Jacques COULARDEAU & Stephen KING at Academia.edu (57)
THE BILL HODGES TRILOGY
1- MR. MERCEDES
2- FINDERS KEEPERS
3- END OF WATCH
SERIAL KILLER, PSYCHOPATH AND TERRORIST
I dedicate this “review” to my own son, Annunzio COULARDEAU,
and to those who certainly are my fellow travelers,
Ivan EVE and Serban V.C. ENACHE
At the end of his life or at the beginning of a new career, a third career of sorts, Stephen King is courting and wooing new genres intensely. Not new genres that did not exist before him, but new genres for him, genres he had never or very rarely dealt with before in his first and second career. And it is clearest in this trilogy.
A second element appears and it is the fact that he works with his two sons in collaboration a lot more than he did before. He is going through the syndrome of the father looking for his next generation heirs. We all do that. If we have a son or a daughter we try to make that blood heir more receptive and prepare him or her to having to carry their father’s heritage in the world. If we do not have such a blood descendant we select a young man or woman in our surrounding environment and make him or her the spiritual heir or heiress we need before moving on because it is absolutely true that we will not take anything along and I don’t think any angel would be interested in our baggage, especially Stephen King’s.
This trilogy ends thus positively since the evil man is destroyed but also negatively since the main character is also put to sleep by cancer. Nothing dramatic but everything sad and bleak. This Bill Hodges had chosen a partner, Holly Gibney, in his last Det-Ret phase of his life, and she is the heiress who will carry his heritage. She will have to select a partner of her own too and she will, a natural partner since he was Bill’s partner in the police.
Yet Stephen King will remain in this trilogy the creative mind who exposed the world after the Big Recession of 2008–2009 and celebrated the young black man who saved him and his partner Holly at the end who of course is like Barack Obama, the last resort in the situation when all seems to be going to hell, the Deus Ex Machina of the past-present-future flow of time.
And at the same time King goes a lot farther than a simple parable of the first black president of the USA. Holly Gibney will pick his heritage but this woman is autistic and Stephen King is so modern in his approach of autism, in fact it seems the Asperger syndrome of autism. He shows how good she can be within her clear cut capabilities and how tense she can be when dealing with human and physical contact. She sees through any personality and can ask the very question that leads to the heart of the matter, but she is irreversibly unable to accept physical contact. She is blocked in bad habits like smoking and yet she is able to get over it and drop it. We will never know if it is genetic in her or not. But one thing is sure. Stephen King insists in the first volume on the cannibalistic attitude of her mother that locks her up in her neurodiversity as if it were a crime and a stain on her, the mother’s of course, reputation.
That’s what is most visible in this trilogy. Stephen King kind of reflects on the world and states we can improve it if we have the guts to change our bad habits and stand against the individuals who are the forces of evil.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU