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Publisher's Summary

A "wondrously frightening" (Publishers Weekly) tale of terror and number-one national best seller about a writer's pseudonym that comes alive and destroys everyone on the path that leads to the man who created him.

Thad Beaumont would like to say he is innocent. He'd like to say he has nothing to do with the twisted imagination that produced his best-selling novels. He'd like to say he has nothing to do with the series of monstrous murders that keep coming closer to his home. But how can Thad deny the ultimate embodiment of evil that goes by the name he gave it - and signs its crimes with Thad's bloody fingerprints?

The Dark Half is "a chiller" (The New York Times Book Review), so real and fascinating that you'll find yourself squirming in Stephen King's heart-stopping, blood-curdling grip - and loving every minute of it.

©1989 Stephen King (P)2010 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sparrows

I have read quite a few Stephen King Novels, I've listened to just about the same amount. Through all those stories I hadn't read this one, I just couldn't find it until just last year. Sure, I have seen it recommended on Amazon and the like, but I prefer books to digital especially where my favorite authors are concerned.
I was reading Needful Things and finally was simply too interested in Allan Pangborn's involvement with Thad Beaumont to ignore The Dark Half any longer, and boy am I glad I did.
After buying a copy of the book at a used book shop that I came across, along with the audiobook (obviously) I have found my new favorite King novel.
As usual, the writing is superb. Filled with awesome characters and Allen's shadow puppetry, where can one go wrong with this book. Not only that, but the story has one of the Darkest tones King has written.
Let mw tell you, buy this book. If you love old or new Stephen King you will be riveted by this creepy book.
Also, "The sparrows are flying again."

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Highly Enjoyable!

I've heard it said that this was Stephen King exercising his anger for being unmasked as Richard Bachman and it would surely appear that this was so. What a tremendously creative way to express yourself. Awesome!

Grover Gardner did a wonderful job. I especially liked his George Stark.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
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  • George
  • Duluth, GA, United States
  • 10-13-16

My First King Book

This is my first Stephen King book (or audiobook) and I don't consider it a bad start. I enjoyed it and generally was surprised that the first few chapters had generally funny moments. As for the main story I enjoyed it, it was a good thriller. My only gripe was the middle part where anyone could have forgotten this was a supernatural story. not that it wasn't bad it just felt like it was taken out of a different story. but it picked back up in the last third and went off with a bang. The narrator was good and did his best which was good enough. I recommend it.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent thriller!

I read this right after Kings newest book The Outsider and they're are tons of parallels between that book and this but this is still an excellent book! it slowly unfolds and the more you find out about the villain the more you'll love it. Gardner does a pretty solid job although he doesn't change his contact up much between a few characters but overall it's a good performance! all in all a great book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good horror novel!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Probably. I find "The Dark Half", about how an author's pseudonym comes into existence after he is declared dead, is a strong horror novel from King. I also think it is deeply personal, as I believe he wrote this around the time that King made it known he was also Richard Bachman - or at least had made the decision that his reign as Bachman must end. The book is a pretty straight forward horror novel with a linear story. King can often go on many tangents, but overall the action in this one is directly tied to Thad Beaumont, with all diversions from Thad informing the larger story. Even the concept behind the ever present sparrows is clearly explained, and it makes the ending simple, but impactful and true to the story.

Also, this is a gory horror novel filled with gruesome murder. Some times, King can be restrained or approaches a story with more supernatural dread. This one is about a guy who enjoys murdering people, so expect lots of gory descriptions!

Also, this is a part of King's "Castle Rock" series of books, and Alan Pangborn plays heavily into the subsequent book "Needful Things" - so it would be useful to read this book first. I'm reading them in reverse order...just because.

Grover Gardner is an okay narrator. I wasn't compelled by his performance, but his work doesn't take away from the story either.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I have seen the movie and have read the book before, but I think revisiting it, it is still a novel full of suspenseful moments. There is constant tension between Thad and Stark, and you know there will be an eventual showdown, so the road to get there is definitely a part of the story that kept me reading.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

It was an okay performance. It didn't add to the story, nor did it take away.

If you could take any character from The Dark Half out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I think Alan Pangborn is one of King's best heroes. He's smart, he's stalwart, and has a willingness to believe in the supernatural. Although a side character in this one, he later comes into prominence in "Needful Things." I think he would be an interesting character to get to know more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This is One High-Toned Son of a Book...

I love the way King gives a “thank you” to the late Richard Bachman at the beginning. If you don’t know who Bachman is and how appropriate his mention is to this story, be sure and Google him. It’ll give you a much greater appreciation for this novel. I originally read this back when I was in high school, so it was a nice treat to revisit this story. I especially liked reacquainting myself with Alan Pangborn. When I originally read this, Needful Things wasn’t out yet and it would be several years before I read that one, so it was nice to hear about Alan’s life before Polly (who even gets a mention here) and his life with his first wife, Annie. The sheriff that replaced one of Cujo’s final victims (George Bannerman, who had ties to not only Cujo, but The Dead Zone) has come a long way in the land of King. For an additional Easter egg, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a small cross-reference to the annoying Billie from Creepshow. As for the story, I love the duel nature of a writer being fleshed out between Thad Beaumont and George Stark and the fact that Thad is a little torn over what he has to do near the end. On top of everything this book has to offer, King gives a masterful nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds with this finale. I absolutely love this story and it rates as one of my all-time favorites.

Grover Gardner’s narration was perfect in every way. His attention to detail helped the story flow smoothly and his interpretation of Stark was on the money.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent story with good narration

This is not my favorite Stephen King book, not even in the top 10, but it is very good, nonetheless, and I have enjoyed the story very much. The narration is quite good too. Definitelly worth a Credit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great read

the only problem I had with this book is that it ended too soon I highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

decent book

a bit wordy and you kind of get lost in his descriptive nature. some good dialogue with Sheriff, was underwhelmed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, great narration

Classic work by King but Grover Gardner's narration steals the show!

This is one of my favorite stories by the author so I was not disappointed there at all. However, when I saw that Gardner was reading it I had to listen even more. The first time I heard Gardner was on several Books in the Dark Tower epic so I knew he would hit it out of the park here...and he did indeed. Really brought the story and the characters to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful