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review 2019-03-10 19:20
Rage by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
Rage - Richard Bachman

Charlie Decker, after hearing he's been expelled, takes a gun from his locker, sets a fire, and then returns to his classroom to shoot a teacher. The book is short, barely clocking over 200 pages, and from Charlie's perspective the reader tracks his holding his classmates hostage, one-upping authority figures, sharing memories of his abusive father, and ultimately earning his peers' respect and loyalty. The one person who resists, a popular boy, is ultimately punished. Of course this book fed into sick dreams and can be linked to several school shootings in past decades. The book is a revenge fantasy made all the more effective by being written by an author as capable as King.

 

The first draft of this novel was written while King was in high school, but he must have heavily revised it and rewritten it before publishing it under the Bachman pseudonym in 1977. Despite that, the book begins to fall apart when you look closely at it. The problem is that while the students in the classroom are suffering from shock, without giving anything away, it is not believable how completely they go over to Decker's side and the lengths they go for him. The story propelled me along, but I couldn't shake that disbelief.

 

The main problem is of course the end. I would have liked to have had a little more closure and a little more than teasing hints of what the aftermath of the incident was. The fact that it is not a great book to begin with plus the very real negative effects a book like this can have on someone with issues means I  have no problems with this one staying out of print.

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review 2019-03-09 03:39
The Running Man - audiobook
The Running Man - Stephen King,Richard Bachman,Kevin Kenerly

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 

 

She was squinting at the thermometer in the white light coming through the window.

- first sentence

 

I am a huge Stephen King fan since I was a teenager but it has been a while since I read some of his books. Lately, I started listening to the audio versions of his older books and it is quite fun to revisit them in a different format.

 

First, I have to say that if you are listening to the audio, and haven't read the book before, skip the author's note. It's not part of the story, and you can listen to it at the end. Otherwise, you will hear a spoiler that reveals the end of the story. :(

 

I enjoyed listening to this and am going to watch the movie this weekend just for fun and to see the differences. I do know that Ben Richards (in the book) is not built like Schwarzenegger. Most times, it's listening to his gut, his brains, or just plain luck that keeps him alive.

 

 

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review 2019-02-01 17:35
Blutig-rustikaler Horror-Mix
Regulator - Stephen King,Richard Bachman,Joachim Körber

Die typische Kleinstadt-Idylle in Ohio. Blutrünstige Regulatoren rauschen durch die Straßen und erschießen jeden, der nicht rechtzeitig den Kopf einzieht. Dieser erste Rundumschlag ist der Anfang des Martyriums.

"Regulator" ist ein Horror-Roman von Richard Bachman alias Stephen King, der in Anlehnung an seinen Roman "Desperation" entstand. Die Werke können unabhängig voneinander gelesen werden.

Bei diesem Roman hat sich Stephen King mehrerer Genres bedient. In erster Linie ist es ein Horror-Roman, der mit Ängsten der amerikanischen Bevölkerung spielt. Im Wild-West-Style kommt es im beschaulichen Städtchen Wentworth zur Straßenschießerei, die jeden niedermetzelt, der sich nicht rechtzeitig retten kann. 

"Und weshalb war es gekommen? Nun ... um Spaß zu haben." (S. 286) 

Anfangs ist man als Leser mit dem Zeitungsjungen unterwegs. Die Bewohner der Stadt läuten das Wochenende ein. Autos werden gewaschen, Frisbees geworfen, und die Stimmung ist sommerlich gut, wenn nicht sogar hervorragend.

Wie aus dem Nichts ertönt der erste Knall, und dieser hat eine blutig-grauenhafte Realität im Gepäck. Die Leichen stapeln sich fast auf der Straße. Die Menschen sind fassungslos. Nur Audrey und ihr autistischer Adoptivsohn Seth wissen, was vor sich geht.

Audrey und Seth sind die Schlüsselfiguren im Geschehen, weil sie einen Wissensvorsprung gegenüber den anderen haben. Gleichzeitig sind sie im Zentrum des Grauens platziert und müssen überlegen, wie sie die Stadt vor den Regulatoren retten.

Stephen King greift tief in die Gestaltungskiste und behilft sich unterschiedlicher Arten, den Vorgängen rund um die Regulatoren Ausdruck zu verleihen. Es gibt die Perspektiven der Bewohner, die sich in ihren Häusern verschanzen, und den Tod ihrer Lieben betrauern. Zudem kommen Briefe, Tagebucheinträge, Drehbücher und sogar Kinderzeichnungen vor, die sich am Ende zu einem schaurigen Gesamtbild fügen.

Besonders atmosphärisch fand ich Audreys Briefe und ihr Tagebuch, weil sie die Hintergründe zum Geschehen erklären, und gleichzeitig gruselig sind. Hier kommt meine Lieblingsseite von King zum Ausdruck: Die psychologische Spannung, die mich als Leser an die Seiten bannt.

Die Perspektive des Kampf- und Verschanzungsgeschehen ist blutig-rustikal. Sie ist sicherlich nicht für zimperliche Leser geeignet. King lässt das Blut spritzen, sogar in Fontänen schießen, es kommt zu grausamen Verstümmelungen, dabei hat sich manchmal selbst mein Magen umgedreht.

