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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  95,849 Ratings  ·  1,575 Reviews
There's a place along Interstate 50 that some call the loneliest place on Earth. It's known as Desperation, Nevada.
It's not a very nice place to live. It's an even worse place to die.
Let the battle against evil begin.
Welcome to ... Desperation


The following was taken from Steven King's Web Site:

Located off a desola
Mass Market Paperback, First Signet Edition, 547 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Signet (first published September 24th 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Yikes! U.S. 50 is much more than "the loneliest highway in America" when you end up in DESPERATION!

It all begins with a monstrosity of a 6' 7" police officer from hell and a scary trip into town for one unwary traveler after another; and once you do make it to town, well, the deadly creep-fest begins.

This chunkster of a novel is filled with really icky creepy crawlers, horrific & gruesome death, and enough blood and gore to fill a movie theatre, but when eleven year old David Carver enters t

Dirk Grobbelaar
Mar 10, 2014 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it
Why, what a splendid book. Gosh! Tak.

”I see holes like eyes.”

Desperation is one of the downright scariest books I’ve read, and the scares come early. King manages, for the most part, to keep the tension up throughout the novel, which makes it one hell of an uneasy read. Some sequences are somewhat bizarre, and others are bluntly offensive, although this is only what you’d expect from a novel such as this: it’s not meant to be easy reading after all.

Something about this bothered [him], but for n
Nicholas Armstrong
Jan 21, 2010 Nicholas Armstrong rated it it was amazing
I'm an indecisive rater and my rating on this will probably fluctuate with mood and memory but regardless of that this is a great read.

What I always found insulting was how easily critics, snobs, and pretentious twits write-off Stephen King because he writes stories about realistic people in fantastic situations. So what? Seriously, he writes amazingly so why give a damn what he writes about? Desperation is a perfect example of horror and fantastic writing and anyone who doesn't think so can go
Mari Biella
Say what you will about Stephen King, but you’ve got to hand it to our man in Maine: sitting down with one of his novels is never a struggle. Having read a number of his books, I’ve gradually come to think of him as being a bit like an old friend: a charming, chatty old friend who, for the price of a paperback, will happily sit down with you and tell you one of his numerous stories, stories whose occasional nastiness seems quite at odds with their mild-mannered narrator. On this level, Desperati ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I closed the book with a wicked smile across my face.
First, the boy character made this book.
Second, the way this story makes you feel like you're right there. Third, how can you not love a 600+ page King novel. The bigger the better in my opinion. One of his best for sure.
Lane Wilkinson
Sep 10, 2007 Lane Wilkinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, I dropped the pretention and read a Stephen King novel. True, I read several of King's middle school...but I thought that it was time to give him another chance. After all, King's popularity is eclipsed only by, oh, I don't know...Jesus? Well, not Jesus...but someone popular.

I'll admit, the story was engaging. King has a way with propelling his story-lines over hundreds of pages without taking a breath. Or so it would seem. Unfortunately, the mediocrity of his prose is, at best, d
Oct 16, 2016 Johann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"In these silences something may rise."

What a book! What a ride! Tak!

This is a story about the little mining town of Desperation. Regulating the traffic on the nearby Route 50 is Collie Entragian, who is an absolutely giant madman. If you're caught with a license plate number missing or you've got a flat tire...tough luck. Collie brings passers-by into Desperation where the real nightmare begins.

I loved this book from beginning to end, I was hooked from the very first page. It's an apocalyptic d
Edward Lorn
The first time I read Desperation, I read it back to back with The Regulators in the fall 1996. Had I been reviewing in my teenage years, I probably would have given this two stars, and The Regulators four stars. The latter is a fun book from beginning to end, while Desperation takes off like a crackhead escaping police custody only to run out of steam about halfway to the sanctuary of his crack den. Sad Panda.

This read was a little bit better than the first because I was expecting the slow-as-
Ruth Turner

Audiobook - Narrated by Stephen King - Surprisingly good narration.

