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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
"Stephen King has done it again. A spellbinder, a compulsive page-turner."
-Dallas Times Herald
“Enthralling…superb.”—Dallas Times Herald
“Stephen King has done it again. A spellbinder, a compulsive page-turner.”—Atlanta Journal
“Faultlessly paced…continuously engrossing.”—Los Angeles Times
“Powerful tension holds the reader to the story like a pin to a magnet.”—Houston Post
If I had read this before 11/22/63 I probably would have enjoyed it more, but as it is I thought everything that came before the climax was a lot more interesting than the climax... Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Chad Wilson
Possibly the first time a King book felt padded (as became his MO). His usual colloquial style keeps it fun though, and the ending is actually quite strong.Published 6 days ago by Lewkuh
For readers who think Stephen King only writes horror, here is a story of the heart and fate. No killer clowns, vampires or haunted hotels- just the story of an ordinary man thrust... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ronda
I saw the movie over two decades past. Decided to read the books I saw the movies of where I previously thought why read it if I saw it on screen? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mrs.Quinci35
This was an amazingly sad and charming story. However, it was not so much horror as it was thriller and suspense. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Erinn
What a story- extremely suspenseful and well written. I definitely recommend this book which might be King's most underrated novel.Published 1 month ago by fishkicks
I really enjoyed it. King used to know how to write an epic ending. Brought a tear to my eye.Published 1 month ago by Frank C. Peterson III
The book was fantastic! Just as well thought out, and spell binding as most of King's books. I will give a huge thumbs down to the editor/publisher of this copy that I read on my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by CJ