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The Dead Zone [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 May 2006
Awake in the dead zone and awake to a nightmare. Recoil in horror as you are touched by a young man cursed with the power to perceive the evil in men's souls. And whose ability to see into the future forces him into a terrifying confrontation with a charismatic, power-hungry and infinitely dangerous man.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New edition edition (8 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340899034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340899038
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 577,785 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

Amazon Review

If any of King's novels exemplifies his skill at portraying the concerns of his generation, it's The Dead Zone. Although it contains a horrific subplot about a serial killer, it isn't strictly a horror novel. It's the story of an unassuming high school teacher, an Everyman, who suffers a gap in time--like a Rip Van Winkle who blacks out during the years 1970-75--and thus becomes acutely conscious of the way that American society is rapidly changing. He wakes up as well with a gap in his brain, the "dead zone" of the title. The zone gives him crippling headaches, but also grants him second sight, a talent he doesn't want and is reluctant to use. The crux of the novel concerns whether he will use that talent to alter the course of history.

The Dead Zone is a tight, well-crafted book. When asked in 1983 which of his novels so far was "the best," Stephen King answered, "The one that I think works the best is The Dead Zone. It's the one that [has] the most story." --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

Read this stunning novel and you will feel the hairs on the nape of your neck rise (Time Out)

Ominous and nerve-wracking (New York Times)

The indisputable King of horror (Time)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I've always had sort of weird feelings about The Dead Zone. It is a fantastic novel, yet it has never rated among my personal King favorites. Maybe it's because I envision the story taking place in a cold, harsh world, devoid of color and light. This really isn't a horror novel at all, so there are really no thrills and chills to be found until the few exhilarating moments that make up the climax of this pretty depressing story. The Dead Zone is one of King's most accessible novels, however, and it exemplifies so many of this great author's strengths. First and foremost, the man knows how to tell a story - no one does it better, in my opinion. King's magic gift for characterization is also on display here, as John Smith, a thoroughly "Everyman" protagonist comes across as quite real and exceedingly human; he's a truly ordinary man placed in the most extraordinary of conditions. King truly does the character right in the form of a truly masterful conclusion, as well.
If you could go back in time to 1932 and meet Adolf Hitler, would you kill him? That's the question that ultimately comes to consume Johnny's mind as this story nears its end. Would you sacrifice yourself for the lives of so many other people, virtually all of them strangers?
John Smith is just an ordinary fellow; he's got a job he enjoys, he's fallen in love with a good woman, and he's as happy as he's ever been. Then The Accident happens, and Johnny wakes up to learn that his world will never be the same. He's been in a coma for well over four years, and he faces a painful road to recovery both mentally and physically.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best King book I've ever read 13 Sep 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In On Writing, Stephen King says that The Dead Zone is one of the few plot-driven novels he's ever writen -- meaning he had the whole story thought out before he started writing it down. I don't know if that's what makes this one SUCH a winner, but it really stood out, to me, as a wonderful book.

Forget the film. What's brilliant about the book is that we get inside both the lead character's minds -- Johnny Smith, a typical all-American "good guy" who has the limited ability to see the future because of a childhood accident; and Greg Stillson, a bonkers nutjob who is campaigning to be the next US president.

When Johnny shakes Greg's hand at a political rally, he has a vision of Greg becoming the President and sparking World War III. Everyone else loves Greg -- Johnny is the only man who can stop him...

Does that sound corny? The way it's written is ANYTHING but. Several scenes at the end made me cry as I'd become so attached to Johnny Smith.

This is my favourite Stephen King book by a (Green) mile. It isn't his horror stuff -- nobody turns out to be a huge spider at the end -- but a wonderful, character-driven, gripping story.

Buy it!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
There are always those who do not want to read Stephen King because they simply do not like horror novels. They do not want to read about killer cars or killer clowns, vampires or the walking dead, or any of that fun stuff that many of us absorb like candy on Halloween night. Fortunately, King does right other tales from time to time, which, ironically, tend to get their names changed when they are made into major motion pictures that refrain from prominently mentioning the authors name in their television commercials (which, of course, is how we know when it is a "good" movie of a Stephen King story). Of all those "safe" Stephen King books (relatively speaking), "The Dead Zone" has the virtue of still being fairly representative of King's entire body of work. That is why when people shy away from reading his work, I insist that "The Dead Zone" is the Stephen King book for people who do not want to read Stephen King.
Like King's epic "The Stand," the story of Johnny Smith takes as its genesis the idea of "not the potter, but the potter's clay." Johnny Smith is just a young school teacher out on a date with Sarah Hazlett at the cheap carnival that has come to town. Things are going well for the couple when they stop to play the wheel of fortune and Johnny predicts the number that is going to up next, time and time again. The experience upsets Sarah, but things go from bad to worse: on the way home Johnny's cab is in a horrible accident and he goes into a coma. When he comes out of it five years later he discovers the world has changed: Nixon has resigned, Sarah has married someone else and there are strange new devices called Flair pens. But Johnny has changed too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 1 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
King has never really managed to hit this level since. Definitely his best work (and the first King novel I bought). A brilliant conceived and developed story, bringing the main character firmly into focus. The ending enough to bring a lump to your throat. (Ignore the low budget Dino De Laurentis interpretation, this is the real McCoy.) Check out Firestarter and Christine and possibly IT, then leave it at that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage king belter
A Stephen King belter. If only his recent stuff stayed the pace like this
Published 7 days ago by Wilki
3.0 out of 5 stars The dead zone
Was so sad about this story especially when Johnny died I would of loved for him and Sarah to get back together loved the story anyway lol nice one stevo lol xxxxx
Published 10 days ago by kayleigh hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
King's take on the supernatural always amazes me: not vampire, werewolves or witches for him - his version of the paranormal is far more subtle and more in the mind. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth Davies
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and very easy read.
Another great yarn from the best horror writer in the 20th century. You always know what you're going to get with Stephen King and that is not a criticism.
Published 2 months ago by K. Barnacle
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping from start to finish
one of my favourite SK books, read it after watching the movie with Christopher Walken and still found it thrilling
Published 3 months ago by SciFiFan
5.0 out of 5 stars Deepest mind feeling
what happened to Johnny is possible belief in this matter is up to the individual we all have beliefs true
Published 4 months ago by sandy clarity
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I'm having a spell of reading all my favourite older King books again.
This was always one of those that I wouldn't have necessarily said was up there with Christine or Pet... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pete Hodgson
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Zone
I think King is often over rated , or at least in the need of a decent editor ( just been ploughing through re - reading The Shining after reading Dr Sleep and it so needs... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jeanette L. Lee-miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fun
This novel felt a little different to most of the Stephen King I have read. There is a distinct lack of 'horror'. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Verdicts
4.0 out of 5 stars the dead zone
As usual King delivers an amazing if somewhat unbelievable book, the ending is somewhat macabre, but his son/father father in law relationships are credibly written. Read more
Published 6 months ago by judith rhodes
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