Desperation [NOOK Book]

Overview

There's a place alone Interstate 50 that some call the loneliest place on Earth. It's not a very nice place to live. It's an even worse place to die. It's known as Desperation, Nevada...


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Desperation

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Overview

There's a place alone Interstate 50 that some call the loneliest place on Earth. It's not a very nice place to live. It's an even worse place to die. It's known as Desperation, Nevada...


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Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
King is at the top of his game.
Publishers Weekly

From the vault of horror master King comes a terrifying tale of Desperation, Nev., a place ruled by a maniacal man in uniform and haunted by deadly secrets. In true King fashion, the story features a small cast of likable yet deeply flawed protagonists that may or may not make it to the final page in one piece. Narrator Kathy Bates, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the film adaptation of King's Misery, takes the reins and holds listeners rapt from start to finish. Bates has the inherent ability to make anything, no matter how over the top, sound realistic and immediate. A Signet paperback. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If the publishing industry named a Person of the Year, this year's winner would be Stephen King. Not only is he writing the first modern novel to be serialized in book form (The Green Mile), but with the publication on Sept. 24 of The Regulators (Dutton; Forecasts, June 17) and Desperation, he becomes the first bestselling authormaybe the first author everto issue three new major novels in one calendar year. And there's more. With this astonishing work, King again proves himself the premier literary barometer of our cultural clime. For if The Regulators is a work of secular horror, this is a novel of sacred horror (King's first), and explicitly so. Like the second panel of a diptych, Desperation employs, with one major exception, the same characters as The Regulators, and the same source of horror: an evil force named Tak. (The novels aren't sequential, however; people who die in one can live, then die, in the other.) The exception is David Carver, 11, who, with a handful of other passers-through, including a major writer who's recently embraced sobriety, is trapped in the desert mining town of Desperation, Nev. There, Tak stalks them by possessing humans and turning them into homicidal maniacs, and by unleashing armies of coyotes, spiders and scorpions. The terror is relentlessthis is King's scariest book since Miserythough the storytelling is looser than in The Regulators to allow room for spiritual themes. For united against Tak are not only David and his pals, but also God, who moves through the boy. King's God is the God of Job, implacable, beyond human ken. As the savageries inflicted upon David and others multiply, they must discern: What is God's will? And, how can God's will be done, when it seems so cruel? Near the story's end, the writer muses that horror "isn't the sort of stuff of which serious literature is made." King knows better, and so will anyone who reads this deeply moving and enthralling masterpiece of the genre. 1,750,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; simultaneous Penguin Audiobook. (Sept.)
Library Journal
"Classic Stephen King," reports the publicist, nicely wrapped in a 1.75 million-copy first printing. Here, a sheriff in the far reaches of Nevada kidnaps travelers along his stretch of highway.
Ray Olson
King's third new yarn this year is as pell-mell an action thriller as any he has written and one of his sweetest performances. It has several links to his new Richard Bachman opus, The Regulators; for instance, it has some characters with the same names and occupations, though not personalities, and the same vaporous alien antagonist at the bottom of the same mine. The alien force is loose in Desperation, Nevada, and, having occupied the bodies of a succession of citizens (it needs to pass from one human vehicle to another because its vigor is so intense that its host hemorrhages to death within hours), has gruesomely slaughtered everyone else in town. Now in the body of a patrolling cop, it is picking up people motoring by on U.S. 50. Foremost among those are burned-out novelist Johnny Marinville and 11-year-old David Carver, who barely a year ago underwent a serious religious conversion and occasionally hears the voice of God. It is God--the God of the Christian Bible, both Testaments--Who eventually saves Johnny, David, and the rest of those who survive Desperation, but saves them only by means of their own free will and their own heroic and gory exertions. If King wants to show how to inject religion honestly and effectively into the normally crass horror genre, he succeeds beautifully.
Washington Post Book World
Desperation builds to a climax reminiscent of The Stand.
San Francisco Chronicle
A double dose of ghostly horror. Desperation is pure King, a rollicking good tale skillfully told of repugnance and godliness doing high-screech battle.
Kirkus Reviews
An astounding fall season for King unfolds with three new novels: the wind-up of his Signet paperback serial The Green Mile, and same-day dual publication of Desperation from Viking and The Regulators from Dutton (as Richard Bachman—see above). Desperation, while mystifying if read after The Regulators, is fabulous storytelling that avoids the slovenly glee that corrodes the grand fantasy of its mirror novel.

