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3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  126,652 Ratings  ·  1,455 Reviews
You are about to meet the sweetest, most irresistible little girl you've ever known--8-year-old Charlie McGee. She's everything that a proud father like Andy McGee could want--and all that he can fear. For Charlie was born with the most destructive power a human being has ever commanded--and somehow she must be saved from both herself and from those in high places who want ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 401 pages
Published August 1981 by Signet-New American Library (first published January 1st 1980)
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Buddy Read with my pal, The Jeff.

I don't think the scariest thing about this book is the fact that this tiny kid has the power to potentially crack the Earth in half.
Don't get me wrong...the thought of that curls my toes.
The genius of this book is that your fear builds with the father's fear.
And it's not the fear of simply being captured. He fears what all of this is doing to his daughter, and he fears what he has had to do to his daughter, in order to keep her safe from herself.
The part that
Mar 10, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it

Damn hippy musicians!

This was a buddy read with my bestest pal, Firestar.

Stephen King sure as hell likes his characters with a heaping helping of psy-abilities. At the time of this writing, Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Stand and The Dead Zone had been published (needless to say, this is one hell of a run) and three out of five employed characters with some sort of psychic ability. Here, Andy and Vicky were part of an experiment that left them wit
Paul Nelson
Nov 04, 2014 Paul Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Next up on my Stephen King quest is Firestarter, again it’s not a review as such but a collection of my thoughts on the book. So there most definitely will be spoilers.
Firestarter was originally released in 1980 and was the Kings 6th release not including The Star Invaders.

This story is a page turning masterpiece that flows effortlessly with literally no break in the pace whatsoever, from the initial chase and capture, to John Rainbird ruthlessly planning and playing with a young girl’s emotions
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I can find absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. Firestarter is up there with 'Salem's Lot, The Shining, and It. This one isn't as creep-up-on-you scary as the aforementioned novels, but Firestarter is terrifying. To image a world wherein Charlie McGee exists is a scary thought indeed.

This is one of the few King books that has absolutely zero lulls in the narrative. When the pace does slow, King shows off his superhuman character development skills. He doesn't simply make his character
This may very well be one of the earliest subtle horror stories from King. That said, this one wasn't a scare-fest out to make the reader piss himself/herself like many of his early works.

But here the terror is perhaps worse. In this novel, the "monsters" are normal human beings that work for the US government. Agents of The Shop earn a paycheck from the legitimate government to keep America "safe". They just might be scarier than Cujo, Barlow, Pennywise, Annie Wilkes, Tak, and the Crimson King
Nandakishore Varma
Nov 20, 2015 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was the first novel of Stephen King I bought - well, not exactly me. I was laid up in bed with a dislocated knee and my aunt bought it for me, to keep me through the monotonous days.

But somehow, I never got around to reading it at that time. It was only about an year later, after finishing The Shining, that I read it. By that time I was willing to love anything by Stephen King, and this book didn't disappoint.

Charlene McGee is a girl with a gift - pyrokinesis, i.e., the ability to set thing
Miss Kim
It all started with twelve broke college students. Andy’s friend told him about a drug trail at the university that was paying each participant $200. Thinking ‘easy cash’, Andy goes for it. He ends up spending an undetermined amount of time there and is given the drug which also contains some kind of hallucinogenic. He also meets the woman that would later become his wife, Victoria, and during the trial, they both realize they can communicate with out speaking. After it was over, both were unsur ...more
Franco  Santos

Es un libro que empieza con muy buen ritmo, muy rápido, sin embargo, a medida que iba avanzando se me hacía cada vez más pesado. En la mitad ya me era muy tedioso; no lo soportaba.

Tiene como 350 páginas sumamente aburridas, repetitivas, pesadas, lentas. Perdón, King, pero este libro no fue para mí. Hay gente que lo ama, lamentablemente yo no puedo decir lo mismo.

Tengo que aceptar, no obstante, que el final me encantó.

Un punto positivo -además del inicio y el final- fueron los personajes. Son
Thomas Strömquist
Stephen Kings 9th is for me truly a partly hidden (or at least partly forgotten) gem! This sailed up amongst my very favorites of this mans books now and is the first that I actually changed (the 5-level) rating of following my re-read. The book starts in the midst of a breathtaking white knuckle hunt for a man and his daughter and does not stop for as much as a breather during the first third.