I say surprisingly good, because years ago I listened to something Stephen King read (can't remember what) and found his voice to be flat and emotionless. So I was severely disappointed when I downloaded this book and found it was narrated by the author. But, eventually, I decided to give it a try, and I have to say that I was surprised. He did an excellent job. It was like having him in my living room, an old friend come to vis
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Oi, this book is a doozy! I read it months ago but only just finished its companion novel so I think I'm finally ready to organize my thoughts and write a review of this thing. I know I rated it three stars but that's really only in comparison to King's other work. Because compared with other writers, this book is far better, but compared to a lot of his other novels, it is just on the lower end of the Stephen King spectrum for me. Which really is too bad be
Chrissa Vasileiou
3,5/5 αστεράκια.
Παρόλο που και ως εξώφυλλο και ως υπόθεση το βιβλίο φαίνεται να είναι κάτι πολύ δυνατό,προσωπικά δεν το ένιωσα και τόσο πολύ. Το διάβασα αμέσως μετά από τους "Ρυθμιστές",που κυκλοφόρησε ο King την ίδια χρονιά με το ψευδώνυμο του Backman,και επέλεξε να δώσει στους ήρωες τα ίδια ονόματα με εκείνα που είχαν οι ήρωες στους "Ρυθμιστές". Οπότε,μου ερχόταν κάπως παράξενο να διαβάζω τα ίδια ονόματα και τις ίδιες περιγραφές ανθρώπων,από μια ολότελα διαφορετική πλευρά όμως. Οικείο και ανοί
This is probably the 4th or 5th time that I've read this book. I have always liked this story, although not as much as it's other half, The Regulators, but I have to say that this time, unfortunately, Desperation lost a little something for me. I actually downgraded it from a 4 star to a 3 star rating (OK, 3 1/2 maybe).

Maybe this is due to the fact that I'm on something of a King kick, and I've been reading a lot of his stuff within the past few months. I think, because of this, some of his les
Thomas Strömquist
For almost 2/3 of this book, I was sure this review would start with "This book was better than I remembered", but then most went wrong. I do think this is the one I enjoyed least in my King reading project this far (except maybe for the short distance I made into the 'Tower', but that I expected and also maybe 'The Dark Half', which was a disappointment, but still a way better book than this bloated thing).

The beginning is both suspenseful and promising and for a quite long while the reading i
Samuel Richards-hastings

The first half, maybe even two thirds and I was all HEY THIS MIGHT BE MY FAVORITE KING NOVEL. A creepy rural Nevada cop starts kidnapping innocent travelers!? Like all post-AA King, they're all thinly veiled representations of parts of his personality/personal history!? THE COP IS POSSESSED BY AN ANCIENT EARTH-GOD WITH POWER OVER THE LOWER BEASTS OF THE DESERT?@?!!? DUDE!

There's a movie adaptation where RON PERLMAN PLAYS THE COP!? DOUBLE DUD
Feb 22, 2014 Alissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Overall I enjoyed Desperation and I'm still planning on reading The Regulators. Religion was more of a theme with this book than the somewhat subtle undertones King usually uses but it didn't detract much for me. I'm not religious either, its just something I can accept if its used seriously as part of the story. It felt like King relied on it more sometimes than he could have though. It comes full circle through the characters and while King managed to create characters with human flaws, desire ...more
Todd Western-Normanton
Absolutely brilliant! I am usually a slow reader and expect to take a while to digest a book of great size (as this book is over 700 pages long), this book took me less than a week to read! The book was gripping at every sentence. The characters were formed to high standard and the chills, thrills, elements of horror and survival intensity were peaked beyond my maximum enjoyment! I loved King's use of the mad cop in the first few thirds of the book- the cops possession of the demonic entity know ...more
Adam Light
Stood up well after nearly twenty years. Too tired to put together a long review, but I want to point I reread this one right behind my second trip through It, and was surprised at how many similarities the two share. It is a far superior book, of course. There was also a nice reference to those pesky tommyknockers, as well. On to The Regulators now.
Jeremy Bates
Apr 04, 2013 Jeremy Bates rated it it was amazing
One thing I find fascinating is how many critics write off Stephen King as a hack because he writes horror novels. Unlike literary authors, who write about extraordinary people in regular situations, King writes about regular people in extraordinary situations, and that’s just fine with me.

Desperation is reminiscent of King’s magnum opus The Stand, and King revisits many familiar themes such as good versus evil, salvation, redemption, faith, so forth. There’s also a lot of blood and gore, which
Oct 23, 2014 Steve rated it did not like it
Just can't get into this one, nothing really compelling me to keep reading. Into the abandoned book pile it goes.
Asghar Abbas

Nope. King's work have always been a hit and miss for me. This one is definitely a miss.
Franco  Santos
No me gustó.

