Cal and Becky DeMuth, a brother and sister driving across the United States to arrange the adoption of Becky’s unborn child. Passing through Kansas they encounter a dilapidated church and hear a child calling from the long grass nearby. The child sounds in trouble and the DeMuth’s natural disposition as do-gooders leads them to believe they can help the child out of the grass. However, shortly after the child cries out for help he is scolded by his mother for attempting to lead strangers into the grass. Events only become more sinister from that point on.
The DeMuths enter the grass, only to become immediately and inevitably separated in the seven-foot foliage. Panic, coupled with prolonged exposure to the burning sun begins to drain the pair mentally and physically as it gradually dawns on them that leaving this overgrown field is not going to be as easy as previously thought.
This short story was written by the dynamic father-son duo of horror, Joe Hill and Stephen King. Seriously though, this is a tale you can sink your teeth into. I couldn't put it down. I honestly will say I didn't expect such a gruesome story by these two but they certainly shocked me with this one. Something else delightfully unexpected was the united voice by the co-writers. Often I find it easier to distinguish the who-wrote-what but that was not so evident here. For a story only sixty-two pages long there were a ton of plot twists that didn't just grab my attention, it demanded it. The only thing I didn't like about In the Tall Grass was that it is a short story. I think this has the potential to at least be a novella and now I'm left wanting MORE.
Cal thought: A new player. Terrific. Maybe William Shatner’s in here, too. Also Mike Huckabee . . . Kim Kardashian . . . the guy who plays Opie on Sons of Anarchy and the entire cast of The Walking Dead.
I'm not certain if it has anything to do with the fact that the authors are so closely related or if they are just that familiar with each other's work but they share a voice. You would never know that the story was co-written until you took a look at the credits. This isn't the first time I noticed this either. I remember reading N0S4A2 and thinking about how much the writing reminded me of Dr. Sleep. Hell, Joe Hill even references the True Knot (the antagonist group from Dr. Sleep) letting you know it's written in the same universe as King's books. I don't know about you but I dig it. The voice they share brought the best of their talents together giving readers something new and exciting. I look forward to more collaborations by the two.
Want to see the rock? Want to lay on it naked, and feel me in you, beneath the pinwheel stars, while the grass sings our names?
Let's get weird! This story is so unique and kept me wondering what could possibly come next. Then all of a sudden something weird and eerie would happen, this occurred every few pages as I read. I gotta hand it to the authors for creating a short story that could shock me to the point where I felt I needed to reread what had happened because I didn't believe it. I think the best word to describe the theme of this story is sinister. No, it's the only word to describe it. Unfortunately, I'm left wanting more and I'm going to have to deal with it. That is until October 2019 when the Netflix film adaptation comes out.
I give In the Tall Grass 4.5/5 stars and recommend this story for anyone that has a love for anything dark and disturbing. Make it your next quick read on a sunny day AFTER you've cut the lawn.
My name's Andrew. I'm a husband and father who loves to read all things dark, thrilling, mysterious, and suspenseful. I didn't always enjoy reading but have been nothing short of obsessed over the last five or so years. The obsession has lead to writing and so here I am fighting for time to read and write while trying to work a full-time job and satisfy my family’s needs (#1 priority).