Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Regulators

Rate this book
There's a place in Wentworth, Ohio, where summer is in full swing. It's called Poplar Street. Up until now it's been a nice place to live. The idling red van around the corner is about to change all that. Let the battle against evil begin. Here come...The Regulators

512 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1996

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Richard Bachman

52 books3,628 followers
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, Signet Books, to print these novels under a pseudonym.

In his introduction to The Bachman Books, King states that adopting the nom de plume Bachman was also an attempt to make sense out of his career and try to answer the question of whether his success was due to talent or luck. He says he deliberately released the Bachman novels with as little marketing presence as possible and did his best to "load the dice against" Bachman. King concludes that he has yet to find an answer to the "talent versus luck" question, as he felt he was outed as Bachman too early to know. The Bachman book Thinner (1984) sold 28,000 copies during its initial run—and then ten times as many when it was revealed that Bachman was, in fact, King.

The pseudonym King originally selected (Gus Pillsbury) is King's maternal grandfather's name, but at the last moment King changed it to Richard Bachman. Richard is a tribute to crime author Donald E. Westlake's long-running pseudonym Richard Stark. (The surname Stark was later used in King's novel The Dark Half, in which an author's malevolent pseudonym, "George Stark", comes to life.) Bachman was inspired by Bachman–Turner Overdrive, a rock and roll band King was listening to at the time his publisher asked him to choose a pseudonym on the spot.

King provided biographical details for Bachman, initially in the "about the author" blurbs in the early novels. Known "facts" about Bachman were that he was born in New York, served a four-year stint in the Coast Guard, which he then followed with ten years in the merchant marine. Bachman finally settled down in rural central New Hampshire, where he ran a medium-sized dairy farm, writing at night. His fifth novel was dedicated to his wife, Claudia Inez Bachman, who also received credit for the bogus author photo on the book jacket. Other "facts" about the author were revealed in publicity dispatches from Bachman's publishers: the Bachmans had one child, a boy, who died in an unfortunate, Stephen King-ish type accident at the age of six, when he fell through a well and drowned. In 1982, a brain tumour was discovered near the base of Bachman's brain; tricky surgery removed it. After Bachman's true identity was revealed, later publicity dispatches (and about the author blurbs) revealed that Bachman died suddenly in late 1985 of "cancer of the pseudonym, a rare form of schizonomia".

King dedicated Bachman's early books—Rage (1977), The Long Walk (1979), Roadwork (1981), and The Running Man (1982)—to people close to him. The link between King and his shadow writer was exposed after a Washington, D.C. bookstore clerk, Steve Brown, noted similarities between the writing styles of King and Bachman. Brown located publisher's records at the Library of Congress which included a document naming King as the author of one of Bachman's novels. Brown wrote to King's publishers with a copy of the documents he had uncovered, and asked them what to do. Two weeks later, King telephoned Brown personally and suggested he write an article about how he discovered the truth, allowing himself to be interviewed. King has taken full ownership of the Bachman name on numerous occasions, as with the republication of the first four Bachman titles as The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels by Stephen King in 1985. The introduction, titled "Why I Was Bachman," details the whole Bachman/King story.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
22,738 (28%)
4 stars
24,686 (30%)
3 stars
23,629 (29%)
2 stars
7,640 (9%)
1 star
2,244 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,907 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,538 reviews9,826 followers
January 3, 2023
**4.5-stars rounded up**

For the residents of Poplar Street, in suburban-Wentworth, Ohio, July 15, 1996, starts off just like any other day.

The paperboy is dutifully tending his route, the Reed twins are showing off for some young ladies and the corner store is functioning like a well-oiled machine.

Not one of the residents of the normally quiet town suspects that the proverbial shitis about to hit the fan.

The Regulators are coming to Poplar Street and they're coming for blood!

It's hard to imagine a 475-page novel, taking place over the course of one afternoon, on one suburban street, would make you sweat in anticipation, but this one certainly does.

We follow this cast of characters from the minute the Regulators arrive, until the very bitter end. Some we love, some we hate, but in the end, no one escapes their fate.

