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Roadwork

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3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  18,698 Ratings  ·  488 Reviews
They're tearing down Bart Dawes's home, leveling his memories, and destroying his past, all for a new highway extension. Funny what that kind of progress can do to a man. Scary, too.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Signet (first published March 1981)
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The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
70th out of 122 books — 2,762 voters
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Worst Stephen King books
24th out of 53 books — 400 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Dec 14, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
A new stretch of interstate is being build and Bart Dawes' house is right in its path. He has until January 20th to find a new place for he and his wife to live and also a new location for the Blue Ribbon, the industrial laundry where he has been employed for twenty years. What will happen if he doesn't?

I wasn't very old when the original four Bachman books were released but I can't imagine this one did very well before King outted himself. It doesn't really have a lot going on. Bart Dawes is c
...more
Becky
May 08, 2012 Becky rated it did not like it
Well then. As much as it pains me to do this, I calls 'em like I sees 'em, and this was an effort in futility on just about all fronts.

Now I know, I know, the Bachman books are depressing and dark and bleak and grim. I know all that. I expected it, and was even looking forward to it. But this... This was almost painfully tedious to get through. It was so pointless. So futile.

I've read all of the Bachman books, and they've all been dark and grim and whatnot... but they've all had a point. I did
...more
Ron
Apr 10, 2016 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roadwork is all Bachman. That’s a strange line to begin a review, but I have a reason for it. If I had not known that Roadwork was written by Stephen King, then I would never have guessed it. The writing voice, style, and plot are nothing like King. It was released in 1981. His two prior Bachman books, Rage and The Long Walk, were released in 1977 and 1979 respectively, but he had actually begun writing both books much earlier, in fact before graduating high school. Even though they are both dif ...more
Franco  Santos
Qué tristeza y desesperanza transmite este libro...

Creo que estoy a punto de ponerme a gritar. Por las cosas perdidas. Por tu sonrisa, Mary. Perdóname si echo la cabeza hacia atrás y me pongo a gritar por la sonrisa que ya nunca aparece en tu rostro. ¿De acuerdo?

King con este relato nos enseña que tenemos que vivir con todo nuestro corazón, que estemos más relajados ante las cosas malas que nos pasen, que no perdamos tiempo con preocupaciones que solo sirven para atormentarnos, que seamos felic
...more
Dan
Aug 20, 2007 Dan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Misoneists and midlife crisis sufferers.
I read this after reading The Long Walk and couldn't get into it at all to begin with. I found it a little bit dull and difficult to relate to. But as the story progressed I became absolutely engrossed in it, it really becomes difficult to put down. It's incredibly sad at times, but can often be humorous and very suspenseful.

This is a straight novel, no supernatural elements a la' king. In short, its a tale of one man standing in the way of progress, clutching onto the remains of the past with w
...more
Ruth Turner
Jan 10, 2015 Ruth Turner rated it liked it

Audiobook – Narrated by G Valmont Thomas – Dreadful narration.

This is the first audiobook narrated by Thomas that I’ve listened to and it will probably be my last.

His reading voice is beautiful and if he’d stuck to that I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. But he didn’t.

His character voices were just awful. It was like watching a puppet show. At least that’s the image that kept popping into my head. I couldn’t finish listening to it.

***

Ebook:

Bleak and depressing as the Bachman books tend to be.
...more
George
Dec 09, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Τριακοστό όγδοο βιβλίο του Στίβεν Κινγκ που περνάει στην λίστα με τα διαβασμένα, έβδομο που είναι γραμμένο με το ψευδώνυμο Ρίτσαρντ Μπάκμαν. Πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που δεν έχει καμία απολύτως σχέση και σύνδεση με το Φανταστικό, είναι μια άκρως ρεαλιστική ιστορία, που περιγράφει με ιδιαίτερο τρόπο την αντίδραση ενός μεσοαστού άνδρα στην επικείμενη κατεδάφιση του σπιτιού του, απ'όπου θα περάσει ένας νέος μεγάλος δρόμος. Αυτά τα έργα οδοποιίας θα βγάλουν στην επιφάνεια την τρέλα και τα προβλήματα ...more
Thomas Strömquist
Oct 15, 2015 Thomas Strömquist rated it liked it
Another great surprise in re-reading Stephen King was Roadwork, which I must confess that I did not remember a lot of details about. First: it was a whole lot easier to connect to the pained Barton Dawes now than when I was 19 (even if it was quite a shock discovering that the disillusioned man with crumbling marriage, crumbling physique and crumbling life is 40(!) - I had him at about 60 in my head, but on the other hand, what's the difference between 40 and 60 when you're 19?). Anyway, it's qu ...more
Latasha
I wasn't sure about this one but by the end I did like Bart and over all enjoyed this book. it's kinda heart breaking :(
Tobin Elliott
Aug 16, 2016 Tobin Elliott rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
In my rereading of King's work, this, along with Eyes of the Dragon and The Tommyknockers, was one of the novels I was kind of dreading, because, though I remembered very little of the novel, I distinctly remember being somewhat bored with it and flat out not liking it much.

