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The Dark Half by Stephen King

The Dark Half (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,73443740 (3.55)85
Title:The Dark Half
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1990), Edition: First Thus, Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

The Dark Half by Stephen King (1989)

  1. 30
    Dead City by Shane Stevens (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: In his afterward to The Dark Half, King explains that he took the character of Alexis Machine from Stevens' Dead City
  2. 10
    A Soul to Steal by Rob Blackwell (Othemts)
  3. 10
    The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz (VictoriaPL)
    VictoriaPL: Another writer who has trouble figuring out if he's involved in a series of murders or not.

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English (40)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
One of his only clunkers, in my opinion. ( )
  Laura_Drake | Aug 19, 2016 |
Thad Beaumont, decides it's time he puts a rest to his pen name "George Stark." In a strange series of events, you find out that George Stark has come to life. The story alternates between George's view and Thad's view throughout their struggle to destroy each other.

This is a scary book - a book with real depth. King, as usual, writes in criminal ease and keeps his reader hooked to the end. I highly recommend it as one of King's most thought-provoking novels. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Overlong, in the end. ( )
  scarequotes | Jan 23, 2016 |
So, a murderous pseudonym is on the loose, armed with a ludicrous premise. There's none of the exploration of identity that the premise is so ripe for... and the structure is flawed; you know from the word go that Stark is the pseudonym, robbing the story of any suspense. A dangerous maniac might be scary, but a supernatural monster? Gimme a break. Also, you know what was found in Thad's head so the big reveal with the surgeon later on is robbed of it's shock value. Admittedly, it is mindless fun and can be enjoyed and forgotten on that level but could have been so much better. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 24, 2015 |
"The sparrows are flying again." And don't you forget it, old hoss!

"You are talking about a goddam pen name coming to life!" And going on a killing spree too! Yup, that's what happens in this here novel! George Stark, a "HIGH-TONED SON OF A BITCH" if there ever was one, might or might not be real, but his creator, one Thad Beaumont, has his hands full with his pseudonym! I'm glad I re-read this after all these years - I've come to admire Donald E. Westlake's writing in the intervening years, and that of his pen name - Richard Stark! And I'm always liked Mr. King and HIS "dark half", Mr. Richard Bachman! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Aug 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"Cut him," Machine said, "Cut him while I stand here and watch. I want to see the blood flow. Don't make me tell you twice."

-- Machine's Way

by George Stark
This book is for Shirley Sonderegger, who helps me mind my business, and for her husband, Peter.
AUTHOR'S NOTE I'm indebted to the late Richard Bachman for his help and inspiration. This novel cound not have been written without him. S.K.
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People's lives -- their real lives, as opposed to their simple physical existences -- begin at different times.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Thad Beaumont would like to say he is innocent. He'd like to say he has nothing to do with the series of monstrous murders that keep coming closer to his home. He'd like to say he has nothing to do with the twisted imagination that produced his bestselling novels. He'd like to say he has nothing to do with the voice on the phone uttering its obscene threats and demanding total surrender. But how can Thad disown the ultimate embodiment of evil that goes by the name he gave it - and signs its crimes with Thad's bloody fingerprints? (0-451-16731-7)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451167317, Mass Market Paperback)

In 1985, 39-year-old Stephen King announced in public that his pseudonymous alter ego, Richard Bachman, was dead. (Never mind that he revived him years later to write The Regulators.) At the beginning of The Dark Half (1989), 39-year-old writer Thad Beaumont announces in public that his own pseudonym, George Stark, is dead.

Now, King didn't want to jettison the Bachman novel, titled Machine Dreams, that was he working on. So he incorporated it in The Dark Half as the crime oeuvre of George Stark, whose recurring hero/alter ego is an evil character named Alexis Machine.

Thad Beaumont's pseudonym is not so docile as Stephen King's, though, and George Stark bursts forth into reality. At that point, two stories kick into gear: a mystery-detective story about the crime spree of George Stark (or is it Alexis Machine?) and a horror story about Beaumont's struggle to catch up with his doppelganger and kill him dead.

This is not the first time that Stephen King has written a dark allegory about the fiction writer's situation. As the New York Times writes, "Misery (1987) is a parable in chiller form of the popular writer's relation to his audience, which holds him prisoner and dictates what he writes, on pain of death. 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." --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:36 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Thad Beaumont, a writer of brutally violent novels, becomes a murder suspect when his pseudonym is linked to the killings.

(summary from another edition)

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