Apt Pupil () is a novella by Stephen King, originally published in the novella .. Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. Apt Pupil book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Todd Bowden is an apt pupil. Good grades, good family, a paper route. Bu. "Apt Pupil" is a novella written by Stephen King and published in his collection Different Seasons. In , Todd Bowden, a Los Angeles teenager, arrives at the doorstep of elderly German immigrant Arthur Denker, accusing him of being a wanted Nazi war criminal named Kurt.
|Language:||English, Spanish, German|
|Genre:||Fiction & Literature|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Registration Required]|
Book vs. Film: Apt Pupil. People are just people, like you. I think about this phrase often on the days when I work downtown in a small used. #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King's timeless coming-of-age novella, Apt Pupil—published in his story collection Different Seasons and . Editorial Reviews. From Library Journal. It doesn't get any better than Frank Muller reading Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month?.
Stephen King sure does, and this tense novella shows us and helps us understand it. Todd is just such a nice kid This is a brutal study and indictment of how complacent we Americans became in our safe little post-war cocoons that Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men and women? This is a brutal study and indictment of how complacent we Americans became in our safe little post-war cocoons that we could rationalize anything.
By giving us so much character inner monologue and rationalization, King forces us to face up to the evil that must exist in all of our natures. It's something we really need to think about. But boy it's no fun. Mar 02, George K. Apt Pupil: First half, incredible. Second half, um The first half of Apt Pupil was creepily and absolutely compelling. King has a way of presenting the twisted and horrific in a way that urges a reader to keep reading, keep reading, keep reading--like watching a mangled body being extracted from a smashed car.
You can't look away no matter how grotesque it is. Sadly, also in true King form, somewhere in the middle of the book, the story took a turn, and the soft porn and profanity that King is Apt Pupil: Sadly, also in true King form, somewhere in the middle of the book, the story took a turn, and the soft porn and profanity that King is prone to lean toward finally came out.
Hey, if that's your thing, that's your thing. But I personally can't stomach it much anymore. I do grant that it fits the character around which it surrounds, showing his stark change in personality as he gets deeper and deeper into the darkness of his soul. If we wanted to give it the old "serves the story" logic, yes, I can see that. The profanity, the sex, the violent fantasies--it all drives deeper and shows clearly view spoiler [Todd's spiral into hide spoiler ] the state of psychopath.
However, one has to wonder: King is a masterful storyteller. I read his books growing up, and I still acknowledge that he is an unsurpassed suspense and horror novelist. No one can tell a story like he can. I only wish he could do so and truly, he has the talent to find a way without riddling his novels with the blackness of profanity and explicit sex scenes.
Oct 25, Dan Absalonson rated it did not like it. Like the other 3 novels in Stephen King's short story collection "Different Seasons," this story was well done. That said, I couldn't finish it because it was too dark. I gave it one star because that is for "didn't like it.
It was just too dark for me, so I put it down. I did enjoy the story, but I just couldn't keep reading it due to subject matter. A Like the other 3 novels in Stephen King's short story collection "Different Seasons," this story was well done.
As far as craft goes, it shines with the rest. I really enjoyed his other books in this collection. Apr 11, J. I didn't realize that I had actually read something by Stephen King.
I am quite familiar with a number of his stories from discussion; others from film adaptations. Apt Pupil does not suffer as greatly as his others, though much of the psychology is quite silly and overwrought.
As someone who finds WWII and the Holocaust to be blown out of proportion especially in comparison to other, ignored geno I didn't realize that I had actually read something by Stephen King.
As someone who finds WWII and the Holocaust to be blown out of proportion especially in comparison to other, ignored genocides the book's fixation did not resonate with me.
However, the exploration of the darker side of man, especially as it relates to obsession with death, did. Another work that acted as an early representation of the 'kid with a gun' who has so captured the most frightened attentions of our society. View all 4 comments. Sep 11, Kim Kaso rated it it was amazing. I remember reading this story as an ensign in the Navy, pregnant with my first child.
It was lunchtime, and I was reading at my desk, as I was wont to do. I hit the microwave scene, and He wrote a chilling character study, quite masterful. He often does so much better in the shorter forms, his prose and plotting are cleaner and tighter. His later novels, somewhere after The Dead Zone, suffer from bloat and could use the editing prowess of a Maxwell Perki I remember reading this story as an ensign in the Navy, pregnant with my first child.
