When Stephen King partners up with another writer who shares the same darkness dancing on the buttons (keys) of his computer, magic happens. That is exactly what takes place when Richard Chizmar and King told a tale out of school and decided to name it “Gwendy’s Button Box.”
It’s a story about a young girl named Gwendy Peterson who came to possess a beautiful wooden box that came with magic buttons and a great responsibility. There are many countries in our world where people in charge have buttons at their disposal, which would make horrible things happen, if they were to be pressed.
Those buttons are a great responsibility, and the people of our world can only pray that the rulers of the countries that possess these buttons are of stable mind. Here in the United States, one of the most powerful countries in the world, the situation is debatable.
Nevertheless, we’re here to talk about a thrilling book called “Gwendy’s Button Box,” about a young girl who possesses that box and the changes it brings to her life.
The box doesn’t hold buttons; it has buttons attached to it, like keys on a computer, and each button is a different color. If a button is pressed, it has an effect on a specific part of the world. Then there’s the red button, which will give you whatever you ask for, when it’s pressed.
There’s also the black button, which should never be pressed; it’s similar to the button that launches nuclear missiles all over the world. Similar but much more hazardous; it’s a great responsibility to be in charge of that button, let alone the whole box.
There are also two levers, one on each side of the box. One dispenses the best chocolate Gwendy ever tasted, shaped like animals. The other lever doesn’t always work but gives a pleasant surprise when it does.
When Gwendy presses the button for the chocolate animal, it comes out perfectly shaped; let’s say a small turtle this time. She pops it into her mouth and enjoys it immensely; afterward, she has no desire for another chocolate that day.
As a matter of fact, after eating that chocolate, her desire for all unhealthy foods goes away. Gradually Gwendy finds herself losing weight. She had been overweight and even started running the Suicide Stairs to lose weight because Frankie Stone—not a nice guy in school—called her the Goodyear Blimp.
The exercise and the diet are effective, and now, when she looks down, Gwendy can see her feet. That wasn’t always the case.
Gwendy met Richard Farris, the man who gave her the button box, at the top of the Suicide Stairs. He’d been sitting on the bench at the top of the stairs for about a week and seemed to have his eye on her.
He introduced himself, friendly-like, and gave her the box, explaining all of its ramifications. Mr. Farris appeared to be a nice guy, and, despite warnings about talking to strangers, he allayed Gwendy’s fears. Mr. Farris wore a black bowler hat that suited him well. He gave her possession of the box with various warnings and cautions. Then he left, and his hat blew off, resting on the grass next to the stairs.
But enough about Mr. Farris and the box. Let’s talk about the Suicide Stairs, so-called because it happened that a few people leapt to their death from the top of the stairway. For Gwendy, however, the Suicide Stairs changed her life for the better.
This book, written by both Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, is a thriller and had me on the edge of my seat. Richard Chizmar is not as well known as Mr. King, but he has a twist in his mind that he can share on paper. Both writers are masters of their craft.
Cemetery Dance Publications has been putting out excellent books for a while now, many of them beautiful limited editions, signed and numbered by authors who can send chills up and down your spine. You’ll find Cemetery Dance Publications on the Internet where you can see the books they produce, giving great authors the opportunity to offer beautiful limited editions to the public.
“Gwendy’s Button Box” is one of the special books put out by Cemetery Dance Publications. Gwendy is one of those special people given a chance to deal with a great responsibility. I highly recommend this book. You can find it in bookstores and on the Cemetery Dance website.