Yeah, well, that was the young me. The unmarried me. The me that hadn't been a father. The me that had been too young to, on occasion, look back on his life and wonder what it all meant.

This time, this novel resonated quite s
...more
sj
Roadwork feels more like King than Bachman, especially when you compare it to the rest of the novels that comprised that hefty Bachman Books compendium (all of King's signature writerly tics are on display, here).

I remember skimming this one the last time I read these, and I'm glad I didn't this time. I caught a lot of what feel like referential moments to his other work.

Heather and I agree that if Phil Drake isn't Callahan walking the Todash Highway, then he's his twinner, for suresies.

Georg
...more
Janie Johnson
Dec 04, 2012 Janie Johnson rated it did not like it
**KEEP OUT OF REACH OF DEPRESSED PERSONS**

Really this is just a long drawn out tale of a depressed man who pretty much became insane because of a highway being built right through the middle of his house, and his livelihood, a glorified Laundrymat. I dont really think the book could have been anymore depressing, and the main character could not have pitied himself any more than he was already.

I also found the book to be very predictable. I realize that this is a very early novel from King, but
...more
Jack Gattanella
Sep 12, 2015 Jack Gattanella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites, king
"That's what we are. The March of Time, Freddy. That what it is. Forty waiting for fifty waiting for sixty. Waiting for a nice hospital bed and a nice nurse to stick a nice catheter inside you. Freddy, forty is the end of being young. Well, actually thirty's the end of being young, forty is where you stop fooling yourself. I don't want to grow old in a strange place."

This was a tremendous read, though if you hear what it's about on the surface your first reaction will likely be 'Well, why would
...more
Chris
Jun 22, 2012 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have slowly been making my way through the Richard Bachman books, and for the most part I have not been that impressed. I like dark and dreary, and thought this book would be so much better than it was. I was wrong.

The book didn’t have much of a description, but knowing the type of writing I have come to expect from Stephen King I was hopeful. Between the story being about a guy who is loosing his house for a highway project, and King’s talent for writing deep, memorable characters, I though t
...more
The Great Wazoo
Dec 06, 2012 The Great Wazoo rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dierdra Byrd
I have only read one other of the Bachman novels, The long walk and I remember really enjoying it so when I came across Roadwork I was excited to read it. The Bachman novels are not really so much horror as Kings novels are and the difference is nice. I find it sad King had to stop writing as Bachman personally.
Roadwork is about a man who loses his place of employment and his house because the city is building a highway through both. He doesn't want to lose either and doesn't take it well at al
...more
Thomas Strömquist
Thinking of this book my mind always invokes an image of Arthur Dent lying in mud in front of the bulldozer about to knock down his house. This is not fair at all, since this story is nothing to laugh about.

Nothing to laugh about. In fact it's downright depressing. Nothing good can come out of the premises and nothing does.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Whoa... Don't push certain people to their breaking point. I dont know how I feel about these Bachman books but I'm enjoying them so far. You can tell they are his earlier works, I can at least.
Brian
Jan 04, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I really liked this story. It is definitely unique for King. It seems more of a literary type read, and each paragraph seems packed with detail. The story gave me some anxiety. It scared me in a different way, the way dreams sometimes scare to prepare us for reality. It reminded me of a bad path I was on, up until I was about 18. It brought back the guilt I still feel, a memory of calling my family on my sixteenth birthday. They had a cake and presents ready for me, but I called my Mom and told ...more
Pupottina

Non tutte le ciambelle riescono con il buco, di conseguenza, non sempre i libri di Stephen King riescono bene. Il fatto che USCITA PER L'INFERNO abbia ottenuto grande successo per le innumerevoli vendite è da attribuirsi al nome dell'autore, riconosciuto anche sotto lo pseudonimo di Richard Bachman.
Al centro della storia, c'è George Dawes, un uomo che ha perso l’unico figlio, Charles Fred, in tenera età per un tumore cerebrale. Con la moglie Mary ha tentato di tornare ad una vita normale, ma, qu
...more
R.a.
Jul 22, 2015 R.a. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fic-gen, fic-suspense
3.0 stars.

Like The Long Walk and The Running Man, King/Bachman’s Roadwork’s structure progresses through a “ticking” timeline. Unlike The Long Walk and The Running Man, King/Bachman’s Roadwork takes place in a present rather than a future.

