Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Desperation Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1997
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2017 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
A notice to those who feel that Stephen King has lost his magic touch: Desperation is the genuine goods. The ensemble cast of ordinary Americans thrown together by chance, including a disgruntled alcoholic writer and a child who is wise beyond his years, may be a bit too familiar. But the nearly deserted Nevada mining town with an enormous haunted mine pit and an abandoned movie theatre where the survivors hang out makes for a striking battleground, and the grisly action rarely flags. Best of all, though, are the characters of Tak, the ancient body-hopping evil who emerges from the mine, and of "God"--whom the New York Times describes as "the edgiest creation in Desperation. Remote, isolated, ironic, shrouded behind disguises, perhaps 'another legendary shadow,' this deity forms a sly foil, and an icy mirror, to Tak."
From Publishers Weekly
If the publishing industry named a Person of the Year, this year's winner would be Stephen King. Not only is he writing the first modern novel to be serialized in book form (The Green Mile), but with the publication on Sept. 24 of The Regulators (Dutton; Forecasts, June 17) and Desperation, he becomes the first bestselling author?maybe the first author ever?to issue three new major novels in one calendar year. And there's more. With this astonishing work, King again proves himself the premier literary barometer of our cultural clime. For if The Regulators is a work of secular horror, this is a novel of sacred horror (King's first), and explicitly so. Like the second panel of a diptych, Desperation employs, with one major exception, the same characters as The Regulators, and the same source of horror: an evil force named Tak. (The novels aren't sequential, however; people who die in one can live, then die, in the other.) The exception is David Carver, 11, who, with a handful of other passers-through, including a major writer who's recently embraced sobriety, is trapped in the desert mining town of Desperation, Nev. There, Tak stalks them by possessing humans and turning them into homicidal maniacs, and by unleashing armies of coyotes, spiders and scorpions. The terror is relentless?this is King's scariest book since Misery?though the storytelling is looser than in The Regulators to allow room for spiritual themes. For united against Tak are not only David and his pals, but also God, who moves through the boy. King's God is the God of Job, implacable, beyond human ken. As the savageries inflicted upon David and others multiply, they must discern: What is God's will? And, how can God's will be done, when it seems so cruel? Near the story's end, the writer muses that horror "isn't the sort of stuff of which serious literature is made." King knows better, and so will anyone who reads this deeply moving and enthralling masterpiece of the genre. 1,750,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; simultaneous Penguin Audiobook.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
I wanted to go back and re-read all of the classic King books before I started getting into his new stuff (I sort of fell off from The King after I read Dreamcatcher and then Just After Sunset - wasn't a terrible fan of those, sorry to say) and I finally made it to my all-time favorite and that is this one, Desperation.
I particularly loved this book because it was so remote. I've read the in-book reviews comparing this one to his other epic, The Stand, and in some ways I can see why that is. The handful of characters in Desperation do have to make a stand of sorts, but this one on a much smaller scale. Besides that, the characters in The Stand were all over the place. The evil in that book was of a massive scale. I really loved how this very haunting story took place in one locale, particularly. When you read this, you almost felt as lonely and desolate as the characters you were reading about and, unlike in The Stand, with the entire world around them going on while the six people in Desperation, Nevada were trapped in hell.
I don't like delving too much into story detail because I feel like there can be a fine line between telling someone what a story is about and giving away spoilers. Especially since this story didn't give away very much about the plot in the first place in the story info, but I will tell it like this - a small group of seemingly random people are passing through Highway 50 and are soon very forcefully detoured to the mining town of Desperation, Nevada where not another living soul appears to be alive. It isn't long before they find out why and the nightmarish terror begins there.
Hands down the most appealing character in the entire book is ten (or is he eleven?) year-old David Carver. I just wanted to give the little guy a hug - he'd been through so much. God was clearly working through this extraordinary child and more than once listening to him speak and lead the others really did make me think of how all too fragile our faith is for some of us. I won't preach, because I'm not terribly religious, but I could really appreciate the way it took me back to some of the stuff I used to question myself and how far I've come at present with my own faith in God.
I will say that this book is definitely a religious experience of sorts. If you're turned off by religion or just don't really feel comfortable possibly having to confront your own feelings about God, then you probably wouldn't want to read this. But religious aspect aside, this was one of those reads - for me, at least - that really had me wondering all over again how this group of very different people was going to get out of the hell they were in.
Lastly, I didn't care for Tak as a villain. I found the jibberish quite annoying and besides that, it had a very damning flaw (which I won't give away - remember that fine line) that made this...thing quite vulnerable for the terror that it was.
I'll admit, I gave this a five-star review out of nostalgia. After reading this as a now 30-year-old woman, maybe it wasn't the best story The King ever wrote, but I loved it nevertheless for taking me back to a time when Stephen King, a man who has been honing his craft for forty plus years, was new to me.
I'm not a HUGE Stephen King fan, I find myself more drawn to Dean Koontz's stories, but that's not to say I think King is any less. In fact, I'm sure he's written books that would even scare the pants off of Koontz! This one certainly might. And just like "Phantoms", this book left me feeling very nervous and jumpy for several days. So if you want something that will keep that nightlight on at night, read this book. But be warned there is a lot of graphic violence in this book, so if you are kind of squeamish about blood and guts, you might want to avoid this one.
Most recent customer reviews
Cons: The first 100 pages are very unnerving.Read more