His later novels, somewhere after The Dead Zone, suffer from bloat and could use the editing prowess of a Maxwell Perkins. The art of editing is missing in much of modern literature. As talented and imaginative as Mr. King is, not every paragraph is gold, and he needs someone to remind him of that fact. Of course, there is probably a market for his grocery lists, so there is little impetus to practice the required discipline that would make his novels just that little bit better.
Apr 14, Aditya rated it really liked it. My rating - 3. However if one can look past the Nihilistic outlook of the book one gets an acute picture of how seducing the allure of evil can turn out to be. There is not a single redeeming quality in either of its 2 main characters and it is a testament to King's writing ability that he can yet make it a fascinating read. This was also made into a movie but most of the part that made the book great was left out as it was too dark to appeal to casual movie-goers.
My rating - 4. King should be complimented because of the manner in which he had given each of the 4 kids a distinct personality as most authors struggle to provide distinct personalities to protagonists of their different books, forget providing four such relate able personalities in a single story. It is safe to say this is one of those books that stay with you long after the read is over.
It was made into a critically acclaimed movie - Stand By Me but i am yet to watch it so i don't know if it is any good it is in the list of top movies ever made on IMDB.
It is a horror story in an unique format where the titular story is told within another story. But i felt that King intentionally wanted to keep the ending vague though he makes the club such an interesting place that a proper conclusion would have been more befitting. I must add that there is also a very interesting afterword added at the end of the book which provides a wonderful insight into the mind of the author as well as on the art of writing. Jun 19, Scott rated it did not like it Shelves: I'll preface my review with the understanding that my rating is based solely on my enjoyment of the book and has nothing to do with the talent of the writer or the writing.
I hated reading this book. Not because it was bad writing but because the characters in this book are vile, twisted, disturbed beyond belief. They make the characters in Gone Girl seem like Lake Wobegon. In the end I was dreading having to continue reading this book because I did not want to spend any time with these characters.
I've read my share of horror and have spent many hours with characters that are evil but this went beyond that. King made me feel this evil on a visceral level - that might have been what he was going for but it made the reading experience one to be avoided and that is why this one gets a one star rating.
Feb 06, Vicki rated it it was amazing Shelves: I am still amazed any time I read the master of horror's books. Stephen King is most definitely one of a kind.
This book is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read Todd Bowden is a paperboy who is in high school and only 14 years old. Kurt Dussander is a Nazi war criminal.
The two become close when Todd goes to Kurt's house frequently to hear about his crime stories. I've often heard it said that we are all capable of murder, given the right circumstances. Well, I am still amazed any time I read the master of horror's books. Well, I hate to believe that is true; however, after reading this book I'd have to say that it'll at least make you think about that and what a human being can descend to and very quickly.
Jan 12, Kelly rated it it was amazing. While not a typical horror of monsters or supernatural or even of things jumping out at you at night, I'd have to say this novella is probably the scariest thing I've ever read. Not because it made me hide under the covers while reading it again, not that type of horror , but because it made me afraid of what a "normal" human being can become and what they can do with the "right" influence.
I read this a long time ago maybe 20 years or so? When the movie While not a typical horror of monsters or supernatural or even of things jumping out at you at night, I'd have to say this novella is probably the scariest thing I've ever read. When the movie adaptation came out, I did not go to it--even though I knew it would probably fall flat of the writing, I was still afraid of it. Still too disturbed.
Disturbing is the perfect word for this story. That's a whole different level of horror for me and one that's way scarier. Feb 09, Jeimy rated it it was amazing. This plot line features perfect house of cards. Despite their age differences, these two character simultaneously feed off each other and keep each other in check for years until a confluence of events threatens to bring everything down.
A masterpiece by the master of horror. It's so good that i'm literally shook. Right after finishing, I want to start reading it again, that's how good it is. This book, by far, has the best relationship between two protagonists. Its extremely touching yet disgusting at the same time feel to it makes the book one of the most unique experience I've ever read. Jun 04, Siddharth rated it it was amazing Shelves: I didn't expect this book to be as good, as dark, or as thrilling as it was.
The synopsis betrayed hardly anything about the book or what the plot was. I dived in and was startled to find out. What is Denker? What did he do?
