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Firestarter [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

13 Oct 2011

'You're a firestarter honey....just one big zippo lighter'

A year ago, he was an upstanding instructor of English at Harrison State College. Now Andy is on the run with his daughter. A pigtailed girl named Charlie. A girl with an unimaginably terrifying gift.

A gift which could be useful to corrupt authorities. Soon Charlie will be caught up in the menace of a fateful drug experiment and a sinister government ploy . . .

Let the reader beware: FIRESTARTER is Stephen King at his most mesmerising . . . and menacing.

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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: 13.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best 12 April 2006
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Firestarter 21 Dec 2007
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Firestarter 21 Oct 2009
By C.W.P
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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Firestarter gets comparatively little attention among Stephen King novels. It doesn't make many readers' list of favorites, it's sometimes falsely dubbed a recycled version of Carrie, and the film adaptation of it didn't do the novel any favors. I first read Firestarter some twenty years ago, and frankly I remembered it in somewhat fuzzy terms. Having reread it again now, a quarter century after its original publication, that ambivalence I felt has been turned into - well, something. I don't think anyone would consider this King's best novel. It is very much a localized story, built mainly upon emotion; certain questions can be asked about the story's progression, and we never really come to "know" the bad guys as intimately as we do in so many other King classics - Rainbird is for me a problematic character in this story; like the young protagonist, I just never feel as if I can truly read him. There is no real adrenaline rush for me in these pages, either, and that is probably the main reason I had such hazy memories of the story after all these years. Having said all that, though, I have to point to some real strengths of Firestarter. It is one of King's most poignant novels, sad and depressing rather than horrifying. The relationship between Andy McGee and his daughter Charlie is by turns heartwarming and heart wrenching; seeing this seven-year-old girl suffer so much can be hard at times, and those moments when Charley screams for her Daddy, her only source of comfort and safety in her unimaginably horrible world, definitely affect you as the reader. It makes Firestarter a somewhat sobering read, one you may want to put out of your mind rather than revisit - that is this novel's power.
Charlie McGee is just a cute little girl, yet she is denied anything resembling a normal life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't disappoint. 28 April 2012
By Joy
As usual, Stephen King has produced a thrilling, compelling tale full of suspense and it's easy to get involved with the characters, particularly the heroine and her father. I won't give the story away, just to say it's 'edge of the seat' stuff. Enjoy it, as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked gem and a crackling story 22 Sep 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.

OK so it's all a bit cliched; innocent fugitives on the lam from a sinister government organisation, covert weapons research, yadda yadda yadda.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Compelling. Couldn't put it down!
Published 2 days ago by SG
3.0 out of 5 stars It will not outshine King's earlier stories
Did I like it? It was OK. Was it interesting? It was if I think of characters.

Stephen King is normally very good with creating characters that seem multi-dimensional... Read more
Published 7 days ago by hamptoncherry
3.0 out of 5 stars Firestarter
Very good book keeps the reader interested and a wanting to read on but I love Stephen king books anyway
Published 2 months ago by kayleigh hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
I am a huge Stephen King fan but never read any of his earlier books. I started with Carrie and then this one. It's amazing that this was one of his first books. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jason sharpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Early King and great read
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... Read more
Published 4 months ago by The Pegster
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Thrilling = Stephen King
I think the reason it is so easy to love this novel, is because it delivers everything that it promises. It is written by Stephen King, so one knows what to expect. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Verdicts
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great reading, this was a real page turner, i recommend it for any avid readers of suspense/thrill novels guarantee you will want more!
Published 12 months ago by jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This is classic King at his very best. You feel the characters and his styles of writing is second to none. Read more
Published 17 months ago by S. Campin
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
This is by far one Stephen kings best books I absolutely enjoyed it, if you like Carrie then you will love fire star starter
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleaseure revisited
Barbara hatton

Just read this again after maybe 10 years ... loved it all over again !! had fprgotten some of it
Published 20 months ago by BARBARA JANE HATTON
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