Stephen King’s 2020

King's newest novel hits close to home. Photo: Kennedy Erhart The Sentry

King’s newest novel hits close to home. Photo: Kennedy Erhart The Sentry
A perfectly horrific start to a year in his newest novel

The greatest supernatural horror author Stephen King is back again with a new, charttopping thriller. Known for expertly plotted horror and end of the world descriptions, his latest work is one of his most poignant. Unlike anything before it, 2020 is the first in his newest serieschronicling worldwide destruction, chaos, and catastrophes. 

Set over the course of a year, the book is divided into sections, each of which is categorized by its own disaster as the year moves forward, one impacting the next. Told through vignettes of individuals impacted by the events of each section, the novel begins as the world moves into the year 2020. A group of friends celebrates a new decade, all saying “2020 will be our year!”  

Right off the bat, however, 2020 proves that 2020 will in fact be nobody’s year. There’s one person in the United States sick with that Coronavirus, but nobody listens. The world is unsettled, but none of the characters in the section know why. 

From there, King kicks it into high gear in the February section. Technology ruins a key political event in America. The entire continent of Australia catches fire. 46 million acres of farmland, homes, and wildlife go up in smoke as the world can only watch from their screens.  

Finally, King truly makes shit hit the fan in March. The Coronavirus sweeps through the world. Stories of shutdown cities in China, quarantined households in Italy, and Americans refusing to acknowledge the severity of the illness compose a jarring section of the novel. Meanwhile, researchers race to discover a vaccine. 

2020 stands shoulder to shoulder with King’s best novels. Never before have there been so many disasters happening simultaneously in just one King novel, all orchestrated with a chilling sense of reality. While it does feel remarkably similar to The Stand, his most prominent novel covering the end of the world with a super virus, something about 2020 hits closer to home. 

Where will the next book in the 2020 series lead? Will “social distancing” do the trick, or maybe the vaccine will be released? For now, the world must wait for Stephen King to publish the remaining portion of his latest work, 2020. 

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