Benjamin Thomas's Reviews > The Regulators

The Regulators by Richard Bachman
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's review
Nov 07, 2015

it was ok
bookshelves: horror
Read in June, 2000 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I read more than 150 novels each year and have read most of King's stuff. Obviously, with so much output from one writer, there are bound to be hits and misses. This one was a miss, in my opinion but there is still enough here to make it worth the read.

I had already read Desperation, the companion book to this volume, and came away with the feeling that I had just experienced a pretty good King novel. It also was far from his best but I enjoyed it nonetheless. So, naturally, I turned to this book, The Regulators, hoping for a similar experience. Stephen King is well known for marketing gimmickry, pushing the envelope in the publishing business. At first it was through using brand names without permission. Then it was the alternate ego, Richard Bachman, followed by the serial novel (Green Mile) and now it is a "dual novel." Frankly, I don't think it worked this time. I just couldn't get the parallel between the two books/settings. Same names but different people and places. What was the point? Really, they are two seperate books.

In this novel, King definitely displays his famous talent for scene setting. The opening chapter is one of the best I've read, setting the stage for the coming horror. The plot was also pretty good, although the evil 'Tak' seemed somewhat ordinary. King uses a great mechanism to deliver the horror this time. The manifestation of the mind of a small autistic boy. The horrors come in the form of all of those things that frighten young children and, consequently, frighten us. The text is sprinkled throughout with other tidbits as well that help to tell the story: letters, postcards, diary entries, even a script. Another King tool to attack from all directions.

But somehow, it didn't all flow well together. There were so many characters that I lost track of who was who and as they started to die off, I found myself not caring too much who was left. Perhaps I was a victim of having read Desperation first. I guess I was expecting the same characters to survive.

Overall, a middle-of the road King entry. King purists will want to read this one but King samplers should pass.
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Boss Man Chris Couldn't agree more. This book felt like the second half of the two book project for Desperation. Probably why the other was credited to King and this one to RB. Liked the idea of the same characters different books, just not the outcome.

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