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The Dead Zone by Stephen King

The Dead Zone (original 1979; edition 1979)

by Stephen King

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6,89785526 (3.76)199
Title:The Dead Zone
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Viking Press (1979), First edition, Hardcover with dust jacket
Collections:Your library, Stephen King
Tags:unreviewed, SIGN-LTD, thrillers

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The Dead Zone by Stephen King (1979)


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English (79)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (85)
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Johnny Smith has lived with physic abilities his entire life but it isn’t until the car accident in his 20s that they become an undeniable ability. He lay in a coma before waking to discover that his girlfriend at the time is now married, that he’s lost four years of his life, and that he now possesses the ability to witness the future of any individual (and sometimes even objects) he touches. Sometimes the future he sees is only a few minutes ahead of the present time but sometimes it’s years ahead. The truth of his abilities are revealed to the public after the highly publicized account of him waking after a four-year coma, and the limelight changes his life irrevocably. He sequesters himself from the public after the demands for his assistance in finding lost loved ones/missing persons, despite his mother, Vera Smith, and her insistence that he was brought back “to do God’s work.” When news of a high-profile serial killer hits his radar, he begins to feel morally obligated to at least try to help. And when he shakes the hand of an up and coming politician and foresees not just his future but the future of the human race, Johnny has to decide what is “right” and if he’s now duty-bound to changing the future so it never becomes our present.

“We all do what we can, and it has to be good enough, and if it isn’t good enough, it has to do.”

First published in 1979, The Dead Zone ended up being far more relevant to today’s time than I ever would have predicted. The future of the dirty politician that Johnny foresaw is a man by the name of Greg Stillson who started off as a nobody yet rose up in the ranks and quickly became the popular vote for the next President of the United States. His political platform and personal style were aimed towards the working class and he was prided on his honesty but had a definite lack of tact. He completely lacks any political knowledge, has big plans for America (albeit most of them beyond ludicrous), and is a devoutly religious man. Stillson is first introduced almost as a caricature of a real villain, someone that can’t possibly be taken seriously, but you slowly realize his influence on the vast population is something that cannot be brushed off as having little consequence. The ludicrousness didn’t last long after realization dawned. As I said… most relevant, right?

The Dead Zone is many stories in one. The beginning is a long drawn out section detailing Johnny’s recuperation in the hospital and the subsequent surgeries that were required for him to ever be able to walk again. Once he’s back on his feet, literally, the story switches focus to catching the serial killer, and you begin to think that that’s the plot except that story finds resolution and hundreds of pages remain. It came off slightly clunky, almost like we were being left out on parts of Johnny’s life that weren’t interesting enough for the page, but at least in this instance, James Franco’s narration gives these characters life. His acting skills are on full display to helpfully differentiate the characters, making Johnny a mellow smooth-talker, and giving Stillson a villainous voice that accurately matches his vile actions. Despite the definite lack of any type of horror (unless you count the potentially horrific reality of it all) and the obvious backpedaling done on that ending, The Dead Zone ended up being a vastly different King than I’ve come to expect but was still no doubt a thrilling story. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Jun 2, 2017 |
This novel is not so much horror as it is, say, maybe suspense ... if you could even call it that.

I found The Dead Zone to be very slow, short of boring. And I can remember the feeling of wanting to abandon it midway through, but I dislike starting something and not finishing it, so I trekked on...

Maybe for some The Dead Zone would be a great and cozy read, but the writing, as far as I'm concerned, is "uncharacteristic" of King. ( )
  CatEllington | May 5, 2017 |
¡Último libro del 2015!
“Johnny deseó estar muerto. Si su talento era un don divino, Dios era un lunático peligroso al que había que apagarle el carro.”

La Zona Muerta es mi tercer libro de Stephen King y aún me sigue asombrando su habilidad de mezclar religión, política, hechos paranormales y psicología en una única trama. Y hacer que funcione. Su talento si que es un don divino.

La historia resulta un poco predecible, casi desde el comienzo ya puedes adivinar como va a terminar todo. No hay giros inesperados, ni grandes revelaciones. Y, aun así, resulta completamente atrapante, un page-turner inevitable que hace que sus casi 500 páginas resulten cortas. Y es que la escritura de King no admite descuidos, te mantiene sentado al borde del asiento sin importar lo que pasa, sino como pasa.

