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Dreamcatcher (2001)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8,66182793 (3.33)1 / 80
Once upon a time, in Derry, four young boys stood together and did a brave thing; something that changed them in ways they hardly understood. 25 years later, at their annual reunion, a stranger stumbles into their camp.
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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
***Spoiler Alert*** Book 63 of Stephen King. I saw this in a 20 Pack CD format at the local library and decided to give it a try on my car CD player (yes I still have a car with a CD player). So over a period of two weeks or so I listened to Dreamcatcher while driving all over the place. Towards the end I found myself in a parking lot or my garage 30mins after I had arrived waiting for the current CD to end. So to say that I enjoyed it is probably an understatement. Now this is certainly not for young and impressionable minds as the language, imagery and content is pretty terse and graphic which may put off some folks, not me I thoroughly enjoyed it. So it is a story in two parts; the first being about four friends on their annual hunting trip up north of Derry, Maine in what is called the Jefferson tract when an alien craft crashes into the woods and snow, the second part is about the the response to the incident by the army and how the friends deal with the aliens. The character development is fantastic and you quickly get drawn into their lives and back stories. I particularly enjoyed Henry a psychologist who is contemplating suicide and Kurtz who is a bad guy you love to hate. I enjoyed some of the Kingisms and Easter eggs that as a constant reader is something that we look forward to such as the story being set in Derry which is the same town that a few of his other stories are also based in such as IT. Speaking about IT, there is a seemingly unrelated reference to Pennywise the infamous clown from where in a public toilet someone had written "Pennywise Lives" on the wall. Since this book is set after the story from IT one has to wonder who would have written this, was it Pennywise himself......scary? One of the roads referenced is Flagg Street. Flagg is the bad guy from The Stand among other books. So overall this is not a typical King story and was written soon after he experienced a horrible accident where he was run over while out walking which he also writes about as a scene in the book which give some insight to his experiences having gone through it all. Overall it a long story that way feel a bit directionless at time by needing to hear what happens to Henry and Duddits keeps you through to the end. Looking forward to watching the move as well. ( )
  thanesh | Apr 22, 2022 |
The book does go a long way to capture the reader's imagination and hold on. There is a lot of.dialogue but well punctuated by the action that goes on in the book. ( )
  David_Masumba | Oct 14, 2020 |
Another great read by Stephen King. Pick it up... if you dare! ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
For all those people who call this a shitweasle of a novel, I would like like point out that it does exactly what it sets out to do. Maybe the usual King fan comes to the chopping block expecting nothing but detailed flawed characters and some rather heartwrenching stuff before a paranormal beastie chomps down.

But I would like to posit that SK IS a fan of Science Fiction. :) Sure, a few of his SF tales like Lawnmower Man and Tommyknockers might not get the love that they deserve, but remember, he also wrote that little epic called the Dark Tower. :)

So let's break this down a bit. We literally get to the heart of the novel through our guts at the beginning, Shitweasels and all, playing on all the paranoid fantasies of... um... SO MANY PEOPLE... by bringing in anal probing aliens. With a particularly gross twist, thank you very much, Mr. King. And then we get into the whole telepathy thing, the Aliens-type setup, and even a Theodore Sturgeon *More Than Human* homage with a very special special person holding this group of old friends together.

For the longest time I got the idea that it was kinda a Tommyknockers part 2, but then I laughed aloud when we got a massive direct reference to the boys and girl from IT, including Pennywise, and then I started seeing a lot more combined references to all his other novels. As per usual, but nicely solid and world-buildy. :)

In the end, I'm frankly rather amazed at what King pulls off here. Massive military action, chases, alien invasions and spore people and shitweasles and more, we even get a Battle For Your Mind. :) Dreamcatcher, indeed.

What is this book? A traditional horror as per usual? Nope. This is a great mashup that builds on the full Crimson King mythology, thank you very much. :) Pretty hardcore, too.

So why does it get a lot of hate?

Parts are juvenile and crass and other parts are free-range weird. But I like both on ocassion, so this is something I can snuggle up to. *ahem* or stay on the pot with. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
i'm not partial to alien stories or what feels like juvenile, meaningless, and crude gross-out attempts. that's all that i'd remembered of this book so i wasn't going in with high expectations. it was those things, but it was also better than i remember it being, in spite of the alien story and other problems that i had with it.

the main driver of the story was uninteresting to me. the alien invasion (of the earth and of the people) and the subsequent mission to get rid of them before they destroy the earth just felt...overdone. it's not a story i was in the mood for, maybe, but it's also been told too many times. and didn't need nearly 900 pages this time. and he made it much more gross than he needed to. even when i read this when i was younger i felt that it was too much in this one.

the thing that stephen king is good at - and what made this book readable and at times enjoyable for me - is the way he writes friendship and characters. the characters weren't as well done as usual, but it was enough. mainly the bond between the young boys and their friendship was what moved this book forward for me, not the story of the invasion. this is the book's strength, but it's not enough to carry it well or too far.

during the climax of the book, mr gray performs a feat of physicality that made no sense, was quite impossible. it was like stephen king kept forgetting what he was having him do or that he was carrying a dog over his shoulders while doing it.

i wasn't comfortable with the way he treated the character with down syndrome. i don't have a lot of knowledge about it, and i believe he was intending to be respectful (he made this character the hero and named the book after him, after all), but i do not think he accurately described someone with down syndrome. he never should have named the disorder, just told us that he was developmentally and intellectually delayed and moved on.

in describing what it felt like to have been taken over by the alien for a bit: "There were times when he thought he might be the only man on earth who truly understood what it was to be raped." um, except all those men who are raped. what about them??

some poor choices in this one, for sure. and some decent ones, too, but they don't outweigh the lackluster story and mistakes. still, it was much better than i remember it being, and is more interesting than what i'd assume an average alien story is. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jan 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Ullstein (25415)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Once upon a time, in Derry, four young boys stood together and did a brave thing; something that changed them in ways they hardly understood. 25 years later, at their annual reunion, a stranger stumbles into their camp.

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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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Average: (3.33)
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