“The Little Green God of Agony,” by Stephen King
(Found in A Book of Horrors, ed. Stephen Jones)
In the introduction to his new anthology, Stephen Jones expresses dismay at the overpowering onslaught of horror-lite which has obliterated the good old-fashioned horror story from the market. The purpose of this anthology is to take back the market with some bad-@$$ creepy stories. He opens his anthology with “The Little Green God of Agony,” a story by the well-known master of horror, Stephen King.
Newsome, the sixth richest man in the world, is a man in agony. A plane crash has left him scarred all over his body, and unable to get out of bed due to neuropathic pain. After exploring all the traditional medical procedures for freeing himself of this burden, he cashes in for the non-traditional treatment–a reverend who claims that Newsome is possessed by a god of agony, and that he (the reverend) has the power to expel the demon. Is the reverend a charlatan? Or is Newsome really possessed by a demonic agony?
This is the first Stephen King story I’ve read in quite a long time. I’ve always felt that he has an incredibly creative mind, and an amazing power to delve the reader into the darkness of his stories. On the other hand, the almost-book-snob in me cringes at his metaphors sometimes. (eg. “she…laced her hands together on the hanging hot-water bottles of muscle beneath his right thigh.” I’m sorry. That just really falls flat for me.) Once I’d managed to rid myself of the sharpened pencil stabs of distaste for SK’s continued use of unsatisfactory metaphors, however, I enjoyed the story quite a bit. His dark imagination was the perfect taster for the savory horrors to come in this anthology. 😉
6 thoughts on “The Little Green God of Agony, by Stephen King”
I love Stephen King! I have not read this story – I will have to fix that. 🙂
🙂 You should! Actually, the entire anthology that it came out it in looks quite good. It's being considered for this year's World Fantasy Awards.
Not a fan of either Stephen King or anthologies, my mam would love this though. Thanks for recommending it.
No problem! That's the purpose of a book blog. 😀
Ooh, that sounds like a great anthology! I've not read this Stephen King story and will need to amend that 😉
Incidentally, today his & Joe Hill's “In the Tall Grass” novella was discounted. It's getting average reviews though, but I'd like to check it out for myself.
So far, it's been a pretty good anthology. I've sort of been reading it “on the side” because I prefer novels to short stories…but I'll finish it eventually and put a review for the entire anthology.