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The Dark Half by Stephen King

The Dark Half (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Stephen King

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6,60352879 (3.56)101
Title:The Dark Half
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1990), Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Dark Half by Stephen King (1989)

Recently added byChicca62, zesati, rena75, Radrat70, Q42, NU2UBooks, private library
  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
    The Outsider by Stephen King (ghr4)
  3. 10
    A Soul to Steal by Rob Blackwell (Othemts)
  4. 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 (48)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
A writer’s alter ego comes to life and begins murdering people close to him. ( )
  sturlington | Nov 15, 2018 |
I like scary stories. But I don't like gory ones or foul language. I thought about giving this book 2 stars but King is a good writer and he made me care about his characters enough to finish the book. Thad, Liz, their twins William and Wendy, his fellow professor ( I forget his name), and Sheriff Pangborn were all interesting, likeable people and I had to finish the book to find out if they survived. So I skimmed over the gore and tried to ignore the villain's foul language. I much preferred the 2 only other Stephen King books I've read, The Shining and Misery. ( )
  library_gal | Aug 20, 2018 |
Stephen King enjoyed publishing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, until someone figured it out and threatened to expose him. So, SK outed himself and wrote a book loosely based on his experiences.
Thad is a writer living in Maine, married with twins. For years he's written under a pseudonym, and he's about to be exposed, so his agent suggests they beat the guy to the punch and do a whole big media thing about it, which Thad does. He buries "George Stark" in a cemetery, takes pictures for the magazines, and washes his hands of the whole thing.
But then Stark comes to life and starts murdering people. Of course the police think Thad did it, since they have his fingerprints all over the scene of the crimes. I will never, ever forget the parasitic twin operation, when I first read that bit as a young teenager it scared the bejeezus out of me. ( )
  bekkil1977 | Feb 10, 2018 |
Endsville is a very nice word for 'hell'. Also whoever translated this book did an amazing job.

Might be my favourite King novel so far. Having your own pseudonym as an antagonist is just such a great idea and obviously reflects Stephen King's personal experience with his nom de plume Richard Bachman. The story worked really well for me since I can almost believe that a 'second you' comes to life and tries to kill you. Also birds are creepy.
Maybe it was the combination of crime and horror that I liked so much. George Stark going on a rampage was really thrilling to read and made me excited to read what he's up to next. I could really see myself enjoying 'Machine's Way' - the crime novel Thad wrote under his pseudonym- as well.

Thad is pretty much the typical King protagonist so I can't really add points there: He's middle-aged, a writer and married. Not exactly a suprising new addition in the Kingverse. But at least for this novel his occupation is really part of the story; makes sense.
Liz, his wife, isn't especially exciting or notheworthy either. Basically the best characters were George Stark and the town sheriff Alan Pangborn.

Since I mentioned the birds .... in the book sparrows (Sperlinge) show up as 'psychopomps' whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Niiiiiiiiiiice.

( )
  newcastlee | Dec 30, 2017 |
He gets the point across. Classic King. ( )
  Joe73 | Apr 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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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 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)

» see all 11 descriptions

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