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Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
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Dreamcatcher (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Stephen King

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6,44770597 (3.32)67
Member:zachmonroe
Title:Dreamcatcher
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Pocket Books (2001), Mass Market Paperback, 896 pages
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Dreamcatcher by Stephen King (2001)

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English (67)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  English (70)
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I've got good news and bad news. The good news is, Dreamcatcher is not just a rehash of It. The bad news is it's a rehash of The Tommyknockers, too, which is perhaps my least favorite of all of King's works.

All right, maybe that's not quite fair. Dreamcatcher does involve aliens, a secret in the woods, and telepathy, but it's not exactly a carbon copy of The Tommyknockers. It re-uses pieces of many of King's works. There's the "adults who bonded as children and did a great thing" theme from It. There's also the "child with a great secret power" trope from The Shining and/or Firestarter. Granted, Duddits is technically an adult, but he is retarded and therefore retains, quite literally, the mind of a child, as evidenced by everyone calling him by his childhood name. Duddits is also reminiscent of Tom Cullen from The Stand, as another example of the sweet and noble retarded person who, after enduring great hardship, saves the day, or at least a piece of it. Speaking of The Stand, let's talk about a nasty, virulent disease that wipes out around 99% of the population. Granted, in this case the "disease" is actually a creature, and the affected area is relatively small, but within that area, the terminal rates are about the same.

So what's the big deal, you ask? King has always re-used certain themes in his work: kids in danger, life in Maine, narrators who are writers; why am I harping on this one book in particular? I'm harping on it because he doesn't bring anything new to plate this time. In the past, these themes were simply a framework of familiarity to hang a new story on. It was fun for long-time readers to get the references to previous characters and stories, and to feel like they knew the territory. We've been to Derry and Castle Rock so many times it feels like we belong there. But in Dreamcatcher, it doesn't feel like King's using similar elements. It feels like he's telling the same stories, albeit in bits and pieces and mixed around some. You know how you feel when you watch a movie adaptation of a Stephen King book? With a few notable exceptions, they just don't get it right. The casting is a little bit off or the script keeps the wrong parts of the story (or loses the wrong parts). The bones of the book you loved are there, but the mad doctor put them together all wrong, attaching a femur to a vertebra, or the skull to a kneecap. That's how Dreamcatcher felt to me: right pieces, wrong place.

King is an amazing storyteller; he always has been. Even the books I didn't particularly like, I finished. I find that I get caught up in his stories despite myself, and I have to follow through to the end. Maybe that's the crux of my displeasure with Dreamcatcher; I know King is capable of so much more. Authors aren't perfect. Some books are going to be better than others. You just hope that over the course of a career, the good books outweigh the weak ones.
( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
I have this book in collection ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 6, 2016 |
I have this book in collection ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 2, 2016 |
Review: Dreamcatcher by Stephen King.

There is nothing like reading one of Stephen King’s older books. I’m captivated by his creative stories and his style of writing facts that feel real. This book might have been thought provoking to keep up with his twist and turns and somewhat complex with the back and forth between character and places but well worth the read. This is the book he wrote by longhand while he was in the hospital for six months after his accident. I believe some of the pain he experienced went into this story. He even included some creative work he used in other books he published and the content was barely noticeable to the reader unless you’re a fan of his books, which I know he has many.

There were so many creative scenes throughout the book that makes it hard to review. The story starts off with four childhood friends, Henry, Jonesy, Beav, and Pete about the age of thirteen walking home from school and coming across three older boys bullying a boy who has Down syndrome named Duddits. Being scared themselves of the older boys they still came across defending Duddits and walked him home. That is how and when they formed a deep bonding relationship with Duddits. They also became his guardian and the friendship stuck for many years.

Twenty five years later when the four boys were men they had a strong bond and each one had a different type of telepathic/psychic gift/abnormity that kept their friendship unique. Every year they would get together at one of the guy’s hunting cabin in the northern Maine woods for a week. In the meantime an alien spacecraft had crashed in the deepest part of Maine’s wilderness not far from the men’s hunting cabin. Than Stephen King went into high mode and deepened the plot to the max writing one spooky creative scenario after another. The Government and the Military got involved and Beav and his friends meet up with a stranger that turns their lives into chaos. Plus, the area they where in was quarantined to where no one could enter or leave the massive area of the northern woods.

