a moral Don t wander off on paths in the woods, kiddies Bad things can happen Listen to your parents, too Or bad things will happen lol


  8. Rodney Rodney says:

    Once upon a time, I could buy Stephen King books with confidence it would be a good read.I think this book is the worst one I ve read by King, and maybe one of the worst I ve ever read, period I do not have to words to properly express how crappy this book was.


  9. Suzanne Suzanne says:

    3.5 One of my biggest fears is to get lost in the woods Stephen King makes a story out of this horrifying situation with a 9 year old little girl It has all the eliminates that one would experience in a situation like this paranoia, hunger, sickness, and even a predatory stalking her This is a quick read, which is not common for a King book, but like most King books you will not regret reading it


  10. Edward Lorn Edward Lorn says:

    This was my first time reading this book I know, I m just as shocked as you are So why hadn t I, our resident King fanboy, read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon Well I was homeless when it was released That period of my life was the first of three times I would live on the streets In 1999, I had successfully alienated myself from my immediate family my mother and sisters Dad had moved back to California by this time due to my abuse of drugs and alcohol, and had moved into an apartment wi This was my first time reading this book I know, I m just as shocked as you are So why hadn t I, our resident King fanboy, read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon Well I was homeless when it was released That period of my life was the first of three times I would live on the streets In 1999, I had successfully alienated myself from my immediate family my mother and sisters Dad had moved back to California by this time due to my abuse of drugs and alcohol, and had moved into an apartment with this heroin addict named Jill Four months later, Jill got herself cleaned up and decided to kick me out I was replaced by a guy I came to think of as Studhammer McSwingin Dick In reality, his name was Kirk Kirk was an addict, too, but his drug of choice was weightlifting I would eventually come to write about Kirk Some of you know the character of whom I speak.All that is still no excuse for me having not read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon I could have very well read it once I got my shit together, but I didn t For the longest time, I thought it was an internet exclusive novella, like Mile 81 and UR, and I was waiting for it to be released in a collection It wasn t until last year 2014 , that I realized the damn thing was actually a full length albeit short novel Am I mad it took me so long to get around to it Not really The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is an okay little book written in the vein of Hemingway s The Old Man and the Sea one of those human versus nature books that values life lessons over plot devices But, in this case, Hemingway s novella is far superior There s not a whole lot going on in King s book, and the majority of the problems I had with it have to do with the cast The characters within are some of King s shallowest Our MC Trisha is a one note kiddo who s obsessed with real life baseball player Tom Gordon, a relief pitcher for King s most favoritest bestest team in all the land, the Boston Red Sox Her brother Pete is your typical whiny ass teen who prefers Dad to Mom in the world of New Divorce Mom and Dad are just there I got no feel for their characters at all One of the plus sides of the book is something King refers to as Wasp Priest What a creepy thing that was The first time Wasp Priest is mentioned is some of the creepiest work King s done since Pet Sematary The God of the Lost is a cool name, too, but the reveal at the end of the book was kinda shit What Trisha ended up facing off with was rad and all, but the way King delivered the reveal was anti climactic I literally said, Fucking really Dude, you didn t even try I think King was hoping to rely on the build up he d created earlier in the book to carry over to the end Unfortunately, it carried about as well as a sack with a hole in the bottom Overall, I give The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon a pretty Meh rating It is, without a doubt, mediocre King material There are far better King books, but there are far shittier ones, too In fact, two of his shittiest novels are up next on my reread list Back to back Dreamcatcher followed by From a Buick 8 I might read Hearts in Atlantis and Nightmares and Dreamscapes in between Haven t decided yet Anyway, after From a Buick 8, it s another Decade with King post Obvious tie ins The novel takes place around TR 90, which is the location of of Mike Noonan s vacation home, Sara Laughs Bag of Bones This puts The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon inside the Dark Tower universe guilty by association Trivia This is the last book King released before a van ran him down while he was out on his daily walk, almost killing him King would write about the experience in On Writing and The Dark Tower Other novels influenced by the accident are Dreamcatcher and Duma Key.In summation The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is a highly readable, mostly actionless novel with cardboard characters and an ending lacking any luster whatsoever You probably won t regret reading it, but, if you choose to skip it, you won t be missing anything special Final Judgment Containswalking than The Hobbit and the entire The Lord of the Rings saga combined