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Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1999
For the first time in #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King’s remarkable publishing history, the Master of Horror presents an all-new, original tale written expressly for the television screen.

They’re calling it the Storm of the Century, and it’s coming hard. The residents of Little Tall Island have seen their share of nasty Maine Nor’easters, but this one is different. Not only is it packing hurricane-force winds and up to five feet of snow, it’s bringing something worse. Something even the islanders have never seen before. Something no one wants to see.

Just as the first flakes begin to fall, Martha Clarendon, one of Little Tall Island’s oldest residents, suffers an unspeakably violent death. While her blood dries, Andre Linoge, the man responsible sits calmly in Martha’s easy chair holding his cane topped with a silver wolf’s head...waiting.

Linoge knows the townsfolk will come to arrest him. He will let them. For he has come to the island for one reason. And when he meets Constable Mike Anderson, his beautiful wife and child, and the rest of Little Tall’s tight-knit community, this stranger will make one simple proposition to them all:

“If you give me what I want, I’ll go away.”

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Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 + Joyland + Doctor Sleep: A Novel
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Stephen King started writing Storm of the Century as a novel, but it evolved into the teleplay of an ABC TV miniseries. Set in Maine's remote Little Tall Island, the tale is all about vivid small-town characters, feuds, infidelities, sordid secrets, kids in peril, and gory portents in scrambled letters. The calamitous snowstorm is nothing compared to the mysterious mind-reading stranger Linoge, who uses magic powers to turn people's guilt against them--when he's not simply braining them with his wolf-head-handled cane. Don't even glance at that cane--it can bring out the devil in you. Just as The Shining was concerned with marriage and alcoholism as much as it was with bad weather and worse spirits, Storm of the Century is more than a horror story. It's creepy because it's realistic.

But it's also unusually visual. Linoge's eyes ominously change color, wind and sea wreak havoc, a basketball leaves blood circles with each bounce. The 100-year storm no doubt hits harder onscreen than on the page, but the snow is a symbol of the more disturbing emotional maelstrom that words evoke perfectly. And the murders of folks we've gotten to know is entirely terrifying in print. The crisp discipline of the screenplay format makes this book better than lots of King's more sprawling novels--the end doesn't wander and the dialogue crackles. Here's the real test: It's impossible to read parts 1 and 2 and not read part 3, "The Reckoning." --Tim Appelo

Review

"This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill Halloween picture book, even though Gritch the Witch certainly looks her part (though a bit more trendy), with a pointy hat, a gap-toothed grin, vicious green fingernails, and two beauteous moles on her face. She acts her part, too, swaggering, greedy, and just plain impatient, as she brooms off to Old MacDonald's Farm in search of eight plump porkers for her favorite pie. But Palatini deftly turns the tables on Gritch, whose own sense of importance (and the skywritten warning "Surrender Piggies!" ) gives her victims time to implement a plan to save their bacon. When hungry Gritch arrives at the farm, she can't find a single pig. Instead, she finds a wolf, whom she slyly invites home: "I always enjoy having a wolf for lunch." The wry, peppery dialogue is simply great ("Look, Shorty, I've been quack-quacked here, moo-mooed there, and clucked-clucked everywhere all over this farm" ), and Palatini's allusions to popular children's stories from The Wizard of Oz to the "Three Little Pigs" will delight kids. So will Fine's bold, expressive artwork, which gives wicked Gritch a comic audacity that makes her trouncing all the better. A sardonically humorous, rip-roaring yarn that can be enjoyed all year round. " Booklist, ALA

