PS Publishing has gone all-out on a new illustrated edition of Stephen King’s classic short story, “One for the Road,” a sequel of sorts to his novel ‘SALEM’S LOT. While most King fans have already read it, here’s a quick recap: Booth, the narrator of the tale, recalls the story of a wintry Maine evening in which a stranger stumbled into a local bar and asked for the patrons’ help. The man, named Gerard Lumley, had been driving through a blizzard and accidentally crashed his car into a snow bank. Leaving his wife and daughter in the car, Lumley stumbled six miles through the snow before coming to Tookey’s Bar. With growing horror, Booth and Herb “Tookey” Tooklander listen to Lumley’s tale – scared not for the woman and child waiting to be rescued, but of the fact that the car crashed on the outskirts of ‘Salem’s Lot…..where weird things have happened in the past. Steeling themselves against their fear, the trio heads into the snowstorm and attempts to find Lumley’s family.

ONE FOR THE ROAD is roughly thirty-five pages long, and alternates between one page of text and one full-sized illustration. James Hannah was selected to do the artwork for the book, and he did a fine job of capturing various scenes from the tale. Given that the book is coming from PS Publishing, who has a proven track record of releasing high-quality books, I have no doubt that ONE FOR THE ROAD will be a beautiful product.

That being said, the price tag is quite steep. The book comes in two states – an unsigned, jacketed hardcover for $120 and a slipcased hardcover signed by the artist for $280. Beautiful or not, it’ll be hard for even the most die-hard King collector to justify paying those prices for a thirty-five page book that doesn’t even have King’s signature on it.

The other odd thing about choosing “One for the Road” for the deluxe treatment is that it’s already scheduled to be part of Cemetery Dance’s SECRETARY OF DREAMS, VOL. 2, which will contain an unabridged and illustrated version of the story. There’s ultimately nothing wrong with multiple versions of the same story, but SoD’s price is lower and contains five other illustrated stories to boot.

In the end, I’m sure plenty of King collectors will jump at the chance to own PS Publishing’s version of ONE FOR THE ROAD. Those who do will undoubtedly be pleased with the book they receive. But readers on a budget can grab a less expensive illustrated edition by purchasing SECRETARY OF DREAMS.....or buying a copy of NIGHT SHIFT if they’re only interested in reading the story.

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