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Firestarter Paperback – 8 May 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New edition edition (8 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340899042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340899045
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,378,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 most fertile storytellers of the modern novel (The Sunday Times)

King does this better than anyone else. We finished the book in about three non-stop hours after we picked it up (Playboy)

Book Description

For the first time from Hodder paperbacks, comes a riveting chiller from the early pen of the master.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The dramatic effect of throwing readers in at the deep end with Andy and Charlie already on the run is pulled off perfectly by King, with flashbacks explaining the more intricate details of the experiments and the Shop agency. When I first saw this, I thought it would be a cheap version of Carrie, but I found this far more entertaining, with more interesting characters and a much more satisfying conclusion. The superntatural backdrop is hardly as much a basis for the story as a trademark of Stephen King's macabre style. Also well researched, with mutations, telepathy and pyrokinesis. Amazing.
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By Crookedmouth HALL OF FAMETOP 100 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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Format: Paperback
I've read a few Stephen King books. I'm only 12, and sometimes I find it very hard to concentrate, but in Firestarter I just never lost intertest. I would recommend it to good readers of my age, as it has very little unapropriate content, unlike King's other books.The story may seem shallow at first, a girl and her father running away from the government agency "The Shop", the girl with a supernatural power to set things on fire. Ripping off Carrie? No, after the father and daughter are caught and imprisonned, thats where the story really takes place! Excellent story and charachters, I recommend this to new readers as well as hardcore SK fans.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 and rarely entirely black and white. I like reading about what they THINK and what they FEEL and why they DO such and such after.

The plot is predictable though, the ending is sort of predictable too, but left hanging in the mid air.

Stephen King has written much better books, his short stories are absolutely brilliant. Read this one but do not expect too much.
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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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