Why does Monica not mind Todd calling her "Monica-baby"? Why is Richard the way he is with his son? Why are Richard and Monica always formal and matter-of-fact around their son? Why is the only real c I didn't expect this book to be as good, as dark, or as thrilling as it was. Why is the only real conversation that Richard and Monica have about Richard's boyhood and how they should not worry about Todd and not the other way around Those are all questions that I have still only partially answered.
It's not like there's a sinister subtext to everything that happens, I refuse to believe that. I think the answer lies in how the characters themselves were constructed in Stephen King's head when he first came up with the idea of an "apt" American boy of 14 going wild and turning out to be someone else, within the course of just one summer.
The characters in this book were all a little over done. I wonder if that was intentional. Making Monica an overly hot suburban house wife.
Making Todd a creepy, cold young teenager who could put on whatever air he chose. You can smell the fiction in the story, but that only serves to make the story better. I read the last pages in a single day. After about every 30 pages, I was wondering What story could possibly be left?
There's enough plot here, and it will leave you more thrilled than you were with King's writing. Certainly did that for me. As a parting note, perhaps I should address this: This book is a dark reminder of the insane tragedy that were the Holocaust and the Nazi concentration camps. While in daily life, several jests might be made about these in a light-hearted manner, what happened there was abominable. Reading this book only serves to increase the horror at how Todd behaves.
Especially towards the end of the book where he almost starts treating himself as unbeatable. Todd and Kurt D are both seriously screwed up. Kurt D was trying to get past it, while Todd had no idea of what would happen when you purposefully on a sleeping tiger's tail. In this story, the tiger didn't eat him up, oh no. The tiger invited him into the sinister cave and showed him what it felt like to be a tiger in a jungle filled with "lesser" beings.
Despite this, I breathed a legit sigh of relief when Kurt D was finally able to leave. I think that is where the genius of Stephen King lies. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. Short Stories. About Stephen King. Stephen King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut.
When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Over the next several months, Todd visits Dussander daily under the pretext of reading to him, all the while badgering him into revealing the more gruesome details of his atrocities. As his relationship with Dussander continues, he becomes distracted and pays less attention to his schoolwork.
Todd also begins to have nightmares. His grades slip dramatically and his parents become concerned that he's spending too much time with Mr Denker -- Todd has them fooled into thinking he's reading for the kindly old man, whose eyesight is failing.
After being confronted by his father about his grades, he forges his report cards before giving them to his parents. Eventually, Todd is in danger of flunking several courses. Todd's guidance counselor, Ed French , requests an appointment with the Bowdens.
Todd and Dussander concoct a ruse, having Dussander go to French's appointment while posing as Todd's grandfather, Victor. Dussander falsely claims that Todd's grades are the result of problems at home he claims Todd's mother is alcoholic and his parents have been fighting , and promises to make sure his grades improve; French believes Dussander's story, but notices that Todd's "grandfather" oddly does not mention his grandson by name. Knowing that Todd has been doctoring his report cards and knowingly socialized with a war criminal, Dussander blackmails Todd into spending his visits studying.
With great effort, Todd is able to sufficiently improve his schoolwork. Since he no longer has any use for Dussander, Todd resolves to kill him and make it look like an accident.
Todd had earlier claimed to have given a letter explaining Dussander's identity to a friend; if anything should happen to Todd, the letter will be sent to the authorities. However, before Todd can kill Dussander, the old man claims to have written a lengthy piece about Todd's involvement with him, and put his statement into a safe deposit box that will be found upon his death.
Over the next few months, Todd, in an effort to combat his new neuroses, murders several homeless vagrants; he finds that committing murder somehow eases his nightmares. As years pass, Todd's visits to Dussander become less frequent. He loses his virginity, but finds sex unsatisfying compared to the thrill of murdering local derelicts. When circumstances do not allow him to continue his serial killings, he picks a concealed spot overlooking the freeway and aims at people in passing cars with his hunting rifle.
Dussander, suffering from his own nightmares, has also taken to killing the homeless for essentially the same reason as Todd, burying the bodies in his basement. Despite the link between them, Dussander and Todd are not immediately aware of each others' exploits.
One night, when Dussander is digging a grave for his latest victim, he has a heart attack. He summons Todd, who buries the body and cleans up the crime scene before finally calling an ambulance. At the hospital, Dussander happens to share a room with Morris Heisel , an elderly Jewish man who recognizes "Mr.