You may wonder, yeah, but what's it all about?

Trust me when I say, it's best to go into this knowing as little as possible, but for those of you who are just going to insist on knowing more, I will give you this one small clue:

This novel is hella violent, gritty and dark, so if that isn't your cup of tea, you may as well just continue on down the road.

Trust me when I say, The Regulators is only for those with the intestinal fortitude to handle intense scenes of violence and gore.

This is actually my second time reading it. Clearly, I have a stomach of steel. I would definitely recommend reading Desperation and this novel back-to-back; I definitely believe it enhances the overall experience.

I love them both and for different reasons. A must read combo for King's Constant Readers!
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,379 followers
November 21, 2022
هل الاستحواذ على جسد طفل يعني بالضرورة السيطرة على عقله بالكامل؟
لكل محبي الافلام الأمريكية..و انا منهم..اذا رغبتم حقا في
معرفة خبايا المجتمع الامريكي واسراره فقراءة اعمال كينج ضرورة اساسية

في هذه الرواية" المنظمون"نجد بانوراما لحياة متكاملة لسكان ضاحية باوهايو

في المنظمون..نجد خلط غريب بين الاشباح والمخلوقات الفضائية وقصص الغرب الامريكي..شخصيات اكثر مما يجب حقا ..يجمع بينهم الشر الماوراءي المسلط على رقاب الجميع..الشر الخام ..البكر..الغير مبرر

مع المنظمون ..هناك جو من السخرية من محبي البرامج التلفزيونية. . من على شاكلة باور رينجرز..
كل هذا في إطار فكرة الاستحواذ.. على جسد طفل. .وهي الأكثر تفضيلا عند كينج..و الذي كان بارعا بشكل خاص في المونولوجات الخاصة بالوحش

ومن المؤكد ان المنظمون تنويعة على رواية كينج الشهيرة
Desperation ..
اذ نشرها تحت اسمه المستعار المفضل : ريتشارد باكمان

وهناك رجاء خاص لكل مؤلفي الرعب الجدد ممن تروق لهم فكرة الطفل المتوحد. ..اتمنى حقا لو درستم هذه الرواية
..فبطلها طفل ينتمي للمتوحدين .. و تعرض كينج برقي لعالمه النفسي الثري
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
643 reviews4,266 followers
June 12, 2021
“None of this was real, after all. It was just a refuge in her mind.”

The Regulators is the very definition of chaos. King - or rather Bachman - brings the chaos early and keeps on bringing it until the very end. This one is a rollercoaster ride and you just gotta roll with it for maximum enjoyment!

It’s July and the residents of Poplar Street in Wentworth, Ohio, are enjoying a normal summers day until a red van idling at the top of the hill makes its appearance. Soon the residents are under attack. And once the killing starts... it doesn’t really end.

One of my favourite things about The Regulators is the use of different articles to tell the story - in-between regular chapters we have diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings. I’m a big fan of when a book can successfully incorporate these into the narrative and it served well to depict the story of Seth and Audrey and their progression to this point.

I loved the connections to Desperation and the relationship King forms between the two, although I am certainly a bigger fan of Desperation. This book is certainly a lot of fun, it’s a page-turner with lots of characters and lots going on, I felt thoroughly entertained from start to finish.

Although I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when King managed to somehow make defecation relevant to the story - sometimes I wonder how this man’s brain works. I’m not squeamish, I don’t mind reading about poop, but it just seemed a tad silly to me.

The Regulators has its problems, but I can’t fault the chaotic energy and the GORE. I loved how King brought such mayhem to a quiet suburban street. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Gabriel.
491 reviews644 followers
July 22, 2022
Gráfico, crudo y sangriento.

Voy a ser conciso en mi opinión con este libro, así que mi experiencia lectora la resumiré en que me ha encantado la manera en que se cuenta la violencia, la muerte y la crueldad del mismo villano a la hora de ir matando por allí a los habitantes de la calle Plopar. Me ha parecido de lo más entretenido del libro ya que las muertes son rebuscadas y penosas pero sobre todo cruentas y muy escabrosas. Me ha gustado muchísimo que den repelús y que contando justamente lo necesario se permita volar la imaginación del lector y verlo todo tan claro en la cabeza. El gore, la tensión, la atmosféra y el montón de personajes hacen del libro toda una aventura brutal.

