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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Stephen King...very gory!!!
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...
Published on 22 Feb. 2004 by Sue Lewendon

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Good but a drag
I find Stephen King's books to be a hit and miss. Some of his books are brilliant, others are boring. I find this book to be a mixture. It id gripping and has its suspense but that only comes once every so often and the rest of the book is a drag and I ended up speed reading to get it done. The short story Secret Window is much better and has a very similar story. Try...
Published on 2 Jun. 2013 by Wood


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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 "Film fanatic" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
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
By 
A. Nelson (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars King uses his own life as a basis for one of his best books!, 29 Nov. 1999
By 
Mr. C. Barker "MajorBoothroyd" (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
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
By 
Craig Manton (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from one of the greatest storytellers, 4 Mar. 2005
This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
I have read a large number of Stephen King books and am yet to find a disappointing title. The Dark Half was excellent in the way King manages to base a story around such a small amount of characters yet still engages the reader from start to finish.
Another stand out point from previous novels I have read from King was the excessive gore used to describes the murders in the story. These however only manage to emphasise the scares and thrills contained in the plot.
For me it would undoubtedly have won a five star rating, if only the ending had been slightly more inspiring, but to be honest the rest of the book alone makes up for any slight let down.
joe hindley
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5.0 out of 5 stars George Stark. Not A Very Nice Guy., 13 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The cover of my edition is right: HIS MASTERPIECE,, 1 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars good - but not the usual, 30 Jun. 2008
This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
good but strange King novel.
feels like he wanted to write two different stories (one about evil and sparrows and one about writing) but ended up mushing them together instead. and its all the better for it.
the first half is intense and gruesome, lots of murders and mystery, then the second half is an inevitable slog to what we know has to happen.
the supernatural stuff is great, but the story as a whole is quite unlike Steven King.
anyways, action packed, convoluted and manic (it reads like a vastly superior Philip K Dick) King manages to create very interesting characters that you begin to care about very early on. great characterization throughout.
8.5/10
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Pulp Horror, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: The Dark Half (Paperback)
The Dark Half is, appropriately enough given its subject matter, one of those novels where the author's life and the author's work overlap. Stephen King published a few early books under the name Richard Bachman and then, when the secret was out, he 'retired' Bachman from service. In The Dark Half novelist Thad Beaumont publishes literary works under his own name and violent pulp thrillers under the name George Stark. When a needy lowlife stumbles across the secret Thad decides to kill Stark off anyway and avoid the possibility of blackmail but the trouble is Stark refuses to stay dead.

I think the premise behind The Dark Half is about as good as a horror novel can ever hope to have - a respected novelist with a wife, kids and a comfortable lifestyle in staid middle-class America who finds himself pursued and threatened by a violent alter ego who really shouldn't exist. I sense King had great fun with the idea himself and the result is a fantastically over the top homage to Jekyll and Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray on the one hand and the pulp EC Comics - notably the Tales from the Crypt series from the mid-1950s - on the other. The tag-line for the novel is 'George Stark. Not a very nice guy' and Stark's insane murder spree as he bumps off interfering cops, nosy journalists and literary publishers before targeting Thad and his wife is as accomplished and unpleasant a piece of pulp noir writing as you'll ever find. It's to the book's benefit that even though Stark is an abomination it's impossible not to have a sneaking admiration for him. He may have no right to exist but having crawled into reality from the dark-side of an author's imagination he's going to have a damn good stab at staying there.

I'd argue that King has written deeper and more complex novels (It, The Stand and The Shining to name but three) but he hasn't written many in possession of a greater narrative drive than The Dark Half. George Stark is a terrific creation - there's something almost Terminator-like about his ability to target and take-out his victims - and the way he physically decays over time is a nice touch and a great means of adding another layer of visceral horror to the story. Similarly the way King has his lead characters investigate the nature of fiction, the weaving of fact and experience into stories and the means by which the process of writing is carried out from initial idea to final draft is fascinating. It's a good book about an individual nightmare made manifest. George Stark. Not a nice guy .... You can say that again.
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The Dark Half
The Dark Half by Stephen King (Paperback - 10 Nov. 2011)
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