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Firestarter Paperback – 13 Oct 2011

37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (13 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444708104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444708103
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,724 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.

Product Description

Review

Stephen King's finest novel yet...the most tightly plotted of King's chillers, it is also the most terrifying (Cosmopolitan)

One of the few horror writers who can truly make the flesh creep (Sunday Express)

King's imagination is vast (Guardian)

Book Description

Stephen King's classic thriller about a young girl with a terrifying gift.

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First Sentence
"Daddy, I'm tired," the little girl in the red pants and the green blouse said fretfully. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Crookedmouth HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Andy McGee, a young student, willingly takes part in a medical experiment to raise a little cash. The experiment, sponsored by a shady government organisation called "The Shop" leaves him (and his future wife) with telepathic/telekinetic powers. Many years later and Andy is on the run from The Shop with his daughter, who has inherited her parents' powers (and then some), in tow. Their pursuers (inevitably) want to conduct a few "experiments" on Andy and Charlie...

It's been mentioned in another review that Firestarter is one of King's most emotionally compelling books and I have to agree. I rarely experience particularly strong emotional reactions to even very good books: I don't think I've ever read a story that scared me, or made me happy, or want to cry. However, Firestarter is one (possibly the only one? No - there was Gallipoli) that /really/ moved me and I can vividly remember first reading it (many years ago) and being sucked in by the story and engaging with it as if it were reality (and for a book about telekinesis, that's quite an achievement!). In fact, I would go so far as to say that I found Andy and Charlie's plight heartbreaking. Don't worry, there's no gratuitously gory medical experimentation or anything like that. What moved me was Andy's devotion to his young daughter, Charlie's innocence and the dispassionate, detatched cruelty of their tormentors. I'll say it again, because it still surprises me - this is a moving, upsetting, sad and engaging story. It's not (for me anyway) a tearjerker but it really did tug on my heartstrings.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. L. A. Nicholson on 12 April 2006
Format: Paperback
It's not as well known a novel as say, The Stand or The Shining (although there was a film made starring Drew Barrymore), but for me this is one of King's best works. The story is of a man who takes part in a clinical trial of a new drug while at university, and who picks up an ability to influence people's actions with his mind, somewhat Jedi-like. He later passes on to his daughter the power to start fires with her mind, something which makes her the target of a shady government group intent on using her powers for their own gain.

It's one of King's most tightly plotted novels, completely lacking in his sometimes too-frequent ramblings that don't seem to go anywhere. Though not really horror, it does have King's typically excellent characterisation, and as usual I felt very connected to the main character's plight and cared a lot about his outcome. Definitely highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of Kings better books and keeps you hooked throughout. As usual for King (despite other failings) his characterisation is spot on and you engage straight away with the main characters, and therefore with their story. King manages to give just the right amount of edge to the government agency pursuing the pyrokinetic girl and her father and you begin to feel their frustrations and fear as they are relentlessly hunted down. This book is often overlooked in Kings body of work, but it is one of my favorites of his and well worth a read.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C.W.P on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
King's tale of a young girl with the power of pyrokinesis is more than just the out and out horror you would expect. He engages the readers sympathy for the protagonists from the first page, with a father on the run from government agents with his tired little girl. King continues to engage our empathy with flashbacks to the murder of the girls mother, her own struggle to use her ability to help her father, and her attempts to controll her urge to use her power.
This novel is a testament to King's technique and as usual with Stephen King, every character is fully realised.
Reccomended for: King fans, horror fans, conspiracy theorists, literature lovers and anyone who wants a good story.

"'I'm all right daddy,'... 'Everything's okay'.
And that was when the cars began to explode"

Absolute genius!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "ruthyless" on 29 Jun. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
this book was brilliant, again there are no words to discribe it, it was truly sad and scary, you really see the true relationship between father and daughter.
you really see the heartbrakingly life behind the little girl and father and see the pain and misery ahead of them.
this is a must read book and you should read this before seeing the film.
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Format: Paperback
Did you ever take place in a controlled medical experiment, maybe as a student to earn some money? You know the type where they pay you some money and part of your group gets given the 'real' new drug and part of the group gets given the placebo?

Andy McGee takes part in just such an experiment as a student which, as he learns later, is run by a government agency called 'The shop' who are testing a hallucinogenic drug they called Lot 6. Andy has flashbacks of people screaming and being carried out of the room during the experiment, but he had a bad trip and can only vaguely remember. But what The Shop didn't plan for is that two of the students on that experiment will fall in love, get married and have a child.

Andy and his wife Victoria both realise that they have powers - Andy can mentally 'push' people to make them do certain things, and Victoria has telekinetic abilities, however, Andy also gets terrible and debilitating headaches if he where ever to use his power, and Victoria's ability is rather minor. However, when they have a daughter, Charlie, they quickly discover that she has very powerful pyrokinetic powers. If Charlie is angry for whatever reason, whatever Charlie focuses on gets set alight. As parents, they want to protect Charlie as much as possible, so from an early age, they teach her not to use her power and control it, wanting Charlie to grow up as normally as possible.

But 'The Shop' find out about Andy and Victoria - and are most interested in Charlie. After watching the family for many years, they finally make their move to get Charlie - with tragic consequences for the whole family. But Andy fights for his daughter, as he knows that otherwise she will just face a lifetime shut away in laboratories.
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