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The Carthage Press
Subtle Fear and Tension
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By Ed Kitchen
Feb. 24, 2013 10:03 p.m.



I have to admit Stephen King is a master of subtle fear and tension. In the Tall Grass is a short story about brother and sister Cal and Becky DeMuth driving cross-country. During the trip they stop in Kansa and hear a child calling for help from a large field of tall grass beside the side of the road. When they stop to help, they get lost. Without any real blood and gore, (though there is plenty of blood and gore later), King gives the grassy field a sense of unease. Sounds move and seem to come from all sides, and one can be near the edge of the field one minute, and nearly a football field away the next. The reader never quite understands what’s happening, just like the main characters. There’s a great Lovecraft feel to the story that makes it enjoyable.

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