DESPERATION by Stephen King
Kirkus Star

DESPERATION

KIRKUS REVIEW

An astounding fall season for King unfolds with three new novels: the wind-up of his Signet paperback serial The Green Mile, and same-day dual publication of Desperation from Viking and The Regulators from Dutton (as Richard Bachman--see above). Desperation, while mystifying if read after The Regulators, is fabulous storytelling that avoids the slovenly glee that corrodes the grand fantasy of its mirror novel. The twin rulers of the dual novels are God the Cruel (Desperation), who speaks only to David Carver, a very well-spoken 11-year-old, and the Great God Television (The Regulators), a rotten god made visible through the mind of an autistic six-year-old, Seth Garon. The two books share characters but offer distinctly different spins on their personalities: The heroine of The Regulators is a big threat in Desperation. Also on hand in both are the evil entity Tak and the heroic but burnt-out novelist John Marinville, a recovering alcoholic. While speeding through empty Nevada spaces, Peter and Mary Jackson are stopped and arrested by a gigantic cop from nearby Desperation, a small mining town. At the jailhouse, the nutty robotic giant shoots Peter dead. Then the giant arrests Marinville, who is trying to recover his reputation by crossing the country on his motorcycle and writing a Steinbeckian Travels with Harley. The cop's body, we find, houses Tak, who constantly needs new bodies to live in because his superhuman heart batters them to pieces. He has already murdered the whole town and is now planning to house himself in the still-alive Audrey Wyler, a mining specialist who has been investigating the nearby China Shaft where "the unformed heart" of Tak bubbles evilly. Then into town rides Steve, whose heart is pure, in a Ryder truck . . . Knockout classic horror: King's most carefully crafted, well-groomed pages ever.
Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1996
ISBN: 0-670-86836-1
Page count: 704pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1996




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