Later by Stephen King

What seems abnormal may be normal to you. Seeing dead people may not be the most pleasant talent, but if that’s what you are born with, then it’s normal, and you have to live with it through Kubla-Ross’s famous five stages of dying. That happens to Jamie in his narrative of the coming-of-age proclamation of his identity in this story.

Dead people are like quiet people lurking in the background of Jamie’s life. They appear to him as the last moments of their earthly lives, talking and joking to Jamie, who can see and hear them, albeit rather unreluctantly, because he’s not much pleased with his uncanny ability. But then it’s the discerning talent -says the Bible – that helps him know who he is, like an epiphany of a family secret locked in his uncle’s lost memories, thanks to nature’s force of dementia. However, this story is not so much a psychological thriller as a supernatural drama that is so characteristic of Stephen King’s novels, with a level of uncanniness combined with realism that makes his stories all the more real and relatable. The settings, the dialogues, and the jobs the characters have are not far-fetched, fanciful, or bourgeoisie, all of which attest to King’s engagingly realistic storytelling skills.

Later is a three-fold story of horror without goriness, mystery without glamour, and bildungsroman without teenage angst. King has a unique knack for incorporating popular entertainment with serious literature that attracts readers of all generations and classes. He is a literary descendant of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, and Edgar Allen Poe, who defined American literature in the constellation of the World’s Literature for the joy of the beholders from generation to generation. All in all, this book will be one of the stars in the constellation.

‘I’m Glad My Mom Died’ by Jennette McCurdy


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first learned of this sensationally titled book with the pinky perky cover photo of the author from the New York Times Book Review, I knew I had to read it because of its boldness and frankness that I believe would strike the chords of many who must have felt or wished it (let’s be honest). However, it was more like seeking a kindred spirit in such a titled book because I felt exhilarated with camaraderie and, once exonerated from such membership, a desire to revolt against mothers.


But the book isn’t an angst-ridden, hate-filled, violence-saturated memoir nowadays in-vogue among celebrities who live to tell their dark life histories. Although it isn’t precisely wholesomely hall-mark like loving family history, it is worth pointing out the moments of love and warmth that childhood memories sometimes invoke because we thrive as human beings on those memories. McCurdy’s mother may not have been perfect, but who is an ideal mother anyway? The Bard once said that look not with the eye but with the mind. She was the one who saw talents in her daughter, encouraged them, and made them blossom into a pink dandelion when many parents either ignore or overlook the bests of their children for their future. Although I can understand McCurdy’s disaffection with her passionate mother controlling her life, I am envious of having such a mother who was willing to sacrifice her hard labor for her daughter’s success.


The cover photo is puzzling. The author has a smile but not smiling, or instead trying to smile but is subdued as if her emotions are changing instantly or frozen in the moments between joy and sadness, independence and confusion in the transition of belonging to freedom. I can’t honestly fathom what the author thinks inside, but one thing is certain she loves her mother, who is now unburdened with the cares and pain of the world. Perhaps, that is why she is glad her mother died.



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Cat Mom’s Diary – 1

My babies -Toro and Camille-

I spent the whole day with my two babies, Toro and Camille at home. Initially, I planned to go to the gym in the morning, but since Camille became a family, I had been working full-time more than 8 hours a day outside the home, so I changed the plan. Besides, Toro has never seemed to be off guard of his young brother whom he punches with his front paw whenever he feels irate. In light of the above, they needed me all day today.

2-year old Toro

Toro is a timid tabby who tends to be startled by a sudden change of movement. He wasn’t like this when he was a kitten, though. Toro was and still is an affectionate, sweet, and lovely cat, but he doesn’t like a change in his environment. He needs constant care, which is impossible for me because I have to make a living outside the home. Besides, I have a mother who is the most difficult person to live with. I feel guilty for not providing an ideal environment for Toro, but I try to dispel the weight of guilt with the love of Toro. I wish he would know it. I hope he will understand my purpose in bringing Camille as his younger brother to play with.

7-month old Camille

Camille is an unbelievably affectionate and sweet black cat whom I believe of a Bombay cat breed because of his velvety shiny, ebony fur. And he eats like an elephant. I always have to give him at least two cans of wet food per meal a day. Last night, I woke up to his throwing up sound, which made me swear that I would be more strict about satisfying his voracious appetite. But that was only a fleeting caution. He’s back to his usual self, which means eating like an elephant.

Although Toro and Camille are not the best cat duo, there’s hope when I see Toro let Camille devour his plate of wet food. Also, they sometimes sleep side by side on my dilapidated bed sofa. Rome wasn’t built a day.