Stephen King Wrote a Horrifying Children's Book From the Dark Tower Universe

By Katharine Trendacosta on at

If you thought Thomas the Tank Engine hailed from the worst parts of the Uncanny Valley, here comes Charlie the Choo-Choo to make you reevaluate that.

The book and the fake author, Beryl Evans, are referenced in the actual Dark Tower mythology, specifically The Waste Lands; it’s purchased Jake Chambers at the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind. So of course Stephen King actually wrote it using the fictional Evans as a pseudonym. And he also gave it the giant winking blurb of “If I were ever to write a children’s book, it would be just like this!” (In case you were wondering, “Stephen King” is a character that exists in the Dark Tower books, so he also could have endorsed this book in-universe as well.)

Here’s the synopsis of Charle the Choo-Choo from Amazon:

Engineer Bob has a secret: His train engine, Charlie the Choo-Choo, is alive…and also his best friend. From celebrated author Beryl Evans and illustrator Ned Dameron comes a story about friendship, loyalty, and hard work.

That sounds less like a whimsical tale for kids and more like a story of a very lonely man. Let’s just take a peek inside—

Okay, yeah. That’s fairly sad. Thanks a lot, King. [The Nerdist]