Best-selling author Thad Beaumont would like to say he has nothing to do with the evil that has resulted in a series of monstrous murders. But he can't. He created it.
©1990 Stephen King (P)2010 Penguin
"The Dark Half is a parable in chiller form of the popular writer's relation to his creative genius, the vampire within him, the part of him that only awakes to raise Cain when he writes, the fratricidal twin who occupies 'the womblike dungeon' of his imagination." (Amazon.com review)
I didn’t feel that I “really liked it” which is my definition for 4 stars, because at times things felt a little slow. But it was very good with good ideas.
A scary guy is killing people. The victims have links to Thad who is an author. There are paranormal elements to the bad guy, but it doesn’t feel supernatural. He is cunning, strong, and can frequently sense what others are thinking. It’s hard to beat a bad guy who can sense your thoughts.
This is not the “exciting chase scene” type of book. I liked that clues were slowly uncovered during the story. The best parts were the creative ideas: how the bad guy came into being, his motives, his actions, and how he was beaten in the end. I liked watching what he did. His actions were smart and well done.
This story introduces Sheriff Alan Pangborn who is the official closest to figuring things out. He is also the hero in the sequel “Needful Things.”
Most of the story is told in 3rd person, various characters. But once I was disconcerted when a scene was told in 1st person Thad. It may have been done more than once, I don’t remember. Other scenes were 3rd person Thad. I’d prefer the author stay consistent with 3rd person throughout.
The narrator Grover Gardener was excellent.
Genre: paranormal crime suspense.
Ending: good for the good guys.
...you never know what your going to get. An unusual (maybe impossible) plot, lots of action and you wonder what's up with the sparrows right to the end.
There are few things in life better than losing yourself completely in a really exceptional story. I enjoy reading others' reviews.
As an SK fan, I never thought I'd advise anyone to skip one of his novels. Though they're all quite different - his talents really do run the gamut, unlike most authors - there's the King thread that winds through them all, and that's the Midas touch. This book, however, didn't contain that same thread or Midas touch. In fact, it didn't read like a King book at all. The character development, narrative flow, and descriptive flourishes were flat and lifeless. Nothing special, nothing memorable.
In brief, and without giving anything away, this story is about a pseudonym coming to life and creating havoc in it's wake, not the least of which is reserved for the author who inadvertently breathed life into him. Like a Stephen King novel, there's a protagonist who's surrounded by the supernatural and horror. Unlike a King novel, my reaction throughout was, "Is this thing ever going to end?" Talk about verbal flatulence...I thought some scenes, many of which took place only in the protagonist's head, would never end.
The dialogue, which contained little of the witty repartee and cleverness I've grown to know, love and recognize, seemed stilted and almost amateurish at points. And while you have to suspend most of the usual rules regarding order and logic with an SK book, characters still need convincing reasons to behave in certain ways. I had a lot of problems with the villain's actions, for instance. They seemed counterproductive to his ultimate aim.
The good news is, there's always a new SK book in the works. I'd save my money towards that one, and skip this particular odd lemon.
I've never read it, but I suspect it may have been a better read.
I'm not one to say I know better than a professional writer.
He was a bit monotone making it hard to get into the story initially.
It probably would not make a good movie.
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