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Desperation / Stephen King [Unknown Binding]

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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  • Unknown Binding
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,417,123 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. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A disparate collection of travellers are abducted by an insane cop and incarcerated in the jail of a small Nevada mining town in the middle of nowhere. It quickly becomes clear that the cop isn't just insane - he's posessed - and an ancient tunnel recently uncovered at the mine may hold the clue...

King's novels are rather variable in quality. I suspect that most careful and discerrning readers, even King's Constant Readers, will acknowledge that as true. I'll qualify the statement and state that I haven't yet read a single King that I *didn't* like but I *can* recognise their flaws. Perhaps that's the mark of a true fan (I'd like to think so)?

Now; I'm re-reading a lot of his old stuff and (slowly) coming up to date with his newer work so I can't claim to have a huge base across which to compare, but I think that Desperation has to be one of his better novels. It scores highly on a number of counts, the best probably being the atmosphere that King develops: the desperate, deserted, dusty desolation of the setting, the sense of rising foreboding as events build to a head, the terror and uncertainty evoked by the murderous cop, the helplessness of his victims and the sudden randomness of their deaths. This *feels* like a horror novel. The depiction of the mad cop is also masterful: he's not simply insane Tak, his problems go far deeper than that and his strange mannerisms and sayings convey his demonic posession rather well.

That said, King lets himself down somewhat with the dialogue he constructs for his other - less mental - protagonists and they frequently talk as if their lines had been scripted by a Hollywood B-movie dialogue coach; wordy and schmaltzily sincere.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, horrifying, amusing and dazzling. 4 Aug 2001
This was the first Stephen King novel that I ever read (my parents thought that 11 was too young, but I ignored them) and it remains my absolute favourite. Although I have read countless other Stephen king wonders, such as CARRIE, 'SALEM'S LOT, ROSE MADDER and BAG OF BONES, the only one which I think even closley rivals DESPERATION is FIRESTARTER. In the derelict settlement of Desperation, the stage is set for a huge battle between Tak, a possessing demon, and God, or maybe just God's avatar, David. The menacing images of the coyote and the wolf, Tak's avatars, recur throughout the novel and I found the entire book from beginning to end entirely breathtaking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find yourself desperate to pick it up again! 31 Jan 2001
This book, although quite long, is truly addictive. The plot ids twisted, just when you think you know whats going to happen something truly unexpected happens. This book has many characters, you can`t help yourself being attracted to at least one of them. This book is not one of King`s scarier books, but don`t be put off by that it is truly brilliant. You will find yourself gripped to the thrilling storyline. I can`t say any more except read this book and I can give 100% gurantee you won`t regret it. It is just exceptionally dazzling. 10/10
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A feast of blood, gore and death! 1 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm actually going to sway away from popular opinion on this one. Even though it’s by no means a bad book, it’s not great either.
Desperation is certainly more of a gore-fest rather than a psychological horror. The book begins with a couple driving through a desert. As the pass a sign, they notice a dead animal nailed to it, this is the first scare, then a cop pulls them over, and then BANG! You’re into the action immediately. The story certainly starts very quickly, no time building characters or the scene too much with this one, oh no, the horror is fast paced and I’m sure that almost everyone will find the first 100 pages impossible to put down. But this is the big problem. How do you sustain this kind of pace for 700 pages? Simply, you cant. This is very disappointing, as I thought the first part really was some of the most intense storytelling that I’ve read in a long while, unfortunately, you pay for this because the story really does begin to drag a bit from there on in.
If you like blood, guts, severed limbs, and basically just downright gore, gore and throw some more gore in, then you wont be disappointed with this. But if you looking for a more psychological horror, then I suggest maybe Bag of Bones also by King.
A good horror story that maybe drags on a little too long, and maybe the horror is too in your face (which in my opinion is much less scary most the time) for some, but don’t let it put you off. A good read nevertheless, maybe a slightly average story made better by a great author.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of King's scariest novels yet. 24 July 1999
By A Customer
Desperation is quite simply an outstanding read. The way king draws several normal people, including two very young children to a haunted mining town is great. The book never once slows down and king does what he is excellent at : killing off the lead characters emotionlessly and reshaping the plot around their deaths, creating new lead characters. This is done here on several occasions. The most intriguing part of the story is young David Carver's relationship with God, something which the other charaters never quite understand, But King makes us do so. The only problem I have the book is that King never elaborates on the fact that Johnny Marinvile had lived a previos life - one where he was killed in Vietnam. King also scares us with vintage horror essentials : snakes, scorpions, dead bodies etc and he does this in a way which isn't over the top. Despite not matching to the levels of The Shining or even Misery, it is still an excellent read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not one of his greatest novels but its good all the same
Published 6 days ago by A.L.R
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read.
Published 1 month ago by Alexander Wylie
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read !!!
Amazing book, but do not watch the movie. Too much of the characters tough are on the book, so a movie will not make any sense
Published 1 month ago by D S Steve
3.0 out of 5 stars Not King's best by a bit.
King was my hero and I suppose still is. He has a plethora of work ranging from the totally brilliant (see any of his first five novels) to average at best (see this one). Read more
Published 1 month ago by MrReview
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all about the journey
Sometimes with SK the journey matters more than the destination, IT would be for me an example of that, and so it is a bit with this story. But what a journey! Read more
Published 1 month ago by MH
5.0 out of 5 stars Book much better than film
I came across the movie on Netflix Ron Perlman was great but the book is much better than the film don't read the book before the film you will be disappointed
Published 1 month ago by Eileen Dornan
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
Strange tale in his style. Not his best work by far. Written more as a film script. Still worth reading.
Published 3 months ago by Edgson Medoras
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Very good book - have been wishing to read this for years and now have it on my e-device. Thanks
Published 3 months ago by Mrs G from Durham
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I love Stephen King
I have read and loved Stephen King novels for the last thirty plus years. In my opinion, he cannot write a bad book, some of them are just less good, but I read them all. Read more
Published 4 months ago by jennyolderbutbetter
5.0 out of 5 stars I had forgotten how king captures your imagination!!
Its been a while since i have read & thoroughly enjoyed a steven king novel.
Although, in parts it did remind me a little of The Stand, the fight between good & evil, i still... Read more
Published 5 months ago by avid reader
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