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Desperation [Hardcover]

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (501 customer reviews)

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"Oh! Oh, Jesus! Gross!" Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu all over again July 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Desperation is very good Stephen King that builds a sense of peril and has the readers turning page after page well after they were supposed to turn the lights out.
However, the biggest surprise and pleasure is reading it with the Bachman (King) book The Regulators. It is such a weird deja vu experience having character you think you know in both books. Heros relegated to more minor roles and events playing out differently then you think they will because of your preconceptions. Overall a very enjoyable experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King--Desperation (1996) June 20 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although not one of his more critically commended horror-thrillers of the last decade or so (mainly due to its lack of a television or motion picture adaptation), "Desperation" is perhaps one of Stephen King's most exhilarating, yet tender achievements that he has ever written. It begins with a style that is not unique to King, jumping at the audience within the initial few pages, gripping the readers with a relentless strangle-hold that does not subside until the concluding punctuation. "Desperation" not only describes a shockingly serene small town that is ripped apart by an unknown evil, but also dwells on the inner apprehension that comes when faith is not governed from a higher power.
A group of people all find themselves in Desperation, Nevada for one reason or another. Peter and Mary Jackson are returning to New York in their sister's vehicle, but are arrested for having a large amount of marijuana hidden in the trunk. The Carvers, an average Ohio family, are pulled over and taken into police custody because they have numerous flat tires blown out on their RV. Aging motorcycling literary genius John Marinville, who is researching for his last great novel and traveling the country to find answers, is detained for taking a urine-stop on the side of the highway. What these people and all the citizens of Desperation have in common; however, is that they are being tormented by a maniacal police officer named Collie Entragian, who is shooting people at will and is becoming increasingly strange as time goes on. With the help from townie Tom Billingsley, this unforgettable group of magical characters surge into battle against a mysterious vice that has a death grasp on the ill-fated desert village.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a very overlooked King book May 1 2004
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
this is probably my favorite Stephen King book. I have read it 3 times, each time during lengthy trips across the world, and ech time I've read it it was as if it was my first. It is a very great book for me. For some reason I can imagine things in the book PERFECTLY, or at least in a way that makes the book truly come alive for me anyway. Each place they went to hide from Entragian was a place that I had been in in my life before or at the time I first read it. For instance the seedy, abandoned theater that they took to for shelter was the pornon theater that my father had purchased when I first read the book. And the way taht the theater was described didn't prove me wrong at all but actually made it seem like, in a wierd way, he was talking about the same building. But, either way that you imagine it, you are bound to enjoy it, because it is truly an excellent book. very creepy and...I guess that atmospheric would be an ok word to describe it. It picks up really right when it starts..Anyway. I Strongly reccomend this book as well as the sequel written under King's pseudonym, The regulators. You are sure to enjoy them.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting King April 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I was in high school, I went through a major Stephen King phase. He was the only author I would read, and I didn't stop until I'd read every thing he wrote (up to "The Green Mile"). That was a few years ago, and recently I was in the mood to come back to him and do some catch up with the things he's written since. I read "Desperation" and I'm currently in the middle of its sister book "The Regulators," and while I enjoyed "Desperation," I do have to admit that I've outgrown King somewhat. I don't know if he's gotten worse as a writer, or whether he's always written like this and I'm just remembering him from a different perspective, but his writing is just so SLOPPY. I feel like there's no tightness to it at all; it's like a really fatty piece of meat---there are good parts, but you have to cut around all of the inedible portions to get to them.
He builds some nice effective creepy dread in the novel's first half, but by the time it's over, it's not really scary anymore. I admit that I was pretty hooked for the whole thing and did my share of page turning, but the whole time I was reading I was aware that I was reading schlock well below my reading level, and King's writing never affected me like that before. I know that sounds pompous, and I really don't mean it to, but it's just the honest truth. He really belongs in the same class as John Grisham, except he's got more imagination in his thumbnail than Grisham has in his entire body. After I finish "The Regulators" I think my Stephen King craving will be satisfied for some time to come.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strong theme, interesting read April 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read literally ALL of Stephen King's books. If this were my first, I might give it five stars. Having read The Stand, The Talisman, and It, I have to drop it down to four. I thought the story was a little weak-I'm not sure I ever really "got" what Tak is, beyond a bad demon of some sort. And the link to The Regulators (a truly bad book) is mystifying.
To me, though, the spiritual theme made it fascinating. As always, Stephen King puts good forces against evil, always with a little free will thrown in for good will that *almost* but not quite ruins the day, and ends up serving some greater purpose in itself.
David Carver's transformation from a blind faith based on something he believes to a heart-wrenching realization that what he's been saying all along-that God is cruel-is actually and personally true is touching and really hits home. And Johnny, very similar to Larry Underwood in many ways (good ole Larry, my favorite King character ever). The reluctant hero, transformed from the self-serving lush. For some reason he's just incredibly endearing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars but a fantastic story.
Really exciting, and horror filled, but a fantastic story.
Published 6 days ago by christine
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Must Read ! I Really Enjoyed !
This is an outstanding piece of work by Stephen King. I’ve read many books by Stephen King and there hasn’t been one where I couldn’t finish it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by charlie1212
5.0 out of 5 stars huge Stephen King fan
Loved finding another Stephen King book to add to my collection. As expected it was hard to put down. Truly enjoyed the terror of reading the book.
Published 6 months ago by Noreen T
5.0 out of 5 stars book
very good book and excellent story the most interesting that I've read so long I recommand it to all my friends
Published 6 months ago by Claude Couillard
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive
I usually don't enjoy horror books but I'm glad that I gave Desperation a chance. It was years ago but I can still recall much of the plot. Read more
Published on July 5 2008 by R. Corson
4.0 out of 5 stars The "King of terror"!
I loved it! Just couldn't stop reading. If you like horror, you will love Desperation. From the beginning until the end, this book was excellent for me like every book I read from... Read more
Published on March 22 2007 by Jojos
3.0 out of 5 stars Scary stuff!
This is one of King's more graphic, horror books (like Pet Semetary). It surrounds a bunch of characters that were driving down Interstate 50 in Nevada and were unfortunate enough... Read more
Published on March 19 2007 by Kelly Brianna
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperate attempt at insanity
This book was about the fourth Stephen King book that I read, I found it to be amzingly inventive. It starts off with Mary and Peter Jackson, driving down a lonely highway in... Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Gus fogle
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightmares every day
Hands down...
This book gave me ongoing nightmares for 2 consecutive weeks.
That's the power of Stephen King.
Published on April 13 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful read!
The story is set in a once thriving copper mining town called Desperation, only now it appears to be eerily deserted.
From the first page,
"Oh! Oh, Jesus! Read more
Published on April 11 2004 by Helen Simpson
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