The novel, in many ways, represents King/Bachman’s most realistic, and most mundane, novel. And while it shows up a variety of social points and criticisms, empathy and/or sympathy for the protagonist, Barton G., (George), Dawes becomes difficult—despite explan
...more
Paul Eckert
Jan 14, 2014 Paul Eckert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King must be one of the best writers at taking an ordinary situation and making an interesting story out of it. Give the guy a person and a problem and he will just run with it. He's often typecast as the king of horror, but I think some of his best stories don't involve the supernatural.

In the case of Roadwork, Barton Dawes is a regular Joe Suburbanite, just another guy trying to make an honest living when he gets notice that the city will be invoking eminent domain and tearing down his
...more
Jason P
Jun 12, 2013 Jason P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to read a good revenge story? One where the protagonist gets beaten down like a dog, then finds odd ball ways to get back at the "the man", only to get thrown in one hell of a fire fight? Well, if that's what you want, then look no further because Roadwork is that book! I listened to the audio edition of Roadwork which was narrated by G. Valmont Thomas, and what a great job he did! Every step of the story was sold so well, and he made it so the listener (me) was on the edge of my seat. Love ...more
Ally Atherton
Aug 18, 2011 Ally Atherton rated it really liked it
King is Bachman and Bachman is King.

This is my latest read of Richard Bachman otherwise known as Stephen King. This book is in many ways very different from most King books but the writing is unmistakable.

Written inbetween Salem's Lot and the Shining, Roadwork is a non-horror that focuses on one man's determination to stop a new major road from being built in an unnamed city in the mid west of America. It doesn't sound too exciting does it ?
Well maybe the story isn't the most exciting thing sinc
...more
Bryce
Sep 01, 2010 Bryce rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tend not to like Stephen King's Richard Bachman persona. That grouping of works always tends to be more pessimistic, more nihilistic that the rest of SK's books. It seems like he uses Bachman as a way to scrub out his darker thoughts and impulses.

Roadwork is about a man facing the destruction of his house and work due to a highway building project. Instead of moving, he decides to stay exactly where he is, then decides to sabotage the project... and in the process loses his job, his wife and
...more
Gitte Winneche
Mar 09, 2015 Gitte Winneche rated it liked it
Shelves: own-and-read, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stunatra
Feb 10, 2011 Stunatra rated it it was amazing
Most fun I've had reading a King novel since Needful Things. It's one of Stephen King's few "straight" novels where there is not a trace of the supernatural. And when you finish it, you wish King wrote more in a similar vein.

This is a funny, sad, and compelling character study. The characters are strong, they jump off the pages and make you feel like you're in the room with them. It's nearly unputdownable. One of the best King novels, and certainly the best Bachman book I've read so far (Rage w
...more
Tabatha
Aug 06, 2009 Tabatha rated it really liked it
When you're reading this book it seems slow and pointless. Then you get to the end and you realize that's exactly what it is and that's the point. Sometimes there is no point and no reason to look for one. I like the way Dawe's was "hoping to Got he had said nothing...that can be misconstrued as profound." I think that somes it up well.

I'm always amazed at the stark difference in King books and Bachman books. I wish they would still market the Bachman books under that name instead of emblazoning
...more
The Black Hat Writer
Sep 05, 2016 The Black Hat Writer rated it it was ok
I credit King for his ability to develop a character psychologically through such in-depth interior dialogue. I also enjoy the realism Dawes has with his thoughts. I mean, King's characters often think about things the average guy thinks about; and, he is never without a few humorous things to say. I can honestly say King makes me laugh quite a bit--in a good way.

I can also appreciate the vivid detail with which he sees EVERYTHING. King's worlds and characters and stories are highly imagined, a
...more
Troy Blackford
Aug 13, 2011 Troy Blackford rated it it was amazing
One of my very favorites and highly underrated, Stephen King himself is dissatisfied with this book as he felt pressured to write a 'serious' novel by the critics. Well, I didn't know that when I read it and I was really touched, moved, and caught up in this amazing story.

I'm sure that it is only his memories of what was going on in his life that colored his opinions of this one.
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  • Riding the Bullet
5858
This is a Stephen King pseudonym.

At the beginning of Stephen King's career, the general view among publishers was that an author was limited to one book per year, since publishing more would be unacceptable to the public. King therefore wanted to write under another name, in order to increase his publication without over-saturating the market for the King "brand". He convinced his publisher, Signe
...more
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“All places are the same unless your mind changes. There’s no magic place to get your mind right. If you feel like shit, everything you see looks like shit.” 9 likes
“The fucking you got was never worth the screwing you took.” 7 likes
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