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Desperation by [King, Stephen]
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Desperation Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews Review

En route to Lake Tahoe for a much anticipated vacation, the Carver family is arrested for blowing out all four tires on their camper. Collie Entragian is the arresting officer, the self-made sheriff of a town called Desperation, Nevada, and the quintessential bad cop. Unbeknownst to the Carvers, Entragian regularly sniffs out passerbys on this stretch of road, and in fact has done in nearly every resident of his hometown. He can also change form and summon the help of creepy creatures, including scorpions, snakes and spiders. Though the family seems doomed, an unlikely hero emerges --11-year-old David Carver--who finds his own way to get around the Law.

Desperation is the companion novel to King's The Regulators, which was published simultaneously under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Forget the more-or-less literary novels of recent years, like Dolores Claiborne. These books mark the return of the Stephen King of The Stand and Pet Sematary, where King's main concerns where whether good could defeat evil and how much gore could be squeezed into (or out of) one book. In each novel, the characters and situations are altered as King plays with questions of identity and form. But both really center around a new personification of evil that goes by the name of Tak. Tak wants to rule the world. Somebody has to stop him. Somebody's eyes have to pop out. Somebody's head has to explode. Now that's Stephen King!

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. From the vault of horror master King comes a terrifying tale of Desperation, Nev., a place ruled by a maniacal man in uniform and haunted by deadly secrets. In true King fashion, the story features a small cast of likable yet deeply flawed protagonists that may or may not make it to the final page in one piece. Narrator Kathy Bates, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the film adaptation of King's Misery, takes the reins and holds listeners rapt from start to finish. Bates has the inherent ability to make anything, no matter how over the top, sound realistic and immediate. A Signet paperback. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1362 KB
  • Print Length: 724 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; 1 edition (August 1, 1997)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 1997
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SKZBR2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,618 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having read just over half of King's books, I have to say that Desperation ranks up there with Wizard and Glass as one of my favorites. That said, this book is not for the shallow or the feint of heart. Desperation is a tale of hope and love in the darkest hour--and the hour is dark indeed.
Desperation is a desert town in Nevada. This place, where on the good days the people can be 'intense,' has been turned into a wasteland by an ancient evil. A group of unsuspecting strangers drawn to the town must survive their encounter with this force and in the process make a decision that will forever change their lives.
King's set-up to this story is long, gruesome, and grim. There are parts that any decent person will recoil from--as they should. The evil in this book is not glamorous; it is evil in its most fallen and base form.
Once the dark 'collecting' of the opening is through, the novel finally hits full stride. Good appears in the most unexpected form. Evil is engaged in a battle to the death.
Usually 'good vs. evil' type novels suffer from too much of a 'black and white' didactic moralism. The beauty of Desperation is that the heroes of the novel must first engage the evil and good within themselves before they can lift a finger to fight the real enemy. King never fails to amaze me with the craft of his words and his honest description of the glory and shame of being human.
Desperation is a stand alone novel. However, it ties in (as do many of King's novels) with the Dark Tower series. It also has a bizarro 'sister book' in the late Richard Bachman's The Regulators.
I give Desperation my heartfelt, highest recommendation--don't be scared off by a little blood and guts. There is a lot of despair, desperation and cruelty in these pages. There is also faith, hope, and most importantly--love.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
1996 must have been a heady year for Stephen King--coming off the critical and commercial success of his excellent six part serial, The Green Mile, he followed up with a pair of hard hitting, well-written novels, Desperation and The Regulators. Desperation was clearly his best work since Misery. The Regulators, written under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman, was less successful, but pleasurable reading nonetheless.

The Regulators is King's version of the classic Twilight Zone adaptation of Jerome Bixby's It's a Good Life. The denizens of Poplar Street, located in the small town of Wentworth, Ohio, find themselves sealed off from the rest of the world, trapped in a pocket universe created by the imaginings of an autistic child who has been possessed by a demon. Neighbors must band together to fight off killing machines that seem to have sprung from the television screen.

Desperation features many of the same characters who populated The Regulators, albeit in altered form. Desperation, a small mining town off Route 50 in Nevada, is also under attack by a demon, but here the devastation is far worse. Instead of tormenting a few folks, the demon, after destroying most of the town, has taken to pulling people off the highway to satisfy its perverse longings. Again, a disparate group of people must cooperate to save their lives.

The contrast between these books is startling--if you never noticed the difference between King's and Bachman's styles, reading these two books back to back will be a real eye opener. Bachman creates the aura of immediacy, but we never really get to know his characters. King, on the other hand, hews to his tradition of giving us characters we really care about, people we would like to get to know.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having just slogged through "Bag Of Bones", my expectations for this book were pretty low. Basically, I was anticipating another seven hundred page turkey; my only real motive for reading it was making room on my bookshelf. Imagine my surprise to find it to be one of the best King novels I've ever read. At first, it looked like Jim Thompson-style noir. The villain, a six-foot seven small town Nevada psychotic cop, prowls U.S. 50, "the loneliest road in America", rounding up innocent motorists, kidnapping, imprisoning and killing them. So far, so good. The pure simplicity of such a storyline, especially in the hands of a master storyteller such as Steven King, can't fail to draw a reader in. The brute evil of Collie Entragian, the cop, combined with the isolation of the abandoned western mining town in which the story is set, creates a powerful, suspenseful conflict for the group of travellers Entragian has waylaid and locked up in the jail of the town of Desperation. But there's more. It soon becomes apparent that the supernatural is at work (what Steven King book would be complete without the supernatural?). Entragian speaks to the coyotes, buzzards, scorpions, spiders, snakes and other desert creatures in an unknown language, commanding them to help him carry out his nasty business. He has made good use of them so far, doing away with the entire population of Desperation, and will soon be turning his efforts against the travellers in his jail. For all of it's atmosphere and suspense, this novel is actually a return by King to the exploration of good versus evil, the nature of God and the mystery of faith which he delved into in "The Stand".Read more ›
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