Finn – Stephen King

Finn by Stephen King
Also by this author: Carrie
Published by Scribd on May 25, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Short Form
Goodreads
four-stars

“Finn,” a Scribd exclusive, is set in Ireland and tells the story of a young man, unlucky since birth, who gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity. The darkly funny, unsettling tale takes Finn through existential and psychological crises in a world where bullies and madmen upend the lives of the innocent.

Stephen King’s latest short story is a Scribd original, making it—at least for now—exclusive to that platform. King has always played around with different publishing avenues, particularly for his short stories, and it’s interesting to see Scribd function as a sort-of literary magazine publishing this story. Finn is the story of a very unlucky young man who has never had anything go right his whole life. The first thing he did in life outside the womb was get dropped and it only got worse from there. But that’s the backstory. Finn is really about the time he was kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity.

Scribd notes that, in its originals, they’re looking for works that “thrive in the space between magazines and full-length books, and often don’t have a place in the traditional publishing marketplace.” That’s a good description of a lot of King’s short story work, particularly ones that aren’t thematically paired with other short stories. There’ve been 12 Scribd originals, both fiction and non-fiction, with some other names you’ll recognize. Chuck Palahniuk has written one. Margaret Atwood has written one. So, of course, King will throw his hat in the ring as well.

Finn is an evocative story, told in the typical King fashion. If there’s a deeper theme, I’m too dumb to understand it, and I’m of the opinion that short stories need to make up for their length in thematic richness. As stories go, it’s fine. It’s not King’s best (that place belongs to The Jaunt), not his worst (see Milkman #1 or Milkman #2). It’s a recognizably King short story that begins and ends without much fanfare either way. Knowing King, the kidnapping organization might play a larger role in a future story—there are certainly hints that way.

In any case, I probably wouldn’t purchase a Scribd subscription (subScribdtion?) just to read this story, but if you already use Scribd (or want to check out their 14 day trial), it’s worth the 30 minutes or so it’ll take you to read.

four-stars