The eventual decrease of the furious pace comes with an increase of terror and dread though, so no res
Sometimes King comes up with the best and most creative ideas. Firestarter was no exception. The whole idea behind a government experiment giving people "abilities" is pure genius. Then, to twist it a bit to make those abilities effect human genetics to give the offspring of those who participated in this government experiment have abilities as well? Genius. I loved the whole idea of the story.

When King does sci-fi, sometimes he really gets it right. The Dead Zone, anyone? It was one of the bes
Joe Valdez
Jun 07, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heat seekers, warm hearts, trailblazers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Loory
i kinda love the ending, i mean the very last page, where she gets up the nerve to finally take her story to the one life-saving, incorruptible news outlet in the country, powerful enough to take on the government... and it's Rolling Stone. that was such a great window into a certain time and headspace in this country. it almost brought tears to my eyes.

the rest of the book is interesting (CIA/LSD/mind-control) and often fun, and of course very readable. but a) it's a SF/suspense/thriller type t
Apr 16, 2015 Rade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure how to describe this book. It is good, it is emotional at times, and it is creepy in a subtle way. Once again King shines in his ability to depict real characters who are not one dimensional or shallow, the kind that you can cheer on as they progress throughout the book and hope they don't get whacked by the end of it.

Lots of emotion in this one as a dad who gets cornered tries to assure his young daughter that she will eventually have a normal life, free of running and free to pu
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris – Excellent narration.

I’ve listened to quite a few audiobooks narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris and enjoyed them all. He’s one of my favourites.



I read this book not long after it was published and it was only just an alright read, so I never felt the need to read it again. Until now, when I’m rereading all of King’s books.

The Dead Zone was another book I didn’t particularly like, yet this time around I loved it. So, I hoped I that maybe the same t
David Sarkies
Apr 18, 2015 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen Kings fans an people who like a different kind of horror
Recommended to David by: Jeremy Groffen
Shelves: horror
An inversion of the supernatural horror
2 August 2012

This book is a good example of why I like a lot of Stephen King's earlier books; while it deals with horror-like themes we are not dealing with hordes of zombies or vampires plotting to take over the world but rather with an extra-ordinary girl who is on the run from the government. Most of the horror movies that I have seen, or the ones that like to have the moniker of horror, deal with a supernatural creature who pursues the mundane, however
Stefan Yates
May 10, 2012 Stefan Yates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
When I read this one the first time in junior high, I distinctly remember not being able to finish it. After re-reading it, I have absolutely no idea why. King has put together a moving, engaging story with characters that you care about and some very well-written antagonists.

If you don't know already, the story is basically about a couple who participated in a research project in college where they were injected with drugs that produced some psychic powers, these drugs have had some residual ef
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
Having always been a big fan of the film, I was anxious to experience the fire starting abilities of Charlie in book form. Did the book end up leaving a burned imprint in my mind as much as the movie did?

Stephen King's Firestarter, written in his older school style, begins with Charlie and Andy McGee on the run from a company called “The Shop”. The first few chapters are riddled with intriguing flashbacks to fill the reader in on current day situations and up the desperation of the protagonists
Mar 08, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Firestarter was the first Stephen King book I ever read and so it will always have a warm (no pun intended) place in my heart. However, I don't think nostalgia is the reason I still think fondly of it. I think it's just a pretty darn good story. I love the science fiction element, the relationship between Charlie and her dad and the description of their powers. I so wanted Andy's "push" power when I first read this.

Plus, I'm no literary historian but I have to think that The Shop has to be one
Erik Graff
Jul 11, 2011 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans
Recommended to Erik by: James Koehnline
Shelves: sf
After reading The Stand and getting a sense of why King was so immensely popular in the eighties, I borrowed my roommate's copy of Firestarter, then The Shining, then Pet Sematary. I definitely liked Firestarter the most.

The reason I liked Firestarter--and the movie based, somewhat raggedly, upon it--was because it contained several elements of interest to me: LSD, CIA, MK-ULTRA and wholesome family values. I'm a sucker for family values--or at least for my peculiar take on what would constitute
Mar 13, 2009 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked Firestarter. It's not a plot I've read Stephen King doing before (yet, anyway), although I suppose there's shades of Carrie. It's more science fiction/thriller than horror, definitely.

