Companion Novel to Desperation
There's a place in Wentworth, Ohio, where summer is in full swing. It's called Poplar Street. Up until now it's been a nice place to live. The idling red van around the corner is about to change all that. Let the battle against evil begin.
Why revive the Bachman byline more than a decade after Stephen King was found lurking behind it? Not for thematic reasons. This devilishly entertaining yarn of occult mayhem married to mordant social commentary is pure King and resembles little the four nonsupernatural (if science-fictional) pre-Thinner Bachmans. The theme is the horror of TV, played out through the terrors visited upon quiet Poplar Street in the postcard-perfect suburban town of Wentworth, Ohio, when a discorporeal psychic vampire settles inside an autistic boy obsessed with TV westerns and kiddie action shows and brings screen images to demented, lethal life. The long opening scene, in which characters and vehicles from the TV show Motokops 2200 (think Power Rangers) sweep down the street, spewing death by firearm, is a paragon of action-horror. The story rarely flags after that, evoking powerful tension and, at times, emotion. The premise owes a big unacknowledged debt to the classic Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life"; echoes of earlier Kings resound often as well?the psychic boy (The Shining), a writer-hero (Misery, The Dark Half), etc. But King makes hay in this story in which anything can happen, and does, including the warping of space-time and the savage deaths of much of his large cast. The narrative itself warps fantastically, from prose set in classic typeface to handwritten journals to drawings to typewritten playscript and so on. So why the Bachman byline? Probably for fear that yet another new King in 1996 in addition to six volumes of The Green Mile and Viking's forthcoming Desperation might glut the market. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is certain: call him Bachman or call him King, the bard of Bangor is going to hit the charts hard and vast with this white-knuckler knockout. Main selection of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Mystery Guild and Science Fiction Book Club.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . One of King's best
Posted December 13, 2009 by Mike , Janesville, WIThis is one of my favorite King novels. If you read it, you NEED to also read "Desperation", which is kind of a side-story, in that it features many of the same characters (however, these characters differ between the two books in many aspects).
King is at the top of his storytelling game in "Regulators" which tracks the tragic events on a summer day on one street in one Ohio town.
The story starts extremely quick and never backs down. The attacks by the "Regulators" keep coming throughout and King does an awesome job building the suspense and drawing out the story.
If you've never read this book, please do yourself a huge favor an do it NOW!!!!
2 . Not his best work
Posted September 11, 2009 by Kirk , Salt Lake City, UTI generally find SK's novels quite interesting and hard to put down. I had a lot of trouble "getting into" this one.
April 01, 2002
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