Ur by Stephen King

Ur is a Stephen King novella that was released solely for the Kindle. Some people claim it is nothing more than an advertisement for Amazon but I would disagree. Ur is an engaging story filled with imagination, morality and a welcomed dose of allusions to his previous works.

English Professor Wesley Smith is an old-fashioned type of guy. He isn’t too big on computers, he likes his relationships simple and he likes his books printed on paper. All of that changes when he buys a Kindle to impress his girlfriend who accuses him of being completely out of touch with the times. As is typical in King’s work, the Kindle arrives but instead of downloading the books that most of us are familiar with, this unique Kindle is able to access alternate realities where authors had different output. Is this weird? Sure, but Wesley Smith is more amazed than frightened. That is until he catches a glimpse into the future and is forced to save the life of the one closest to him.

Ur isn’t great but it is fun and that goes a long way with this type of story. King’s enthusiasm for the electronic medium was really evident here and he seems to take some liberties within the new digital medium. He used the novel idea of an other-worldly Kindle story as a Kindle only exclusive to its’ fullest extent. Then just as the idea begins to wear thin King brings it to a tidy conclusion (which includes a fantastic nod to some of my favorite King characters in stories past.)

Ur isn’t for the King novice (or the horror novice for that matter) but for those of us who grew up with him, it is a great read. It is really interesting to see how he operates when writing for a very specific demographic.