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Dreamcatcher Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2001
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Four boyhood pals in Derry, Maine, get together for a pilgrimage to their favorite deep-woods cabin, Hole in the Wall. The four have been telepathically linked since childhood, thanks to a searing experience involving a Down syndrome neighbor--a human dreamcatcher. They've all got midlife crises: clownish Beav has love problems; the intellectual shrink, Henry, is slowly succumbing to the siren song of suicide; Pete is losing a war with beer; Jonesy has had weird premonitions ever since he got hit by a car.
Then comes worse trouble: an old man named McCarthy (a nod to the star of the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers) turns up at Hole in the Wall. His body is erupting with space aliens resembling furry moray eels: their mouths open to reveal nests of hatpin-like teeth. Poor Pete tries to remove one that just bit his ankle: "Blood flew in splattery fans as Pete tried to shake it off, stippling the snow and the sawdusty tarp and the dead woman's parka. Droplets flew into the fire and hissed like fat in a hot skillet."
For all its nicely described mayhem, Dreamcatcher is mostly a psychological drama. Typically, body snatchers turn humans into zombies, but these aliens must share their host's mind, fighting for control. Jonesy is especially vulnerable to invasion, thanks to his hospital bed near-death transformation, but he's also great at messing with the alien's head. While his invading alien, Mr. Gray, is distracted by puppeteering Jonesy's body as he's driving an Arctic Cat through a Maine snowstorm, Jonesy constructs a mental warehouse along the lines of The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. Jonesy physically feels as if he's inside a warehouse, locked behind a door with the alien rattling the doorknob and trying to trick him into letting him in. It's creepy from the alien's view, too. As he infiltrates Jonesy, experiencing sugar buzz, endorphins, and emotions for the first time, Jonesy's influence is seeping into the alien: "A terrible thought occurred to Mr. Gray: what if it was his concepts that had no meaning?"
King renders the mental fight marvelously, and telepathy is a handy way to make cutting back and forth between the campers' various alien battlefronts crisp and cinematic. The physical naturalism of the Maine setting is matched by the psychological realism of the interior struggle. Deftly, King incorporates the real-life mental horrors of his own near-fatal accident and dramatizes the way drugs tug at your consciousness. Like the Tommyknockers, the aliens are partly symbols of King's (vanquished) cocaine and alcohol addiction. Mainly, though, they're just plain scary. Dreamcatcher is a comeback and an infusion of rich new blood into King's body of work. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The four friends--Joe "Beaver" Clarendon, Pete Moore, Henry Devlin and Gary Jones--are bound together in a way that they do not even suspect. Beaver is an inventive curser who owns a cabin in the Maine woods where the group gathers for the last time, Pete can find lost car keys or anything else when he puts his mind to it, Henry is a suicidal shrink who has a tendency to lash out at patients from time to time, and Jonsey is a college professor who just "knows" when students cheat on exams.Read more ›
You will probably want to read this book if: - You're a Stephen King fan who really enjoyed The Tommyknockers. - You want to read a new explanation for all of those supposed UFO sightings over the years. -You enjoy epic, save-the-world stories that, let's face it, could never happen - could they?
You probably won't want to read this book if: - You didn't enjoy The Tommyknockers. - You like the action at a sustained fast-pace. The book does tend to lose momentum mid-way through. - You have a thing about profanity.
Although the story is rather formulaic, this formula is the reason I read Stephen King books.
Which made me sad, because I've been one of King's Constant Readers since my twelfth birthday, when I finished "Pet Sematary". I've been with him through the good years and the bad. The occasional rambling blahs and the cherished moments of pure transcendent bliss, like at the end of "Low Men in Yellow Coats" from "Heart in Atlantis," where I simultaneously cried my eyes out and felt a surging thankfulness for being alive and being in the world, and having that book in my hands at that moment. A perfect moment.
For that moment, and many moments like it over the years, I consider Stephen King a good friend. I didn't like the idea of not hearing the voice of my friend ever again.
Especially when his last book, the collection "Hearts in Atlantis," contained some of the best writing he'd ever done. It left me starving for more great Stephen King. Any Stephen King, really.
So I'm extremely happy to still be hearing his voice, to be reading his words. It makes the world a better place to be in.
But I'll have to say that "Dreamcatcher" isn't nearly as good as the brilliant "Hearts in Atlantis.Read more ›
Things I liked: * The kids in his story are utterly believeable - he certainly hasn't lost touch with his childhood.
* As always, his references to other stories are clever in-jokes (and having this story set partially in Derry, I'd have been disappointed if there weren't any at all)
* The interior battle between Mr. Gray and Jonesy was VERY well written - another thing King can capture quite believably is the not-quite-reality of dreams.
* (very minor spoiler alert) The evolution of Mr. Gray from an alien 'intelligence' into something with human emotions/desires (bacon!) was nicely and subtly done.
* One thing I have always liked about King's work (and my wife doesn't) are his little sidepaths he takes his story down. The little ancedotes that let us get into his characters heads are essential, I think, to character development (my wife thinks they distract from the plot).
* Duddits was a fantastic character - even though he's essentially the same guy as the Wolf in Talisman, and Tom "M-O-O-N spells moon" Cullen from the Stand, it's a character I really like. Sort of like an old friend popping up unexpectedly :-).
Things I didnt like (and they're minor): * It reminded me a little of Tommyknockers, which I didn't enjoy at all. That has nothing to do with this book, actually, but I still don't forgive him for that one.
* Same thing with the last 200 pages of It, which was an absolutely fantastic story until he dragged in all that Spider and Turtle crap.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really like that Stephen King can keep coming up with quite interesting ideas as time goes on. I think that many things within Dreamcatcher have been used before, but I like... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Andy Keith
This isn't my favorite Stephen King novel but always a good read. King's excellent writing and descriptors always give me nightmares so if you are prone to graphic dreaming be... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Yolanda Robinson
My mom read this year's ago--and laughed and raved about it. In the audio format, I found it dry and rough going, especially at first. Read morePublished 6 days ago by justme
Worst book I've ever read. The parts with the alien parasites were simply disgusting. The story was pretty slow but I kept reading it because I thought it must get better. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dawn Hyatt
satisfied at end of book ... this may seem like a simple statement . I enjoy reading over fourty years of it and I must say , this is a rarity . Read morePublished 2 months ago by robin hunter
I didn't think a book with the title "Dreamcatcher" would grab my attention and hold it to the last page. Read morePublished 2 months ago by WynterFire11