Since I previously blogged about having recently finished re-reading The Dark Half by Stephen King, I figured I would share a little about my journey.
A brief summary of the story: Thad has been writing under a pseudonym, George Stark, for a number of years. He’s tired of it and when a journalist threatens to expose Thad’s pen name, it is the perfect solution to end Stark. The alter ego takes on a life of his own after Thad ‘kills and buries’ Stark. Stark begins killing off people and Thad is seen as a suspect for all the crimes. (Click the image for direct book synopsis from his website.
Many people complain of King being ‘wordy’ with his tales, and sure, I could agree. However, I felt this book was much more tight. King kept the action moving pretty decently and for the most part, not a lot of going on and on with backstories or descriptions. King also didn’t spend an overwhelming amount of time having the reader to really get to know the characters as he frequently does. In fact, I felt there were parts where I wouldn’t have minded being given more. (I’m just greedy and needy with supporting characters.) If I had any main critiques about anything, Thad’s wife was my least favorite character, especially at the end. I can’t say exactly what it was about her that I didn’t like. Maybe it was how she lacked trust in Thad to be able to come through for the family. King did write enough of her throughout the book that led me to believe that had faith in her husband so the climax and ending…it was lacking for me in regards to her.
I was absolutely thinking the entire way through the book, “how the hell is Thad going to take care of things?” All the way through, I was constantly thinking about how it was going to end; how King could find an ending that would satisfy me. No complaints here. He did well.
If you aren’t a fan of King’s methods and manner of word vomit, as I’ve heard people call it, this might just be a good starter book for you. It’s at times a bit gruesome as Stark is a killer. A very good killer. Thad is very realistic and has qualities of realness that people can connect with and empathize with. If you are a writer of fiction, this is certainly one for you. Reading it will cause you to think about yourself as a writer, force you to ask questions about yourself and your craft, and you may just see some similar traits.
All in all, I’d give this book 4/5 Stars