"The exuberant illustrations are colorful and action-filled. Greedy witch and wolf both get what they deserve in this thoroughly enjoyable romp that turns a popular nursery song on end." School Library Journal, Starred
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"SNOW is flying past the lens of THE CAMERA, at first so fast and so hard we can't see anything at all." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Stephen King's "Storm of the Century" screenplay is further proof, if anyone doubts it, that he's not only adept at writing a horror story that gives one the creeps, but that he is not limited to writing in one format.
Most novelists are content with sticking to one literary branch, letting other writers adapt their work to screenplay form. Tom Clancy and John Grisham sell the film rights to producers such as Mace Neufeld and screenwriters (Donald Stewart and John Milius, for instance) rework their basic plots into adapted screenplays. King, too, has allowed others to adapt his works for Hollywood, but he has also learned the demanding format of the screenplay and written quite a few (Creepshow, Silver Bullet, and The Stand, just to name a few).
For the ABC-TV miniseries "Storm of the Century," King conjured up one of his darkest tales yet. As a severe winter storm of unprecedented fury approaches Maine's Little Tall Island, Martha Clarendon is murdered in an unspeakably violent manner. But instead of fleeing the scene of the crime as most killers do, Andre Linoge parks himself on his victim's easy chair and waits, his silver-wolf-head's cane in his hands, for the authorities to pick him up.
But with Linoge's arrest, Little Tall Island's woes do not end; they are only beginning. For Linoge is one of those not-quite-human fiends Stephen King often creates to create havoc in small Maine communities like Little Tall Island, Derry, Jerusalem's Lot, and Castle Rock. He can destroy people simply by revealing their darkest secrets and manipulating them from afar. And by the time the Storm of the Century passes, the citizens of Little Tall Island will be horrified when they discover the meaning of Linoge's simple request: "Give me what I want, and I'll go away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great plot! Jan. 3 2003
By K. HESS
Format:Paperback
I bought this book a few months ago not realizing it was a screenplay. I tried to read it then, but lost interest, because it was a screenplay. I picked it up again last night and just now put it down! Very well written. Once you get past the fact that it is a screenplay you get totally lost in the characters. The ending was surprising, because I thought the townspeople would make a different choice. King seems to know how people would react to certain situations. We all like to think we are basically good, but deep down we are selfish. This isn't up there with THE SHINING or 'SALEM's LOT, but it is very well written, and I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book Feb. 23 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
very good book and excellent story the most interesting that I've read so long I recommand it to all my friends
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Script Writers! Jan. 15 2014
By Umantis
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great reference tool for me while I was taking my Screenwriting class. Good story and a nice sized book, easy to read.
I would recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exiting Screenplay! June 1 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the first screenplay that I read of S.King., it is so well written that you can imagine it as if you were actually seen the movie. The story is so good that it keeps you interested at all times, without a clue about what is going to happen at the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Storm of the Century - Killer in the Keys July 27 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In the summer of 1935, hundreds of World War 1 Veterans were in the Florida Keys to build the bridges linking the islands to the mainland.
Many were curious and most unafraid when they heard a hurricane was coming. What was some wind and rain compared to bullets? Alas the Labor Day hurricane was perhaps the most powerful to ever assualt the U.S. mainland, moving across the Keys with 200-mph winds and a 20-foot storm surge.
More than 400 people died, including many of the verterans in their makeshift work camps. Drye's well-researched narrative provides not only an hour-by-hour account of the storm track, but also chronicles the political fallout in it's aftermath.
Note: This refers to the version by Willie Drye.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Storm of the Century - Killer in the Keys July 27 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In the summer of 1935, hundreds of World War 1 Veterans were in the Florida Keys to build the bridges linking the islands to the mainland.
Many were curious and most unafraid when they heard a hurricane was coming. What was some wind and rain compared to bullets? Alas the Labor Day hurricane was perhaps the most powerful to ever assualt the U.S. mainland, moving across the Keys with 200-mph winds and a 20-foot storm surge.
More than 400 people died, including many of the verterans in their makeshift work camps. Drye's well-researched narrative provides not only an hour-by-hour account of the storm track, but also chronicles the political fallout in it's aftermath.
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4.0 out of 5 stars As good As It Is... Dec 27 2002
Format:Paperback
Author Stephen King's Storm Of The Century, started out as a novel, then morphed into an ABC television mini series, and then ended up as a book after all. I must say right off the bat that I liked the television movie very much...As a massive snow storm heads for the town of Little Tall island, and as the residents start to prepare, one of the town's citizens is murdered by a mysterious stranger. Even as the town constable. Mike Anderson, arrives to take one Andre`Linoge` into custody, the visitor makes a proposition. He promises to leave as quickly as he came, if the townspeople give him the one thing he wants from them. As a t.v. movie, the story worked because of its cast and high production values, the book works too--just not quite as well. First, though, I liked reading the story in its original script format, beause of my film background and all. There's nothing like reading a cool script, even if you have already seen the film. However, I have to say that, I was a bit disappointed in the book version.
As much as the story works, I was expecting King to include scenes that did not make it into the finished film, as is the case with most fare created for film, there is always stuff that is cut out. This is to accomodate time constraints and all that. Since the DVD release of the film contains no deleted material, I thought perhaps the screenplay would have had some of that. After all, when movies are adapted in novel form, there are no limits, bcause time and other factors are eliminated In his introduction on page Xi King makes the point that he wrote "Storm" the same way he would if it were a novel. I just didn't "read" the script that way. It felt like I was reading it the way it was written--as a script.
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