The twin rulers of the dual novels are God the Cruel (Desperation), who speaks only to David Carver, a very well-spoken 11-year-old, and the Great God Television (The Regulators), a rotten god made visible through the mind of an autistic six-year-old, Seth Garon. The two books share characters but offer distinctly different spins on their personalities: The heroine of The Regulators is a big threat in Desperation. Also on hand in both are the evil entity Tak and the heroic but burnt-out novelist John Marinville, a recovering alcoholic. While speeding through empty Nevada spaces, Peter and Mary Jackson are stopped and arrested by a gigantic cop from nearby Desperation, a small mining town. At the jailhouse, the nutty robotic giant shoots Peter dead. Then the giant arrests Marinville, who is trying to recover his reputation by crossing the country on his motorcycle and writing a Steinbeckian Travels with Harley. The cop's body, we find, houses Tak, who constantly needs new bodies to live in because his superhuman heart batters them to pieces. He has already murdered the whole town and is now planning to house himself in the still-alive Audrey Wyler, a mining specialist who has been investigating the nearby China Shaft where "the unformed heart" of Tak bubbles evilly. Then into town rides Steve, whose heart is pure, in a Ryder truck . . . .

Knockout classic horror: King's most carefully crafted, well-groomed pages ever.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101137994
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 24,369
  • File size: 565 KB

Meet the Author

Stephen King, the world's bestselling novelist, was educated at the University of Maine at Orono. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, and their children in Bangor, Maine.
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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 363 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(198)

4 Star

(97)

3 Star

(50)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 363 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    King takes his writing to the next level.

    Everything seems normal for the various people travelling through Nevada on the U.S. 50, that is, until a cop with strange eyes pulls each of them over for no apparent reason. Mysteriously, each of the novelâ⿬⿢s characters are charged and arrested for crimes that they are almost certain they did not commit. One individual finds drugs in the back of his car and has no clue where they came from another is ushered into the back of the police car after all four of his tires were punctured by an inconveniently placed piece of police equipment. All of these individuals are taken to a small town in Desperation, Nevada, an area with a name that sets the mood for the novel. The plot takes an ugly twist almost immediately when the now erratic and seemingly insane cop kills off one individual and throws the rest into holding cells. From there, the main characters of the novel, which are surprisingly well developed, despite the large amount of them, try to break out of the copâ⿬⿢s prison (complete with a guard wolf), and escape from the twisted and plagued town which prays upon the fears and weaknesses of each individual, undermining their every move in an attempt to supply hosts for a greater, primal entity. While it may seem that Kingâ⿬⿢s novel is a bit out there and much too unbelievable to contain anything beside a fun read, this is not so. In fact, one of Desperationâ⿬⿢s most appealing factors is its in-depth analysis of the human psyche, which, as a real world application, presents a satisfying contrast to the novelâ⿬⿢s fantastical (Although I stress that it is darker and more twisted than the typical fantasy tales) plot. Combine such an intriguing, thought provoking story with Stephen Kingâ⿬⿢s writing, which describes every horrible moment of the novel in such a way that the reader can picture the scene perfectly. Desperation is the only book that I have ever read which was able, through such descriptive writing and a captivating, yet revolting (in a good way), tale, to make me paranoid for a while after putting it down at night. Thus, I give Desperation a full five star rating and label it as one of my favorite books.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Desperate!

    I started reading Stephen King as a teenager. Back then he could throw anything at me and I ate it up. As an adult, he actually goes places I'm not sure I like him going and I'm totally horrified! He's still a masterful writer and if you love having the tarnation scared out of you, no one will do it better.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2007

    Best of Everything, Tak!

    I think this book is classic Stephen King, and it represents the best of Stephen King. I loved this book for the same reasons I love The Green Mile and The Stand. The novel contains a well proportioned mix of fear, humanity, and spirituality. What made Desperation different from The Stand and The Green Mile was that the scare factor was much larger in this novel. There was a lot more violence, suspense, and thrill to it. However, the undertones of the story, i.e. the spirituality of it, was what really made it impossible for me to put down. I read it in less than a week, which is unprecedented for a slow reader like me. Don't listen to the nay-sayers. This book is VERY worth reading and I suggest you give it a try if you are feeling on the fence about it.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    best ever

    This is my favorite Steven King novel. I dont have any descriptive words on why other than I simply could not ever put the book down. As if I was living the story.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2001

    Great book

    'Desperation' is the best book I ever read...A real page turner. Keep up the good work, King!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    Desperation this book is amazing!