Partía de una gran idea que me prometía una historia más madura y desarrollada que su par cuasihomólogo Posesión, sin embargo me encontré con algo, si bien más sazonado, supinamente denso. Hubo partes en las que el sopor provocado por esta lectura superaba cualquier resistencia que podía contraponer (disculpen el pleonasmo). Me resultó muy difícil terminar esta novela.

Algo positivo que tengo que mencionar es que tiene muy buenos personajes; también el final: fue una gran conclusión
Jason P
Mar 20, 2016 Jason P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Close your eyes.
Picture yourself driving down Highway 50. Windows are down and the wind is blowing your hair back like you're in front of a high powered fan. Tunes are blaring out of the front speakers, and everything is going perfect. You and your mate are having the time of your lives.
That's when you see the blue/red lights flash behind you, and a quick 'whoop whoop' flagging you down for you to pull over.

A strange man that looks like an officer of the law slowly makes his way to the side you
Feb 28, 2014 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disc-golf-bag
I closed the book and said "wow". And then I cried. I was rather surprised at King's handling of God and religion. Usually, those kinds of characters turn out to be dangerous. This one, though, made faith seem sweet and not kitschy. I loved the way the story tied up in a neat little package. As always, I loved the camaraderie between the strangers thrown together in a terrifying situation. Their strengths and their weaknesses. I love the attraction between the older guy and the younger girl that ...more
Dec 12, 2007 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans, horror fans, people who dig religious-themed stories
Shelves: horror, thriller
It's pretty much guaranteed that if Stephen King wrote it, I'll like it. I can't honestly say that this is one of his best books. It's certainly very menacing, and extremely tense, but it was also kind of predictable and the ending seemed a bit too easy. A lot of King endings are vaguely unsatisfying, though, and I blame that primarily on the fact that he builds up the story so much that there's really no way to end it on a satisfying note.

Still, something about Desperation got to me. It played
May 04, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-god-king
Desesperación es un infierno constante. Creo que divido el libro en dos partes. La primera es muy violenta, e imposible de dejar de leer. Luego empiezan las "revelaciónes", en lo que llamaría segunda parte, y todo queda a criterio del lector.

No imaginaba que King, en un libro así, cerraria con un tinte religioso, pero al final todo toma cierto sentido aunque algunas cosas no queden claras.

Me gustó? Si. Fue una genialidad? No. Es un buen libro de King? Puede ser
Mar 21, 2010 Kandice rated it liked it
If I were rating this book on story alone, I would probably only give it 2 stars, but because the style in which it's written means as much, if not more, to me as story, I'm saying 3 stars. As disturbing, sad, and at times disgusting as this book was, I wanted to know how it ended, who lived, who died, and WHY. Most of all, why?, but I was left a little disapointed on that score.

The story opens with a crazy cop on the rampage. He lives in the small desert town of Desperation, and scans the road
Aurora Dimitre
~4.5 Stars~

This is an interesting Stephen King book for more than one reason, but the main one is the character who is very God-enamored is not some crazy antagonist. Which is pretty interesting. As well as that, it has some typical King things like survivors of something crazy going on, an abandoned place with everything just laying around for their use, and an arm coming off of a body. So that's fun.

It's not one of my favorite King books, but it is a lot of fun. Really, the only reason I didn
A great and terrible book. At times hard to read and yet utterly captivating. I doubt this book will ever not be a favorite of mine.
Campbell Mcaulay
May 19, 2012 Campbell Mcaulay rated it really liked it
A disparate collection of travellers are abducted by an insane cop and incarcerated in the jail of a small Nevada mining town in the middle of nowhere. It quickly becomes clear that the cop isn't just insane - he's posessed - and an ancient tunnel recently uncovered at the mine may hold the clue...

King's novels are rather variable in quality. I suspect that most careful and discerrning readers, even King's Constant Readers, will acknowledge that as true. I'll qualify the statement and state that
Bark's Book Nonsense
Nov 23, 2009 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, horror
Cleaning out some old gems of mine. I tried reading this one many years ago and remember giving up midway. I have it on audio from the library and hope to get through it this time but I don't know . . . the thing is 18 discs long!

Later: Well, I managed to get through all 18 discs but I think I'm a glutton for punishment. If I had been reading this the traditional way I would've given up early on. Some of the characters were okay but mostly they seemed all too familiar. There was the religious bo
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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