A critique of the novel the dark half by stephen king
Romero opens The Dark Half with young Thad Patrick Brannanwho suffers from killing headaches, undergoing a grisly operation in which his brain is found to contain teeth, fingernails and a blinking human eye. He also writes under a pseudonym, George Stark, whose sadistic crime novels are all bestsellers.
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Though the writer with demons is an essential King trope, this book feels as though it's about an actual, working writer: somebody with a career. The sparrows are back. As the novel progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that only one can continue to exist. I loved the scene at the end when the sparrows come to take Stark to hell. George Stark will fall apart without Thad, but one of the book's crucial questions answered later in both Needful Things and Bag of Bones is whether Thad will fall apart without George. When he emerges, all we see is Hutton — in a showy makeup job — struggling to change his wimp image. Rather than allow himself be exploited by the man who discovered his secret, he goes public with the knowledge, culminating in a story in People magazine and a mock burial for Stark. In Misery, Paul Sheldon literally keeps himself alive by the need to know what comes next in the book he's working on. The Invasion of the Creepazoid. They were real people. Worse, Thad's fingerprints are found at some of the crime scenes, leading to a police investigation. In the novel's climax, the outcome is in some doubt: despite the dangers of losing his own cohesion, Thad finds himself drawn into the story Stark demands they write together. Like zombies you might ask?
In my first edition of the novel, the cover proclaims The Dark Half to be King's "masterpiece". Like zombies you might ask? That was the year Thad Beaumont was eleven.
Only, as King again states in "The Importance of Being Bachman," pseudonyms have a way of becoming real, at least to those involved in their creation. The Dark Half explores the themes and motifs of writing more nakedly than anywhere else in his fiction only his later nonfiction book, On Writing, examines the internal life of authors more intensely.
George Stark really is the darker side of his personality, the part he hides from everyone else.
based on 43 review