Stephen King’s ‘Gwendy’s Button Box’ Has Finally Been Read And Reviewed

Publishers Weekly just put out the first informed review for the upcoming collaboration novella between Stephen King and Richard Chizmar entitled Gwendy’s Button Box, and the verdict is sure to bring smiles to the faces of a lot of King fans.

Stephen King, normally a very prolific author, hasn’t written anything new for a long time. In fact, his last publication of any kind, not including short stories or essays was End of Watch, released in June, 2016, and even that was a crime thriller (a break from King’s specialty brand of mystery thrillers) that received pretty lackluster ratings as far as Stephen King books go.


King’s relatively sparse publication schedule over the past few years only makes it more exciting that he is soon to publish a brand new title in collaboration with Cemetery Dance’s Richard Chizmar. And not only is the entry grounded in King’s signature thriller/horror genre, but it is set in one of the fictional towns Stephen King has written about time and time again, Castle Rock.

As if the anticipation of the May 16 release date for Gwendy’s Button Box weren’t enough, Publishers Weekly, who were given the chance to actually read a manuscript of the Stephen King/Richard Chizmar novella, have just released the first real review of it. Although not too detailed, the review reveals the novel is King at his best, and it is sure to amp up Stephen King fans’ excitement for its debut even more.

“The novella,” reads the review, “[captures] the golden-hued joy of childhood and the wonder of friendship and first love, all under the shadow of temptation.”

It sounds like Gwendy’s Button Box will continue King’s much-enjoyed tradition of writing about the golden years of childhood and coming-of-age, a theme exemplified in, among other works, The Body (the novella upon which Stand by Me is based), The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Dreamcatcher, and, perhaps most relevant in today’s pop culture scene, IT. It also sounds like the novel will delve more deeply into the romantic side of coming-of-age than any of Stephen King’s works have in the past.

The review also reveals a much more detailed plot synopsis than anything that has previously been revealed; head over to the Publishers Weekly page itself if you’re interested in a little spoiler material.


Although the book will have to balance the coming-of-age aspects of the story with the mystery of the button box itself, the review comments that it will not have much space to do it. In fact, the writer laments how short the story is, making it sound as if Stephen King and his co-author manufacture such an intriguing mystery that it could have easily been stretched out into one of King’s typical 500-plus page tomes.

“This bite-size gem of a story packs quite a punch,” the reviewer writes, “and the only complaint readers will likely have is that it isn’t longer.”

Bev Vincent, a highly regarded Stephen King aficionado and Cemetery Dance reporter, who talked to King himself back in March in an interview covered by the Inquisitr, also got a chance to read the manuscript. He agrees wholeheartedly with Publishers Weekly‘s sentiment that Gwendy’s Button Box is a great read.

“It’s very, very good,” Vincent muses.

“Dark and poignant at the same time.”

Although it is not mentioned in the recent review, Stephen King mentioned a while back, according to a previous report from the Inquisitr, that the idea for Gwendy’s Button Box is grounded in what may be the biggest topic in today’s news: the recently-elected president of the United States.

“It basically postulates putting the fate of the world in the hands of a child — like Trump,” King said of the novella’s plot.

Hopefully, the thematic connection to current events will go even further in helping the book land with Stephen King fans, King newbies, and critics.

Anti-Trump Rally
Trump protests are only one aspect of the modern-day hubbub over recently elected President Donald J. Trump. [Image by Alexander Gouletas/AP Images]

Of course, we won’t find out for sure how well Gwendy’s Button Box will be received, but, more than anything we’ve heard yet, this positive, informed review certainly bodes well for King’s return to his literary element.

[Featured Image by GDAquila/iStock]