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First line :
People's lives - their real lives, as opposed to their simple physical existences - begin at different times.

Notes :
The Sparrows
- make a "Tak-Tak-Tak"-noice at one stage.

Places :
Castle Rock, Maine
Take a look at the towns for more info...

Quotes :
  • “Not a very nice guy."
  • “Weird world. Weird, weird world."
  • “A novelist was simply a fellow who got paid to tell lies. The bigger lies, the better the pay.”
  • “The world was a strange place. And a hard one. And, sometimes, an unlucky one.”
  • “The sparrows are flying again.”
  • “After grief, astonishment may be the most difficult human emotion to fake effectively.”
  • “Sometimes people lie just by being quiet.”
  • “Something very odd is going on here. No – it’s more than odd. It’s terrible and it’s inexplicable, but it is happening.”
  • “You’re dead, George. You just don’t have the sense to lie down.”
  • “Real monsters are never without feelings. I think in the end it’s that, and not how they look, that makes them so scary.”
  • “In the end, doom is all that counts.”
  • “Writers invite ghosts, maybe; along with actors and artists, they are the only totally accepted mediums of our society. They make worlds that never were, populate them with people who never existed, and then invite us to join them in their fantasies. And we do it, don’t we? Yes. We pay to do it."

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  • Written : November 3, 1987 – March 16, 1989
  • The Dark Half takes place in Castle Rock...

  • King originally wanted to publish the novel as a collaberation of King and Bachman, but the publishers didn't go for it; readers would have to wait until 1996's dual novels Desperation and The Regulators to read a King/Bachman experiment...

  • Synopsis :
    For years, Thad Beaumont has been writing books under the pseudonym George Stark. When a journalist threatens to expose Beaumont's pen name, the author decides to go public first, killing off his pseudonym. Stark isn't content to be dispatched that easily, though. Beaumont's alter ego comes to life and begins to stalk those responsible for his demise. The police suspect Beaumont is responsible for these violent crimes.

    "In The Dark Half I tried to answer the question 'Where do you get your ideas?' It seems to me that for most writers there really is another person hiding inside, although it isn't always dark and it's hardly ever as much as a half. I thought it would be fun to write a story about a novelist whose muse gets totally out of control. There was one problem: I didn't how how to end it. Then, one day while I was on the way to my office, I saw a huge flock of crows-huge enough to darken an appreciable part of the sky-all take wing at once. They made me think of a poem by H.P. Lovecraft called "The Psychopomp," about a bird who is an emissary of death, and a winged messenger between the land inhabited by mortals and that of the afterlife. In that instant, I knew exactly how to dispose of George Stark; all I had to do was go home and write it."

    In 1985, 39-year-old Stephen King announced in public that his pseudonymous alter ego, Richard Bachman, was dead. (Never mind that he revived him years later to write The Regulators.) At the beginning of The Dark Half (1989), 39-year-old writer Thad Beaumont announces in public that his own pseudonym, George Stark, is dead. Now, King didn't want to jettison the Bachman novel, titled Machine Dreams, that was he working on. So he incorporated it in The Dark Half as the crime oeuvre of George Stark, whose recurring hero/alter ego is an evil character named Alexis Machine.

    Thad Beaumont's pseudonym is not so docile as Stephen King's, though, and George Stark bursts forth into reality. At that point, two stories kick into gear: a mystery-detective story about the crime spree of George Stark (or is it Alexis Machine?) and a horror story about Beaumont's struggle to catch up with his doppelganger and kill him dead.

    This is not the first time that Stephen King has written a dark allegory about the fiction writer's situation. As the New York Times writes, "Misery (1987) is a parable in chiller form of the popular writer's relation to his audience, which holds him prisoner and dictates what he writes, on pain of death. The Dark Half is a parable in chiller form of the popular writer's relation to his creative genius, the vampire within him, the part of him that only awakes to raise Cain when he writes, the fratricidal twin who occupies 'the womblike dungeon' of his imagination."


    Viking 1989.

    "First published in 1989 by Viking Penguin"
    on copyright page.
    "1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2" on copyright page.

    1.5 million first print.
    Dust Jacket price: $21.95


    New English Library 1990.
    469 pages.
    ISBN 0 450 52468.

    Copyright © Stephen King, 1989.

    Fiction: General


    This book is for Shirley Sonderegger,
    who helps me mind my business,
    and for her husband, Peter.


    Part I Fool's Stuffing
    1 People Will Talk
    2 Breaking Up Housekeeping
    3 Graveyard Blues
    4 Death in a Small Town
    5 96529Q
    6 Death in the Big City
    7 Police Business
    8 Pangborn Pays a Visit
    9 The Invasion of the Creepazoid
    10 Later That Night
    11 Endsville
    12 Sis
    13 Sheer Panic
    14 Fool's Stuffing

    Part II Stark Takes Charge
    15 Stark Disbelief
    16 George Stark Calling
    17 Wendy Takes a Fall
    18 Automatic Writing
    19 Stark Makes a Purchase
    20 Over the Deadline
    21 Stark Takes Charge

    Part III The Coming of the Psychopomps
    22 Thad on the Run
    23 Two Calls for Sheriff Pangborn
    24 The Coming of the Sparrows
    25 Steel Machine
    26 The Sparrows Are Flying




    They were laughing at the burial.
    Thad Beaumont, writer, and his wife. He with a spade, she with a pick, laughing at the camera. Between them, the tombstone and the inscription:



    A joke. A publicity stunt for the papers. Because Thad Beaumont, literary writer, had created George Stark as a cover for the violent thrillers he'd written, to earn some quick, much-needed money. But enough was enough. The cover was about to be blown, so he'd decided to kill off his other self.

    But George Stark didn't want to go - and Stark was a very violent man indeed...

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