Stephen King’s UR: A Review

 ~This review was written for The Stephen King Project~

UR by Stephen King

UR: a combining form meaning “earliest, original,” used in words denoting the primal stage of a historical or cultural entity or phenomenon.

UR is a novella by Stephen King available exclusively for Amazon Kindle. Published in 2009, the novella focuses on the ebook revolution that is currently changing the way we write, publish, purchase and read texts. UR is narrated by Wesley Smith, an English teacher in a small Kentucky college, who is taking his first tentative steps into the domain of ereading. Following the purchase of a Kindle, the character gets more than he ever expected from an apparently simple device. Smith’s unique pink Kindle contains a UR function which takes him on a unique journey of discovery. Smith’s Kindle has the power to gain access to books and newspapers from alternative universes. An expanded library of unknown works from literary giants such as Hemingway appears to be a gift from the literary Gods for a small town English instructor until a newspaper article from the future launches Smith into a tumultuous race to save the woman he loves from disaster.

Once again, King is masterful in weaving characters and events from his other novels into the narrative of UR. Those well versed in the world of Stephen King will recognise overtures from The Dark Tower series. The ominous Low Men in yellow coats from Hearts in Atlantis, return in UR to pay Wesley Smith a visit.

Written in a simple, accessible style, UR is a story that considers modern societies hopes and fears about the digital revolution. It asks crucial questions, such as:

How much is too much?

Is digital technology taking over our lives?

What does the growth of ePublishing mean for the future of the written word?

Given that the word “Ur” denotes the beginning or primal form of something, perhaps the overall message of King’s novella is that we are still only on the cusp of the digital wave. In typical King fashion, the possibilities as seen in UR range from the extremes of greatness to disaster.


Stephen King’s Hearts in Atlantis: A Timely Novel of Judgement and Reflection

The Kindle and Research: referencing eBooks in the Digital Age

Dolores Claiborne: A Review



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This entry was posted by americasstudies on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 1:20 pm and is filed under book review, literature . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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