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The Dark Half [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Creating George Stark was easy. Getting rid of him won’t be…

The sparrows are flying again. The idea – unbidden, inexplicable – haunts the edge of Thad Beaumont’s mind.

Thad should be happy. For years now it is his secret persona ‘George Stark’, author of super-violent pulp thrillers, who has paid the family bills. But now, Thad is writing seriously again under his own name, and his menacing pseudonym has been buried forever.

And yet… the sparrows are flying again, and something is terribly wrong in Thad Beaumont’s world.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In 1985, 39-year-old Stephen King announced in public that his pseudonymous alter ego, Richard Bachman, was dead. (Never mind that he revived him years later to write The Regulators.) At the beginning of The Dark Half, 39-year-old writer Thad Beaumont announces in public that his own pseudonym, George Stark, is dead.

Now, King didn't want to jettison the Bachman novel, titled Machine Dreams, that was he working on. So he incorporated it in The Dark Half as the crime oeuvre of George Stark, whose recurring hero/alter ego is an evil character named Alexis Machine.

Thad Beaumont's pseudonym is not so docile as Stephen King's, though, and George Stark bursts forth into reality. At that point, two stories kick into gear: a mystery-detective story about the crime spree of George Stark (or is it Alexis Machine?) and a horror story about Beaumont's struggle to catch up with his doppelganger and kill him dead.

This is not the first time that Stephen King has written a dark allegory about the fiction writer's situation. As the New York Times writes, Misery (1987) is a parable in chiller form of the popular writer's relation to his audience, which holds him prisoner and dictates what he writes, on pain of death. The Dark Half is a parable in chiller form of the popular writer's relation to his creative genius, the vampire within him, the part of him that only awakes to raise Cain when he writes, the fratricidal twin who occupies "the womblike dungeon" of his imagination." --Fiona Webster


A writer of excellence...King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel (The Sunday Times)

King is unbeatable (Mirror)

Not since Dickens has a writer had so many readers by the throat...King's imagination is of the great storytellers of our time (Guardian)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 593 KB
  • Print Length: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder (10 Mar. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003BKZW6S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,484 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Stephen King...very gory!!! 22 Feb. 2004
By Sue Lewendon VINE VOICE
I read this a few years ago and the story has managed to stay pretty well intact in my mind. That shows that this is a good story.
It's about an author who, as a child, suffered with bad headaches. On examination, the doctors find that he has a growth in his brain. When they go in to operate, they discover the growth is actually body parts of what can only have been his twin. Somehow they have started growing and so they are removed.
Years later, Thad Beaumont becomes a very successful writer. But the books he writes are beginning to get him down as they all tell tales of a pretty nasty character. As well received as these are, Thad decides to retire the character and move on to other, nicer stories.
The character, George Stark, isn't happy about this and decides to stop Thad. How is this possible you might well ask? Anything is possible in the safe hands of King.
Then begins a truly horrifying tale of good vs evil as Thad comes to realise that George isn't just a figment of his imagination. He will do anything to protect his wife and twins, and George will do anything to stay a part of this world....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story from King 25 Aug. 2010
I like Stephen King. He does what a popular writer is supposed to do: he writes gripping stories so well you just have to keep reading. And I like the fact that he deals with contemporary America in a mythologising but totally realistic way - he is the Spielberg of the novel. More than that, the plot of this book is tight, simple, and memorable. Any sub-plots are kept that way - just sub-plots - so there are no silly diversions. I found the ending a little obvious as it approached, but even so, I wanted to be there to see it happen! A great story from one of the best living writers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Written shortly after Stephen King revealed his own alter-ego, The Dark-Half takes the pseudonym author idea to the worst possible case scenario! What would you do if your alter-ego came to life and started killing everyone close to you in a desperate bid to make you write the book which would save his soul. A great yarn and a wonderfully abstract view of the heart of schizophrenia. Read it and see for yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of his better thrillers 8 July 2013
Thad Beaumont, a famous author (yet another author - King loves writing about what he knows), has just killed off his nom de plume, George Stark, whose name he used to write his most successful - and bloody - books. But his alter ego is not going to go quietly...

I have read a lot of Stephen King novels and enjoyed most of them. The Dark Half is definitely one of his better ones. It benefits from a tighter plot and lower pagecount than many of his works, and unlike so many King finales, The Dark Half ends in a way which is at least half-satisfying (though it still follows the generally destructive and over the top example of his previous novels). The characters aren't bad either, especially George Stark as a genuinely nasty villain and Alan Pangborn as the quintessential small-town Good Cop.

Overall The Dark Half is a satisfying read and worth trying out over many of King's other novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars George Stark. Not A Very Nice Guy. 13 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Oh how right Thad Beaumont was, if he had known how right he was maybe he would have helped himself and the people who helped Stark's writing career end.

Thad Beaumont is a normal writer, a man with a wife and children but something happened when he was a child, something that has not and will not happen again.

George Stark is the Author of such novels as Alexis Machine etc. and he pays Thad's bills.
Thad decides that George Stark is no good for him and needs to get him out of his life. How easy that will be, you will have to find out.

A brilliant book with many twists and turns along the way. Beautifully written as always and kept in the horrific context I have come to expect from this legendary thriller writer.
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My favourite King novel of all time, a small but significant inch above "Misery". Like "Misery", this is the story of a writer, a close-to-home topic through which King's genius really shines.

Thad Beaumont, a serious and seriously undeappreciated author, has been paying the bills writing under the pseudonym of George Stark for some time now. Stark's novels are gritty, gory, sadistic blood-fests which the public can't get enough of, but the real writer in Thad has had enough of living a lie: he stages Stark's funeral, announcing to the world Stark's death and, hopefully, the birth of his success as himself.

George Stark, as you may imagine, is less than thrilled at being proclaimed dead... terror ensues.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very dark and gruesome 29 July 2010
By Sian
There is plenty of violence and gore in this book, so if you like that kind of stuff in a book then this wont disappoint you!
The book is about an author, Thad Beaumont, who writes best selling thrillers under the name George Stark. Beaumont decides he no longer wants to write any more books by George Stark and so he announces Stark's death as a writer so that he can further his career under his real name writing nicer stories. Stark's character comes to life and begins killing people who were linked to the staging of his death and Beaumont has to figure out a way to stop him.
This is a classic King novel filled with gruesome murders, horror and elements of the super natural. One of King's best books!
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