Die Genre-Mischung ist sehr schräg und ich hatte manches Mal Mühe, den Ereignissen zu folgen. Zwar hat mich der Autor auch diesmal überzeugt, nur ist er hart an meiner Grenze entlang geschabt, weil es etliche wirre Momente gab. 

„ … willkürliche Grenzen interessieren sie nicht, schon gar nicht beim Spielen, dennoch stellt es eine schwindelerregende Verschmelzung von Genres dar …“ (S. 349)

Die Handlung ist simpel und dennoch eine Urgewalt. Stephen King versteht es, Fäden komplex zu ziehen und in ein grausames Spektakel zu verstricken, wobei man angewidert das Gesicht verzieht. Außerdem hat „Regulator“ ein Ende zu bieten, das letztendlich noch einmal die Gänsehaut aufziehen lässt.

Alles in allem ist „Regulator“ ein Horror-Roman, der die Facetten des Genres in einem Werk verschmilzt, und damit markant aus dem üblichen Rahmen fällt. Meiner Meinung nach ist es zwar nicht Kings bestes Werk, dennoch lesenswert, weil es gar so anders ist.

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.com
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review 2018-09-23 13:50
Rage ★★★☆☆
Rage - Stephen King,Richard Bachman

This reads just as I expected it to – very early Stephen King. It’s weird, it’s graphically violent, it f***s with your head, but it has a lame wtf ending and is not quite absorbing enough to prevent the reader from thinking how unlikely it is that real people would behave this way. Not the murderous main character, of course, but the other students who become complicit as he holds them hostage. The MC is unfortunately all too plausible. King has said that he started writing this book as a teenager, and that he drew from his own angst, loneliness, confusion, and, yes, rage in writing it. And several real-life teenagers identified so strongly with it that they drew inspiration from the novel in committing their own school shootings. Which is why this novel has been allowed to go out of print.

 

 

My own copy is part of a tatty second-hand paperback of The Bachman Books, a monstrously sized four novel collection. I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Genre: Horror: anything that fits into the horror genre. If a boy going on a school shooting rampage and setting up his fellow students to turn on one another in their own fear and rage isn’t horror, I don’t know what is.

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review 2018-09-17 14:41
Honestly, it's a 3.5 Star Read
Thinner - Stephen King

It's weird. I think I may have read this book before, but now after finishing it this weekend, I have doubts. I maybe just watched the movie and that's where I was recalling most of my information from. I honestly don't like the Bachman books that much that Stephen King wrote. I recall "The Long Walk" and thought how it made no sense to me and how impossible it would be for teenagers to walk 4 miles an hour. I tried that one day at the gym and had to lightly jog. I also remember reading "The Running Man" and went, eh liked the movie better. So now with "Thinner" I have to say that neither the movie or book impressed me much. You have one man dealing with a curse that is slowly killing him. He blames his wife. A lot. Most of the book slows down in the last 1/3 and I was just bored until the ending.

 

"Thinner" deals with the after effects of Billy Halleck (Bill or William depending on who is speaking to him) running over and killing a Romani woman. FYI, be prepared for King to refer to them as Gypsies. I have learned since I got older that's a derogatory term for Romani people, so I am not using it here in my review besides the first occurrence. Due to the people he knows and a lot of the towns people hating the Romani people, Billy isn't tried for hit and run, instead the case is dismissed. An older man who is the head of the group of Romani people comes up to Bill and touches his cheek and says "thinner." From there Bill starts to lose weight and struggles to push out of his mind hitting and killing the older woman and the man who touched him.

 

Most of the book is Billy justifying what happened and saying how it's not really his fault. Instead it's mostly his wife and the older woman's fault. His wife's fault since she started trying to (makes hand motion) while he was driving and the older woman for not looking both ways. What made me laugh and sigh about though was Billy doesn't take any ownership of the fact that the judge and police officer who helped with things would not have done so if not for him. So you have all three of these men being punished, but it seems as if Billy is the one that got off the lightest. 

 

King does take some time developing the characters. You understand Billy's relationship with his wife and daughter a lot. You also get a look at the secrets a town holds that get revealed when Billy starts going after answers with his doctor, the judge's wife, and the police man. Eventually the book goes sideways when King introduces a friend of Billy's who is going to take care of getting the curse off of him, Ginelli. 


Ginelli is shown to be a bit off. He goes after the Romani people with a laser eyed focus. However, it made no sense to me. He's supposed to be a pretty big crime boss. So why in the world didn't he send forth some underlings? And if they popped up dead then go after them? I don't know. The motivations of him to go toe to toe with the Romani didn't work for me at all. Most of the book slowed down after he showed up and when he was retelling his story to Billy I just didn't care. 

 

The writing is more crude than King's works. There are a lot of racial slurs used in this one that put me off a bit. The flow as I said earlier got really bad when Ginelli gets introduced. The book just drags it seems until we get to the ending.

 

The ending leaves us with Billy as a pale shadow of his former self. He manages to justify to himself what he is about to do and I really ended up loathing him. Of course this being a King book the joke's on him and he has a horrified realization about what his actions have wrought. 

 

 

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