GR clasifica esto como terror y thriller, pero nada más alejado de la realidad. Es cierto que contiene la más cruenta de las escenas de maltrato animal que jamás haya leído (en el opening de libro nada más y nada menos) y otros varios momentos bastante gore pero, más que para incitar miedo, su finalidad es mostrarnos la verdadera naturaleza de ciertos personajes que se esconden tras máscaras de bondad. De hecho, como dato curioso, todos los villanos de este libro siempre son descritos por los demás personajes como las personas más encantadoras, mientras que destacan que el protagonista tiene "un aire de maldad" y "ojos de psicópata".

[Editor: —¿Cómo planea llamar su próximo libro Sr. King?
Stephen: —«Las Apariencias Engañan».
Editor: —Ese nombre no es comercial, ¿quiere ganar dinero o no?
Stephen: —Oh, rayos. Supongo que entonces lo llamaré como esa frase que el protagonista repite una y otra vez; «La Zona Muerta». ¿Eso está de moda, no?]

Lo más parecido a una tragedia moderna que pueda existir. Un interesante estudio humano, que logra envolverte y hacerte pensar, al menos por instante, "y yo, ¿qué haría en su lugar?".

“¿Qué es lo normal? Nada, nadie. No en realidad.” ( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
Post apocalyptic recovery. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Review: The Dead Zone by Stephen King.

Stephen King is well known for his gruesome zombies, horrible slimy characters and absurd adventures of the unknown. The Dead Zone is not that type of scary horror but still has the uniqueness of his perceptive style. It’s a well written story based on the supernatural mind with powerful emotional psychic experiences.

The story’s power is under scrutiny of the mind of a young man who has awakened from a five year coma. His life is no longer the same. He has become an emotional wreck with the responsibility of not knowing if it is right or wrong to use his new recent abilities.

The heavy consequences that he bares are so emotional and touching. Evan as a reader I could feel the torture and loneliness of his life. The story won’t allow you to stop feeling what the characters are going through. This is what makes this story so remarkable. I think it is one of his better reads. Stephen King never lets us down…
( )
1 vote Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bauman, JillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, ChristopherCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matas, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siddons, Anne RiversIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Owen. I love you, old bear.
Esto es para Owen, Te quiero, viejo oso
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By the time he graduated from college, John Smith had forgotten all about the bad fall he took on the ice that January day in 1953.
Cuando terminó sus estudios universitarios, John Smith habia olvidado por completo la fea caída que había sufrido en el hielo en aquel día de enro de 1953.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Awake in the dead zone and awake to a nightmare. Recoil in horror as you are touched by a young man cursed with the power to perceive the evil in men’s souls. And whose ability to see into the future forces him into a terrifying confrontation with a charismatic, power-hungry and infinitely dangerous man.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451155750, Mass Market Paperback)

In the St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers, Gary Westfahl predicts that "King has already earned himself a place in the history of literature.... At the very least, he will enjoy the status of a latter-day Anthony Trollope, an author respected for his popularity and social commentary.... More likely, he will be enshrined as the Charles Dickens of the late 20th century, the writer who perfectly reflected, encapsulated, and expressed the characteristic concerns of his era."

If any of King's novels exemplifies his skill at portraying the concerns of his generation, it's The Dead Zone (1979). Although it contains a horrific subplot about a serial killer, it isn't strictly a horror novel. It's the story of an unassuming high school teacher, an Everyman, who suffers a gap in time--like a Rip Van Winkle who blacks out during the years 1970-75--and thus becomes acutely conscious of the way that American society is rapidly changing. He wakes up as well with a gap in his brain, the "dead zone" of the title. The zone gives him crippling headaches, but also grants him second sight, a talent he doesn't want and is reluctant to use. The crux of the novel concerns whether he will use that talent to alter the course of history.

The Dead Zone is a tight, well-crafted book. When asked in 1983 which of his novels so far was "the best," Stephen King answered, "The one that I think works the best is Dead Zone. It's the one that [has] the most story." --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:43 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In his unequalled career, Stephen King has forged a place in publishing history as the most popular and recognized author of all time. Now, Signet is proud to reissue his most startling psychological thriller! After awakening from a four and a half year-long coma, a simple teacher finds himself irreparably altered -- both blessed ... and cursed -- with precognative visions of the future. Driven by his altruistic nature, he decides to use his newfound powers to prevent tragic events yet to happen. But as word of his unique ability leads to unwanted fame, the gift he hoped to share with humanity inevitably separates him from it.… (more)

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