Jess Michaelangelo's Reviews > Rage

Rage by Richard Bachman
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Oct 29, 09

bookshelves: favorites, fiction, horror, stephen-king
Read in October, 2009, read count: 1

This was my first Richard Bachman. From what I've heard, most people prefer The Long Walk. If that's the case, then I can't wait for that because I loved Rage.

In this day and age, this is a little rough to read, but although this is about a taboo subject, it offers a twisted perspective into the mind of a killer--of a schizophrenic school shooter.

I won't lie, this was pretty twisted and there were parts of it that I wasn't even sure I understood fully. Right now even looking back, I'm not sure I understood the point of it. I really liked it though, despite how crazy that makes me sound. It's interesting to see an even darker side of Stephen King. I think the only way to explain it is how King himself explained Bachman:

"Bachman--a fictional creation who became more real to me with each published book which bore his byline--was a rainy-day sort of guy if ever there was one. The good folks mostly win, courage usually triumphs over fear, the family dog hardly ever contracts rabies; these are things I knew at twenty-five, and things I still know now, at the age (almost) of 25 x 2. But I know something else as well: there's a place in most of us where the rain is pretty much constant, the shadows are always long, and the woods are full of monsters. It is good to have a voice in which the terrors of such a place can be articulated and its geography partially described, without denying the sunshine and clarity that fills so much of our ordinary lives. For me, Bachman was that voice."

The craziest part, to me, about that introduction is that as King was describing Bachman, a persona formed in my mind, and it's still hard for me to see them as two separate people. Stephen King's just that talented.

Anyway, back to Rage. I flew through it. Like I said, even though I didn't understand all of it, I felt so compelled to keep reading--I've always wanted to know what a schizophrenic's mind was like and now I think I have some sort of an idea. My favorite quote from this is when Charlie Decker is talking about his school psychiatrists and psychiatrists in general. He originally refers to his psychiatrist as a "mindfucker," and then says, "That's what a shrink is for, my friends and neighbors; their job is to fuck the mentally disturbed and make them pregnant with sanity." I can't really place a finger on it, but I really liked it.

I'm very very excited to read more from Bachman. If they keep getting better like what I've heard, I have a feeling that old Richard Bachman is going to become a friend of mine.
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JG (The Introverted Reader) Have you read King's The Dark Half? The stuff you quoted about Bachman/King made me think of that and you might be interested in it.


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