THE DARK HALF, which was published in 1994, and bought/read by me during the following year, is a fantastically twisted journey of a writer's alter-ego somehow coming to life and wreaking havoc. Actually, it's not so simple: is George Stark simply a character that Thad Beaumont made up, or was he really the blinking-eye twin that had been removed from Thad's brain, and subsequently buried, when he was 12?
THE DARK HALF is part of The Castle Rock series (CUJO was the first, NEEDFUL THINGS was the last); although it begins in the town of Ridgeway, New Jersey where Thad Beaumont grew up, most of it indeed does take place in the fictional Maine town made famous worldwide by Stephen King. After settling down, marrying and becoming a famous Horror/Mystery/Suspense author (hint, hint), Thad's world is suddenly turned upside down when he receives a very confrontational visit by Sheriff Alan Pangborn (who, in true Stephen King fashion, would pop up again in NEEDFUL THINGS), who matched up Thad's fingerprints exactly to those found at a completely grotesque murder scene. After vociferously defending himself, Thad begins to realize that this isn't just a simple case of mistaken identity. Something else is happening. He convinces a skeptical Sheriff Pangborn to bear with him as he begins to unravel the mystery, and the evil, that is THE DARK HALF. Thad's dark half is known as the murderous George Stark, a man with no soul (literally), who is unafraid of anything and will kill with reckless abandon.
THE DARK HALF is a completely fascinating read. Even at nearly 500 pages, it never becomes boring. However, those of you with weak stomachs should probably not read it, as it is undoubtedly the most graphically violent novel Stephen King has ever written---and that is saying a lot! For the rest of us, however, it is
MOST RECOMMENDED; AGES 18 & UP