I read Stephen King's IT back in September, and while I could. not. put. it. down, I had some icky feelings about the misogyny, homophobia, and racism throughout that book. I was wondering if King's more recent work would be more palatable in those arenas, and what should he release (co-written with his son, Owen King) at the end of September? SLEEPING BEAUTIES, which is completely about gender. How convenient!
At its core, Sleeping Beauties explores a very basic concept: what would our world be like without women? We're not talking about the long-term consequences (like the global birthrate plummeting to zero), but the immediate outcomes. In the authors' note at the end of the book, the Kings write, "If a fantasy novel is to be believable, the details underpinning it must be realistic," and this was clearly their mantra while writing this novel. The male characters' reactions to Aurora, even when horrifying, all have the ring of truth. And, when the tables are turned, it's not hard to believe that many of the sleeping women would feel safer and freer in a world without men.