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the Dark Tower ref. :
Nineteen (19)
the Little Sisters of Eluria

Connects to :
the Regulators
Rose Madder
the Stand
the Colorado Kid

First line :
'Oh! Oh, Jesus! Gross!'

Notes :
Desperation goes hand in hand with the parallel released novel The Regulators by Richard Bachman. In Regulators, we meet characters that are much like those we know from Desperation, but then again aren't. Names of parents have switched with those of their children. "Bad Guy" Entragian suddenly is on the good side. And so on. We only have one true constant: the evil that comes out of this mine in Desperation, and it's name: Tak!

Places :
Desperation, Nevada

Quotes :
  • “You have the right to remain silent. If you do not choose to remain silent, anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. I’m going to kill you. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand your rights as I have explained them to you?"
  • “When you got a nutty cop on your hands, you’ve got a situation.”
  • “There are forces out there you don't want even to think about.”
  • “Maybe you could never be prepared for the really awful things, not at any age.”
  • “People usually die hard. That was the horror of it.”
  • “So it has always been; so shall it always be; life sucks, then you die.”
  • “He’s crazy and he has no mercy, but he’s also methodical.”
  • “Evil is both fragile and stupid, dying soon after the ecosystem it’s poisoned.”
  • “Life is more than just steering a course around pain.”
  • “When you were trying to stay alive, you just saw what you had to see; the rest went by the board.”
  • “God is love.”

  • previous title: the green mile | the regulators :next title
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  • Written : November 1, 1994 -- December 5, 1995
  • Desperation takes place in Desperation, Nevada...
  • Desperation is unlike any novel King has ever written, and is perhaps one of his most ambitious achievements...
  • Synopsis :
    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. Miners at the China Pit have accidentally broken into another dimension and released a horrific creature known as Tak, who takes human form by hijacking some of the town's residents. The forces of good orchestrate a confrontation between this ancient evil and a group of unsuspecting travelers who are lured to the dying town. This rag-tag band of unwilling champions is led by a young boy who speaks to God.

    Stephen first came up with the idea for Desperation in 1991, when he was driving his daughter's car cross-country. He passed through Ruth, Nevada, a small town with seemingly no inhabitants. He immediately thought, "They're all dead," and then "Who killed them?" At that point, his "Voice" immediately answered "The sheriff killed them all."
    In 1994, he decided to pursue this idea further while driving across country on his motorcycle during the Insomnia book tour.

    The beginning chapters of Desperation might seem to be an exploration in past successes. Stephen King has take a young, gifted child (as in The Shining or Firestarter), a writer afraid of losing his artistic worth (Misery, The Dark Half), a psychotic cop (The Dead Zone, Rose Madder), and a small town in which everthing's suddenly gone wrong (‘Salem’s Lot, It, among many others), and thrown them all together to see what would happen. Readers may sense that King's newest is just a rehash of the old.
    But those readers would be wrong. Desperation is unlike any novel King has ever written, and is perhaps one of his most ambitious achievements.

    The novel concerns the small desert mining town of Desperation, Nevada (a long cry from the New England in which he usually dwells). The town should be booming: the mining corporation in Desperation has recently discovered a new way to drudge copper from old mines, creating dozens of new jobs and boosting the local economy. But the town is far from booming. The town is completely dead. Well, maybe not completely. But as the travellers who accidentally veer into the path of Desperation discover, a ghost town would have been a million times better. The small group trapped in Desperation gradually learn that a recent mining expedition has uncovered something sinister: an old well which has for over a hundred years been the prison of an evil force known as Tak, a type of dicorperal demon that feeds off the living energy of humans. Now Tak is free, and seeks to inhabit the bodies of the surviving residents, causing mayhem and mass destruction wherever it chooses. But one of the prisoners of Desperation is David Carver, an eleven year old boy who has a special relationship with God. And God, like Tak, must work through people to do His will, no matter how cruel it might seem. It is through David that all hope of escape relies, and it is with God that all the sins of Desperation must be resolved. A remarkable and entirely unique novel, Desperation is Stephen King at his strongest. His down-and-out scariest novel since The Dark Half, he literally packs the novel with ominous armies of coyotes, spiders, and scorpions. Though terrifying, here King is reliant more on the Bible than Lovecraft or Poe, and he rises to the task with ease. A tale of hope and horror, of revulsion and revelation, King's latest will leave you desperate for more.


    Grant 1996.

    2000 signed by King and artist in a traycase.
    Price: $175

    4000 unsigned in slipcase
    Price: $75

    Viking 1996.

    "First published in 1996 by Viking Penguin"
    on copyright page.
    "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on copyright page.
    1.75 million first print.
    200,000 shrinkwraped W/The Regulators and booklight.
    Dust Jacket price: $27.95

    Set w/light
    Price: $52.90


    Hodder and Stoughton 1996.
    545 pages.
    Hardcover ISBN 0 340 65427 9.
    On Copyright Page: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    Copyright © Stephen King, 1996.
    Author photograph: Tabitha King
    Illustration: Chris Moore

    Fiction: Horror

    For Carter Withey.


    Part I
    Highway 50: In the House of the Wolf, The House of the Scorpio

    Part II
    Desperation: In These Silences Something May Rise

    Part III
    The American West: Legendary Shadows

    Part IV
    The China Pit: God is Cruel

    Part V
    Highway 50: Excused Early


    Welcome to Desperation. A place beyond your wildest imaginations. Where the unbelievable can become reality...

    Desperation: a small town in the middle of the Nevada desert. It looks hauntingly familiar with its signs to the Desperation Coffee Shop and Video Spot. Just off the loneliest highway in America, it should be a refuge in a wasteland. But there's something missing. The once thriving copper mining town now seems eerily empty. Almost abandoned. Except for a few desert animals - snake, coyote, buzzard. And of course the local cop patrolling the wilderness road - Desperation's unique regulator.
    Headed down Highway 50 are travellers who are never going to reach their destinations. Like the Jacksons, a young professor and his wife going home to New York City; the Carvers, a Wentworth, Ohio family bound for a vacation in Lake Tahoe; and Johnny Marinville, the once famous writer who's getting back on the road with a new book, 'Travels with Harley'.
    The secrets embedded in Desperation's landscape are as awesome as the forces summoned to encounter them. When they are unleashed, a terrifying transformation takes place and the wayfares will begin to discover the true meaning of the word desperation...
    In the tradition of The Stand, Desperation ia an apocalyptic drama of God and evil, madness and revelation in which the master of horror and suspense tempts you into his literary lion's den. And holds you willingly behind bars.

    Welcome. Enter if you dare.


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