The Man Who Loved Flowers is a short story by Stephen King. Yes, I’m doing another one; it’s become a theme for me this horrorthon. I’m pretty amazed at how King can take just a few pages and create a whole world. Unfortunately, for the characters in this story, the world has a man who likes to murder people with a hammer…Yes, a hammer!
It’s New York City in 1963 and among the headlines of the Day: JFK (still alive), Vietnam is kicking off, and there is a man murdering women with a hammer. The story is very good at lulling the reader into a sense of security. There’s a man with a love of spring that that is palpable. In fact, everyone is nostalgic and happy when they see him because he personifies the love of spring.
As he wanders around New York, he purchases some flower and then he finds Norma. Well, Norma in his mind only because Norma is dead and so is this woman very soon after he meets her. It’s a brutal scene and sudden. He spends a lot of time describing the murder. After the killing, he’s all smiles.
I wouldn’t say it’s the best of his short stories, but it’s not terrible. I would describe it as the Honda Civic of short stories; yes they are easy to steal, don’t have a lot of power, and look like a moving bad decision; but, the Civic has reasonable gas mileage and shouts to the world – Yes, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I can still afford a tank of gas!