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The Dark Half by Stephen King
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The Dark Half (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Stephen King

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5,064None883 (3.53)78
Member:karenwodke
Title:The Dark Half
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1990), Edition: First Thus, Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:horror

Work details

The Dark Half by Stephen King (1989)

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  1. 20
    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
    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.
  3. 00
    A Soul to Steal by Rob Blackwell (Othemts)
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» See also 78 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Audible version, read by Grover Gardner. I'm rereading Stephen King along with James Smythe of the Guardian @ http://www.theguardian.com/books/series/rereading-stephen-king and this one is up next. DH had always been my least favorite SK, but I hadn't read it since I was a teen and thought it would be interesting to see if it provoked a different reaction as an adult. Unfortunately, it didn't, and I still don't think I can put my finger on the reason why. The horror didn't horrify. The suspense wasn't suspenseful. The characters weren't compelling. But it was just interesting enough to keep me listening over the last couple of days and I was curious about how the situation would resolve itself, since I didn't remember much of the story. By the time I'm done with the complete rereading exercise, I suspect this one won't be at the very bottom of the favorites list (I'm thinking of you, Lisey's Story), but it will still be pretty close. ( )
  PortM | Nov 30, 2013 |
Stephen King can take practically any set of words and make them into a terrifying story. "The sparrows are flying" takes on a whole new level when Thad Beaumont absently minded scrawls down the words. The scare is immediately on as we know that Thad is being hotly pursued by an evil twin that has somehow found footing in our world.

I love just about every fiction piece Stephen King has ever written (exception-the fantasy stuff). Dark Half is a fun, but still tension loaded psychological novel written to precision. ( )
  blockbuster1994 | Nov 4, 2013 |
I enjoyed this story of an author trying to kill off his pseudonym and it not going quietly. King conceives of the pseudonym as a part of the author, his dark half. The one who writes the really scary books. And is a scary guy. What will he do to keep from dying? A lot. ( )
  kylekatz | Oct 1, 2013 |
Not one of my favourite books by Stephen King.

Back in the day it felt like all of a sudden there were so many books coming out with the same subject. Can't recall but did he write another one about a writer having problems? maybe even 2?
If I find out I will add it in this review. (which is not really a review because it has been too long go) ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
Mildly successful novel about writing under a psuedonym, made compelling by King's feel for character. Feels forced in places, but the cxoncept of twins at conception is still frightening 25 years later. ( )
  srboone | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"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
Dedication
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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Book description
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:03 -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)

» see all 5 descriptions

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