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Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay Paperback – February 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Stephen King started writing Storm of the Century as a novel, but it evolved into the teleplay of an ABC TV miniseries. Set in Maine's remote Little Tall Island, the tale is all about vivid small-town characters, feuds, infidelities, sordid secrets, kids in peril, and gory portents in scrambled letters. The calamitous snowstorm is nothing compared to the mysterious mind-reading stranger Linoge, who uses magic powers to turn people's guilt against them--when he's not simply braining them with his wolf-head-handled cane. Don't even glance at that cane--it can bring out the devil in you. Just as The Shining was concerned with marriage and alcoholism as much as it was with bad weather and worse spirits, Storm of the Century is more than a horror story. It's creepy because it's realistic.

But it's also unusually visual. Linoge's eyes ominously change color, wind and sea wreak havoc, a basketball leaves blood circles with each bounce. The 100-year storm no doubt hits harder onscreen than on the page, but the snow is a symbol of the more disturbing emotional maelstrom that words evoke perfectly. And the murders of folks we've gotten to know is entirely terrifying in print. The crisp discipline of the screenplay format makes this book better than lots of King's more sprawling novels--the end doesn't wander and the dialogue crackles. Here's the real test: It's impossible to read parts 1 and 2 and not read part 3, "The Reckoning." --Tim Appelo

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes the forthcoming Drunken Fireworks, Finders Keepers, Revival, Mr. Mercedes (winner of the 2015 Edgar Award), Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. He is the recipient of 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Television tie-in edition edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067103264X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671032647
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Moonshade on March 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved the mini series, so much that I bought the DVD and watch it again, every now and then. The book, written as a screenplay, is almost better, if for no other reason than King's side comments. He is brutally honest with a dry, biting wit and a morbid sense of humor. Here he uses his unique world view to tell the story of the New England coastal island of Little Tall, the same setting for another of his stories. The island is cut off from the mainland by a blizzard, just as a stranger comes to visit with a terrible request...

Like all of King's best stories, the supernatural is not the true focus, human nature is. The islanders are forced into a heart-breaking choice that just may cost them their souls, and it is the process of making this decision and it's cost that is the true story. King is a master at writing true-to-life people in terrible, terrifying circumstance, and he doesn't fail here. It's not just a good-vs-evil story, but a tale of what lengths people will go to in order to save what they hold dear, what they do when all choices come with a price too high to pay. In my opinion, this is one of King's best works.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Most of the time when you read the original script of a movie you have seen, what will strike you are the additions, deletions and alterations that define the difference between the script and the film. However, with Stephen King's original screenplay for "Storm of the Century," what will most catch you attention is the depth of detail. Early on in writing this screenplay and knowing that the Hollywood producers may well declare his story too expensive to film, King decided to hedge his bet. If Hollywood did not want "Storm of the Century" he would simply turn it into a book. However, this script was produced and that is why we have ended up with this interesting hybrid.
As King observes in his introduction to the screenplay, at its heart "Storm of the Century" is the dark counterpart to "The Green Mile," with each centered on the mystery of the man in the jail cell. Andre Linoge has come to Little Tall Island just as the fiercest winter storm in recorded history is about to hit. After murdering one of the residents, Linoge waits calmly to be taken into police custody by Constable Mike Anderson. But once in his cell he tells the townsfolk, "If you give me what I want, I'll go away." Then things start to happen, secrets are revealed and more people die, and suddenly the citizens of Long Tall Island are ready to agree to Linoge's proposition even before they know exactly what it is he wants. King has always been a moralist, knowing full well that most people are not inclined to do the right thing, and always striving to come up with a story that might actually inspire some people to listen to the better angels of their nature.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Koenig on July 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
After years of working through all of King's novels, there was a reason why this was one of the last on my list: because it is in a screenplay format, a fact that scared me away. Rest assured, however, that in this effort King proves that format is of no consequence when it comes to the Master of Suspense.

For a basic plot summary, "Storm of the Century" tells the story of Little Tall, a small isolated island off the coast of Maine. One winter, the town gets socked in by an impenetrable storm and as the winds blow and the snow falls, an evil presence comes to the island and wants to strike a cosmic bargain for the souls of its local inhabitants.

Let me assure you again, here, that reading this book is no different than enjoying any other King novel. The format takes a few "Acts" to get used to, but after a short time you'll be sucked in as per the usual with King. The characters are well-developed, the antagonist is another evil King concoction, and the plot is an incredible human-interest angle that will have you questioning what you would do in the same situation.

Overall, this is a great King tale that hits all the right buttons. It also has one of the better endings of any King book ever written, comparable to "Pet Cemetery" in tone and scope. Whatever you do, don't be dissuaded by the screenplay format. Upon finishing the book, you won't think of it any differently than King's previous or subsequent writings. Nothing to shy away from in the entire experience.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Storm of the century is possibly the best book I have ever read. I could not put it down,and I haven't even read all of it yet. Andre Linoge has to be the most terrifying villian because there is nothing scarier than someone who knows all your secrets, the kind of things you would take to your grave. The ending was a complete shock. I was expecting all the townspeople to get rid of the villian somehow but they didn't and that made it more real because more often than not evil does triumph and that my friends is reality. It wasn't like a horror story either, it was more like a nightmare, the kind of thing that if it happened would be your worst fears become reality. I recomend this book to anyone who doesn't mind being scared, at least once and a while. After all these years, Stephen King has still got it.
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Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay
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