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YMMV / Mr. Mercedes

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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: As unlikeable and horrible a person Deborah Ann Hartsfield was, some of her circumstances in the past are understandable, but having to die by ingesting poison and suffocating from its effects could still make the reader feel a pang of sympathy for her.
  • Ear Worm: The TV adaptation gives us several.
    • The opening theme, T. Bone Burnett's "It's Not Too Late". The wind turns like a dagger...the rain falls like a hammer...
    • The Pixies' "Here Comes Your Man," which plays during the fourth, ninth, and tenth episodes of the first season.
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    • The final three episodes of Season 1 also give us two wildly different, but equally catchy versions of the classic spiritual song "This Little Light of Mine," one a mournful folk number that cues over the credits of Episode 8 after Brady's accidental murder of his mother, and the other an ethereal choral version that plays as Hodges collapses of his heart attack and Holly beats Brady nearly to death during the series finale.
  • Expy: Probably unintentionally, Holly is (minus telekinetic powers) very much like Carrie might have turned out, had she lived. She's even the right age.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • This novel has become a lot harder to read in light of the ongoing epidemic of vehicular terrorism that has sprung up in the wake of its publication. On a less gruesome, but equally tragic note, Anton Yelchin's death in a freak motor accident also comes across as uniquely bizarre when one considers that he was originally slated to play Brady in the miniseries adaptation, with Yelchin's death forcing the showrunners to recast the role to Harry Treadaway.
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    • The climax of the book, which involves Brady planning to commit a suicide bombing in a pop concert filled with kids, becomes much more uncomfortable to read following the Manchester Arena Bombing.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Brady crosses this right from the beginning when he steals Olivia Trelawney's Mercedes and kills several people with it.
    • Arguably, he reaches this MUCH earlier when he pushes his brain-damaged brother down the stairs, with his mother's approval.
    • Deborah Ann Hartsfield, Brady's mother, crossed it in the reader's eyes when, years before, she kicked her braindamaged son's firetruck down some stairs, nodded to Brady to kick his brother down the stairs, too, and she then proceeded to suffocate her son with a pillow, when he survived the fall.
  • Paranoia Fuel
    • The idea of someone being able to steal your PKE signal with a device and then run off with your car, as noted in the novel, can be a definite example.
    • The idea of being at a concert one is looking forward to, where someone with a bomb on them is in close proximity. The bomber is planning to let it go off at the pinnacle of the concert and nobody in the area is any the wiser. That fun concert? Could blow up into a literal hellhole at any second.
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    • The idea that you could be standing in a crowd on a street on any random day and some psycho decides to run you down with his car For the Evulz.
  • Squick: Brady's relationship with his mother.
  • The Woobie: If there's one consensus among the King fandom, it's this: everyone would give anxious, neurotic, emotionally-abused Holly a hug if they could (and if Holly herself wasn't skittish about being touched).


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