“The terror is relentless” (Publishers Weekly) in Stephen King’s #1 national bestseller about a little mining town, Desperation, that many will enter on their way to somewhere else. But getting out is not easy as it would seem…
Located off a desolate stretch of Interstate 50, Desperation, Nevada, has few connections with the rest of the world. It is a place, though, where the seams between worlds are thin. And it is a place where several travelers are abducted by Collie Entragian, the maniacal police officer of Desperation. Entragian uses various ploys for the abductions, from an arrest for drug possession to “rescuing” a family from a nonexistent gunman. There’s something very wrong here, all right, and Entragian is only the surface of it.
The secrets embedded in Desperation’s landscape, and the evil that infects the town like some viral hot zone, are both awesome and terrifying. But as one of the travelers, young David Carver, seems to know—though it scares him nearly to death to realize it—so are the forces summoned to combat them. “Stephen King’s knack for turning the stray junk of pop culture into sick, darkly engrossing thrills has rarely been this much in evidence as in Desperation” (Salon).
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 author--maybe the first author ever--to 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 relentless--this is King's scariest book since Misery--though 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
David vs Goliath in the desolate southwest.
A desperate fight for survival!
I’ve read other books I liked by the author that were originally published during the same decade, but this book is easily Stephen King’s most terrifying horror novel, out of all of those that were published during the 90s! The gory, bone-chilling story of travelers who find themselves stranded in the small mining town of Desperation, Nevada, fighting for their lives against a hideously powerful demonic force, literally relying on God to help them survive—and defeat—this unimaginable horror, is emotionally powerful, suspenseful, and relentlessly terrifying! I love Mick Garris’ 2005 TV movie adaptation, written by King himself!