The Dark Half (Thorndike Press Large Print Paperback Series)

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9780816151233: The Dark Half (Thorndike Press Large Print Paperback Series)

Master storyteller Stephen King presents the classic “wondrously frightening” (Publishers Weekly) #1 New York Times bestseller about a writer’s horrific and haunting pseudonym.

“I’m back...I’m back from the dead and you don’t seem glad to see me at all, you ungrateful son of a bitch.”

After thirteen years of international bestseller stardom with his works of violent crime fiction, author George Stark is officially declared dead—revealed by a national magazine to have been killed at the hands of the man who created him: the once well-regarded but now obscure writer Thad Beaumont. Thad’s even gone so far as to stage a mock burial of his wildly successful pseudonym, complete with tombstone and the epitaph “Not a Very Nice Guy.” Although on the surface, it seems that Thad can finally concentrate on his own novels, there’s a certain unease at the prospect of leaving George Stark behind. But that’s nothing compared to the horror about to descend upon Thad’s new life. There are the vicious, out-of-control nightmares, for starters. And how is he able to explain the fact that everyone connected to George Stark’s untimely demise is now meeting a brutal end of their own in a pattern of homicidal savagery...and why each blood-soaked crime scene has Thad’s fingerprints all over it? Thad Beaumont may have once believed that George Stark was running out of things to say, but he’s going to find out just how wrong he is...

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Review:

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

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy—Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Finders Keepers, and End of Watch—and the story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. His epic series, The Dark Tower, is the basis for a major motion picture starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It is also now a major motion picture starring Bill Skarsgård. King is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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