    This book is just the perfect amount of scary, suspensful, and gory. The way Stephen King uses adjectives in this book is absolutely phenomenon. Kept me up all night I never wanted the book to end. If you're into suspensful books and you love Stephen King then this is book for you I would recommend this book highly!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    A very good book to read. Parts were so detailed that it was ha

    A very good book to read. Parts were so detailed that it was hard to sleep at night. As always when finishing his books I end up wanting more.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2007

    Tak!

    One of the only books over 500 pages to keep me hooked from start to finish. Some chapters, I'd say, were completely useless and therefor confuse the plot up a little. Great read, though, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes good old fashion horror novels.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2013

    Too much of a good thing.

    King once stated that short stories are difficult for him because he "writes like a fat woman diets".
    This book is a case in point!
    Too long winded!
    I like his effort until he goes on and on and on; telling the same story from a dozen different angles.
    Thr first half was good but he just tired me out in the repetition.....this novel was about 150 pages too long.
    He reminds me of my father in law....just doesn't know when to shut up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Frightening!!!

    By far this is one of Kings most petrifying books...I like to read this one around Halloween with every light on, of course!! Wont be going to Nevada anytime soon...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2012

    Love this book!

    I actually read this book years ago and bought it to read it again. This book is thrilling from page 1 and never loses momentum. One of my faves.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2014

    What

    My thinking is you must be a huge fan of this Author to rank it with so many stars. I could read this book ten times and have no clue. Tak Tak Tak .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Ember

    I absolutely loved this book! Honestly it has become one of my favorite books of all time, I could not put it down! I just finished The Regulators and was so glad I read this one first. It has the right amount of everything....horror, gore, a complete storyline (including backstory), sacrifice, love, friendship....I teared up at the end! The "excused early" pass, you all know what I'm talking about, it gave me goosebumps! This is the Stephen King I love...a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2014

    I just read The Regulators, which is a companion book of sorts t

    I just read The Regulators, which is a companion book of sorts to Desperation. Unfortunately, The Regulators, which was written as a Bachman book, was not very good, but Desperation is a proper King story, and I really like it. I've seen the miniseries version, and at first I was upset because the low-budget TV images kept coming to mind for all the characters, but about 100 pages in, my mind had overwritten them and was charting its own territory -- with King's help, of course. Good book with surprisingly engaging prose at times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Just incase you needed a reason to be leary of small desert towns.....LOL. Great book!

    This was the 2nd Stephen King book I ever read and I couldn't put it down.....and that says a lot because I'm generally not a heavy reader. Great book! A must read for any Stephen King fan.

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  • Posted November 3, 2013

    Leave on a holiday and find yourself fighting for your life and

    Leave on a holiday and find yourself fighting for your life and soul. This is the basis of Stephen King's Desperation. I love Stephen King. In my opinion no other horror writer can match him, and this is definitely one of his better novels. Scary, thought-provoking and uplifting, this book is difficult to put down. I recommend it to fans and non-fans alike.

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  • Posted September 8, 2013

    Gud 1..:)

    Gud 1..:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Deep and involving

    This book makes you jump at loud noises even though it isnt that scary. An awesome story full of gore and a battle of good and evil. This is one of my favorites. I love the effect of gods hand in the story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    ~Twi

    I find it very humerous that just because I am a Brony whenever I read this they assume it's a pony book, but they don't understand me when I sarcastically state, "Oh, yes, I know how fascinated Stephen King is in ponies; I hear his favorite is Pinkie Pie!"
    They always give this dumbfounded look, as if I had just spoken Japanese to them or something. I really do hate this new generation.
    Oh, and the book was brilliant as usual. I feel he could have added a few more scares, though.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    Wordy, like most of King's books.

    Took me a while to get through and was slow and confusing at times. Ending was good but not crazy. I would not read it again but wpuld recommend if someone liked other King books. Original but gory.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 363 Customer Reviews

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