Published by Simon and Schuster Audio in 2006
Read by Ron McClarty
I am not sure who the person was at Simon and Schuster Audio that decided to record Stephen King's short stories as separately packaged stories, but I think it was a stroke of brilliance. I am leery of listening to a 30-40 hour audiobook for a taste of King's special brand and I am equally leery of a short story collection - I get tired of mentally shifting gears so often.
In this short story, Richard Sifkitz is an overweight graphic artist (he specializes in book covers and advertisements) who was told by his doctor that he needs to lose a little weight and eat better because his cholesterol is too high. The doctor compares his cardiovascular system to a road maintenance crew and says that Sifkitz is working his crew to death and soon enough it will start to fail.
Sifkitz resolves to work out and buys a stationary bike. He paints a simple painting of a landscape on the wall as well. Soon enough, he begins to fall into some sort of trance as he rides and it seems like he is actually riding into the landscape he has painted - and what he finds there is a definite surprise! Note that this is not a "horror story" so much as it is a story with a twist, much like The Twilight Zone.
Stationary Bike was read by veteran reader Ron McClarty who covered all of the characters well and helped to make this an enjoyable audiobook experience, despite its short length. His conversational reading style reinforced the idea that Sifkitz is just a regular guy with an extraordinary story.
I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.
This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Stationary Bike
Reviewed on April 12, 2013.