I came across Stephen King’s 1979 book The Dead Zone by happy accident when I had nothing to read. Though I have read many King novels, I somehow hadn’t heard of this one before, and the story piqued my interest: young Johnny Smith awakens from a five year long coma to find the world a changed place. His beloved fiancée has moved on to another man and now has two children; his ultra-religious mother has lost her mind; and his body needs extensive surgical repair if he ever wants to walk again. Johnny’s once promising teaching career is in question, and on top of all of this, he seems to have developed a supernatural power of precognition in connection with his brain injury. This ability is a blessing and a curse to Johnny: he is able to help loved ones avoid misfortune, but he also sees terrifying flashes into the depraved mind of an active serial killer who has been terrifying the New England area for years. Johnny’s unwanted new ability does not go unnoticed: it attracts the vulture-like attention of reporters and scammers looking to make a quick buck. While he mourns the loss of his old life and longs for solitude in rural Maine, the growing number of women falling victim to the serial killer and the strengthening connection force Johnny to use his new power for good. Johnny has another connection to a force even more sinister than the killer: a local politician with the darkest of intentions. I couldn’t put this book down. Though I had never heard of it before, it will remain one of my favorite Stephen King books from here on out. It was thrilling as well as deeply moving. I’d definitely recommend this on a chilly fall weekend! (Submitted by Mandi)
This Dark Endeavour is a prequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I am always a bit skeptic about prequels that are written a century or more after the initial novel. Yet, this book is a pleasant surprise: it is believable (as if indeed it is the real pre-story to Frankenstein). This Dark Endeavour is like a triple-flavoured ice-cream. The novel literally has lots of layers: history, science, magic, love, integrity – just to name a few. All of these subjects are covered deeply enough to create a sense of realism, but not too deep to instill a sense of boredom. Kenneth Oppel does a marvelous job depicting 18th century Europe: I submerged into it head and toes! There is never a dull moment; the novel is always moving forward. There are three main characters: Victor and Konrad Frankenstein (twin brothers) and their cousin Elizabeth. The three of them grew up together and were happy playmates until they reached their adolescent years. Very soon, they learn too many things at once: love and friendship don’t always go together, jealousy knows no boundaries, passion and duty are often on the opposite ends of the spectrum, and there is never a good or smart way to outwit death… (Submitted by Mariya)
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In the small town of Ludlow the Creed family settles in to their new home along a busy highway. In this household the topic of death is taboo until the family pet gets run over in the road. This incident leads the Creed family down the long, dark path to the Pet Sematary and when further trauma occurs, Louis Creed, the father, goes beyond the Pet Sematary to the Micmac burial grounds where unspeakable actions take place. This family faces unimaginable horror of both mental and supernatural extremes and learn the hard way that sometimes dead is better.
King states this is his scariest novel ever written and I have to agree that it is up there as one of my favorites. What I found interesting about this story is that the idea came to him after a similar experience occurred to his family. He had to bury his daughter’s cat in a make shift pet cemetery and even more horrifying was when his son ran towards a busy road with King getting to him just in time, resulting in a story created by that “what if..” outcome. (Submitted by Jess).
If you want to read an IKEA parody that is a humourous horror story, this is the book for you. The format of this book is similar to their catalog – the furniture, names, descriptions and pictures preceding every chapter were just as much fun as the story (I especially like the different colour choices). I was laughing before I even got to the first chapter. If you have ever worked in retail, you will enjoy the corporate speak and find the “just ORSK” sayings hilarious. This book walks the line between humour and horror with the store layout being just like a haunted house. (Submitted by DS)
It’s been years since I’ve read a Stephen King novel and I was a bit reluctant to restart with this one, especially since I’ve seen the movie several times and really loved it (I didn’t want to be disappointed by the book). It was actually a refreshing reminder of King’s exceptional storytelling abilities. If you loved the movie and wanted more in the way of background of the characters, motivations, history, you will find many answers here. How did Brutus get his nickname, what was Delacroix’s crime, where was Jingles hiding in the restraint room? Finally what are Paul Edgecombe’s final thoughts to the reader? (submitted by MB)
What a great end to a scary saga! Victor Frankenstein is alive and well, continuing his work, creating new and improved monsters – his ultimate goal to replace humanity with his creatures. There are five books in the series, the first book is Prodigal Son. (submitted by library customer C)