It's much denser than the books I've been reading lately by King -- Cell and From A Buick 8. More description, more stopping and starting, a longer time frame. It worked, for me, I got caught up in the story, I didn't want to put the book down, I got close to the characters and worried about them. Or
Dec 09, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, sci-fi
Terrifying concept, this girl who can light fires with her mind. These aren't little piddly wink dinky doo fires for a few sticks to start a campfire so the kiddies can sing and dance and hold hands. This girl can start fires that rage at up around 2000 degrees fahrenheit. She's eight years old. Daddy, can I have that teddy bear? Um, sure darling. Daddy can I have spaghetti for supper just the way I like it? Sure baby. Supper's bad Daddy. I'm a little irritated at the moment. Sorry baby. It's g ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed First at Brunner's Bookshelf

I'm a big fan of Stephen King and I would like to think I can be considered a "Constant Reader". It was only a few years ago that I really got into his books and now I am on a mission to read everything by him. Whenever I need a new book to read and there isn’t anything really grabbing my interest on the top of my to-read pile I can rely on a King novel to keep me company.

I was in just such a need and my library had this one ready to go. I wasn’t sure if I w
Oct 15, 2012 Robyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was in my late teens, a friend of mine asked me to recommend to them a SK novel. I had read quite a few at that point, but decided to lend her my old beat-to-hell copy of Firestarter. I was sure she would love it. She returned it a month later. "He starts this book describing this, like, airport? It just goes on and on for pages and pages. I couldn't get into it."

My reaction? "Huh, I never noticed that before." I still don't notice it. I pick this up occasionally, to skim through and try
Spider the Doof Warrior
Few books are as karmic-ally satisfying as this one is. This is Stephen King at his best. You have this sympathetic family torn apart by the government experimenting on Andy McGee and his wife to be. As a result, they both gain powers. Andy can manipulate people to do what he wants them to do. His wife had low grade kinetic abilities. But, their daughter has the ability to create fire. Of course the government wants to get their hands on her, study her and maybe hone her into a deadly weapon.

4.0 to 4.5 stars. On my short list for favorite Stephen King novel (other than the Dark Tower series which stands head and shoulders above all his other books). This one was great from start to finish. It also introduced the world to one of the truly great "evil" government agencies, "The Shop" which would play a role in several subsequent King novels.

Nominee: British Fantasy Award for Best Novel.
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
May 26, 2008 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a Stephen King fan. I can count the number of Stephen King books I've read on one hand. But, I loved this one both times that I read it years ago. I still remember so much of it. It's really more of a sci-fi thriller than a horror novel. I love the character of Charlie. I just wanted to protect her from all the bad guys that wanted to use her. I cheered for her all the way.
Sep 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2013
Sarà pure un pargoletto di serie b rispetto alla hall of fame di King, ma a me questo thriller è piaciuto comunque.
Certo, alcune parti della trama sono all'insegna del sentito e risentito: i soliti malcapitati che per soldi si sottopongono a esperimenti di cui si sa poco e acquisiscono poteri paranormali, forse l'aggiunta sta nel fatto che due delle cavie si innamorano e si sposano e danno origine a un combo chiamato Charlene McGee, la famosa incendiaria che la Bottega - specie di associazione
Mar 02, 2010 Kandice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read this little gem in years. I'll stop and watch the movie on cable from any point, and I remembered (vaguely) that the book was better, but I was in for a surprise.

The story begins with two college students, Vicky and Andy McGee, in need of $200, volunteering for a scientific experiment being run by The Shop, a secret goverment agency, along the lines of the CIA or FBI. They have a 50/50 shot of being injected with the mysterious "Lot 6" or a placebo. Lot 6 is not the mild hallucinog
Apr 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Why read: Love Stephen King's books.

What impressed me: Firestarter delved a lot deeper into the how and why of Charlie's pyrokinesis that the original movie did. I found myself a lot more interested in the characters that I was when I watched the movie. There were some truly horrifying scenes, but mostly, the book worked because of King's ability to get deep into the psyche of his characters, which translates better on the page than on the screen.

What disappointed me: Firestarter kind of dragged
4, 5 Sterne

"Feuerkind" war das dritte Buch, das ich für meinen Stephen King Lesemonat gelesen habe. Ich hatte davor schon irgendwann einmal den zugehörigen Film gesehen, kann mich aber kaum daran erinnern, weswegen ich trotzdem ein sehr unvoreingenommenes Leseerlebnis hatte.

Der Angstfaktor bei diesem Buch ist eigentlich nicht durch die übersinnlichen Kräfte Charlies bedingt, sondern durch die Angst ihres Vaters um sie und sein ständiges Streben, sie sowohl von der Organisation ("Die Firma") zu s
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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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“The world, although well-lighted with fluorescents and incandescent bulbs and neon, is still full of odd dark corners and unsettling nooks and crannies.” 37 likes
“No one likes to see a government folder with his name on it.” 33 likes
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