The aliens were called the gray people and they soon died off because of the cold temperature but one survived and infected people causing a gross creature to grow within a person and when they got large enough they would force themselves out of the persons body and attack/eat/devour another human being to stay alive but even these creatures were struggling with the cold weather. I kept reading the different scenes that held my interest to the max throughout the book. Even Buddits was introduced back into the story near the end. He was my favorite character. The ending kept me on the edge of my seat to the very last page…. ( )
1 vote Juan-banjo | Jul 7, 2016 |
The woods, with Beaver and Company inside, are quarantined --- but not quite tightly enough. There is one hope, however. Some 30 years previously, four boys befriended and helped Duddits, a young man with Down's Syndrome who, it seems, helped them even more. And he, along with them, is now the only hope that the world has. There is one problem, though. Actually, there are two problems. One is The Alien. The other is Kurtz. And they both pose a terrible danger to Duddits and his friends --- not to mention the rest of the world.

Is this Stephen King's best book? No. Top 10? Yes. Top 5? Maybe. I might have to get back to you on that. But forget about its ranking; it'll keep you up, oh yes, it'll keep you up for a whole passel of nights and it'll make you sweat and laugh and stare at the guy with the vacant look in his eye who just sat down next to you on the bus. It'll also restore your faith in Stephen King, if you lost it to begin with. And it will definitely keep you out of the woods. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
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Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Susan Moldow and Nan Graham
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It became their motto, and Jonesy couldn't for the life of him remember which of them started saying it first.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Set near the fictional town of Derry, Maine, Dreamcatcher is the story of four friends whose lives are altered when they save Douglas "Duddits" Cavell, a child with Down syndrome, from being bullied. The four friends have grown up and live separate, but equally problematic, lives. When they meet for an annual hunting trip, they are faced with an alien invasion and a near psychotic army Colonel Abraham Kurtz, who has patterned himself after Marlon Brando's character in Apocalypse Now, Walter Kurtz.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 074343627X, Mass Market Paperback)

Stephen King fans, rejoice! The bodysnatching-aliens tale Dreamcatcher is his first book in years that slakes our hunger for horror the way he used to. A throwback to It, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher is also an interesting new wrinkle in his fiction.

Four boyhood pals in Derry, Maine, get together for a pilgrimage to their favorite deep-woods cabin, Hole in the Wall. The four have been telepathically linked since childhood, thanks to a searing experience involving a Down syndrome neighbor--a human dreamcatcher. They've all got midlife crises: clownish Beav has love problems; the intellectual shrink, Henry, is slowly succumbing to the siren song of suicide; Pete is losing a war with beer; Jonesy has had weird premonitions ever since he got hit by a car.

Then comes worse trouble: an old man named McCarthy (a nod to the star of the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers) turns up at Hole in the Wall. His body is erupting with space aliens resembling furry moray eels: their mouths open to reveal nests of hatpin-like teeth. Poor Pete tries to remove one that just bit his ankle: "Blood flew in splattery fans as Pete tried to shake it off, stippling the snow and the sawdusty tarp and the dead woman's parka. Droplets flew into the fire and hissed like fat in a hot skillet."

For all its nicely described mayhem, Dreamcatcher is mostly a psychological drama. Typically, body snatchers turn humans into zombies, but these aliens must share their host's mind, fighting for control. Jonesy is especially vulnerable to invasion, thanks to his hospital bed near-death transformation, but he's also great at messing with the alien's head. While his invading alien, Mr. Gray, is distracted by puppeteering Jonesy's body as he's driving an Arctic Cat through a Maine snowstorm, Jonesy constructs a mental warehouse along the lines of The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. Jonesy physically feels as if he's inside a warehouse, locked behind a door with the alien rattling the doorknob and trying to trick him into letting him in. It's creepy from the alien's view, too. As he infiltrates Jonesy, experiencing sugar buzz, endorphins, and emotions for the first time, Jonesy's influence is seeping into the alien: "A terrible thought occurred to Mr. Gray: what if it was his concepts that had no meaning?"

King renders the mental fight marvelously, and telepathy is a handy way to make cutting back and forth between the campers' various alien battlefronts crisp and cinematic. The physical naturalism of the Maine setting is matched by the psychological realism of the interior struggle. Deftly, King incorporates the real-life mental horrors of his own near-fatal accident and dramatizes the way drugs tug at your consciousness. Like the Tommyknockers, the aliens are partly symbols of King's (vanquished) cocaine and alcohol addiction. Mainly, though, they're just plain scary. Dreamcatcher is a comeback and an infusion of rich new blood into King's body of work. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:19 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Once upon a time in the haunted city of Derry, four boys stood together and did a brave thing. Something that changed them in ways they could never begin to understand. Twenty-five years later, the boys are now men and reunite during hunting season in the woods of Maine. These men will be plunged into a horrific struggle with a creature from another world. Their only chance for survival is locked in their shared past--and in the Dreamcatcher.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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