A Face in the Crowd, by Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan

A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd has been available as an ebook since 2012 and became available in a hardcover physical format just this year. The protagonist of this story/novella is Dean Evers, an elderly widower living in Florida, having moved there with his wife before her passing. Originally a Red Sox fan, Evers has “adopted” the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as his second team and now whiles away his evenings in front of the television watching Rays games.

One evening, Evers notices someone in the seats behind home plate — Young Dr. Young, as Evers’s mother used to call him — Evers’s dentist when he was a boy. But Evers is aware that Dr. Young had passed many years ago, so how could he now be attending a Rays game?

After convincing himself that he’s not going crazy, Evers flips on the television the next night for more baseball, only to see another face in the seats behind home plate. Once again, it is someone from Evers’s past whom he knows to be dead. And it is the same the next game he watches. And the next game.

These appearances understandably affect Evers’s sleep, and he resorts to a cocktail of ambien and scotch to fall asleep each night. Through the story and his reminiscences, we learn a bit about each of the individuals who Evers sees in the stands and, of course, a bit about Evers himself. Finally, a face appears in the stands that leads Evers to finally understand what is going on.

I won’t spoil the ending here, though anyone with a twisted enough imagination can easily deduce the conclusion of this tale. I enjoy Stephen King and, of course, I enjoy baseball, so it’s always a lot of fun when I get the opportunity to read a baseball story written by King. The story is short, only 58 pages in printed format, and it reads quickly. I knocked it out easily in one evening. It’s a worthwhile piece of brief entertainment if have an hour to fill sometime.

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