Pero lo malo para mí es que han habido muchísimos personajes metidos en el maní, que si bien es comprensible porque son vecinos y es un pueblo, a ver, a lo mejor y King pudo perfectamente tratar de no profundizar en todos ellos y haberse desecho de más de los que cayeron en "batalla". Porque en serio, casi ninguno se sintió lo suficientemente profundo (solo Audrey) como para encariñarse. De hecho, por mí pudieron perfectamente morirse todos.

Sé que Posesión vendría siendo la novela espejo de Desesperación pero no le llega a los talones porque el origen y la creación de Tak está mucho mejor desarrollada en ese libros y los personajes que aparecen también. Lo que sí me hubiera gustado es que King no hubiera hecho dos libros y si esto fuera una especie de 2x1 hubiera quedado un solo producto mucho mejor. Ya que si mezclas la crudeza de este libro y la potencia de los personajes del otro hubiera sido canela en rama. Para mí, claro está.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,138 followers
May 12, 2017
3.5 Stars.

"It's a summer afternoon in Wentworth, Ohio, and on Poplar Street everything's normal. The paperboy is making his rounds; the Carver kids are bickering at the corner convenience store; a Frisbee is flying on the Reed's lawn; Gary Soderson is firing up the backyard barbeque. The only thing that doesn't quite fit is the red van idling just up the hill."

Oh boy, what a perfect book cover....and shocking beginning. There is much to like and fear in THE REGULATORS....the summertime atmosphere is so nice....the trip to the open-pit mine in DESPERATION so creepy....young Seth (and his drawings) such a joy, and we have a wonderfully 'spirited' ending, BUT.......

(For Me), the silly dialogue and asinine behavior of some of the characters during times of death and destruction disrupted the flow of the true horror of the story....the convoy of bad dudes with guns....burning houses....power outages....creatures that materialize out of the mist....and all in the middle of a thunderstorm....It just kind of diminished the fear factor. And, other than Seth and Audrey, I really never made much of a connection to the players. Very surprising (for me) in any KING/BACHMAN novel.

Anyway, there is some good stuff here, just found it a bit out of whack and not the super creepy evil-filled experience I had with DESPERATION.

Profile Image for Calista.
3,884 reviews31.2k followers
January 14, 2020
I have to admit I did not resonate with this book at all. I loved Desperation and this was not for me. I rarely like a book he publishes under the Bachman name, only 2 of his novellas are things that I like. Weird right? It is like he writes stories differently as Bachman, but still Stephen King.
Profile Image for Mike's Book Reviews.
139 reviews5,708 followers
January 20, 2023
It’s times like these where I wonder if Stephen King really did stay sober all through these years. Because the events of this book will make one wonder if he had a relapse.

Being the “twinner” or sister novel to Desperation you’ll see a lot of the same characters again but they are extremely different. A point that makes me wonder why King did this at all. It doesn’t feel as if it is a Dark Tower “different path of the beam” thing and more of a completely different story with the same villain if it happens elsewhere. A simple change of character names would have made it much less confusing.

Most know that King is my favorite author but he isn’t above writing a stinker once in awhile and this one makes it easy to see why I blasted it from my memory of reading it 25 years ago. Because it is extremely forgettable. I love it when King embraces the weird but this it too far. Like Tommyknockers too far. In fact, this is in competition with Tommyknockers for my least favorite book of this Great King Re-read. If you have to pick between the two of these, pick Desperation and pretend this one doesn’t exist.
Profile Image for Ron.
388 reviews89 followers
August 24, 2017
Wentworth, Ohio. Desperation, Nevada. 2000 miles between. (I Googled it. Sort of, cause these two places don’t really exist – until you open the pages of this book, where the weird becomes scary, the scary gets weird, and an ancient evil entity by the name of Tak takes over a once ordinary residential street.)

But what I like most about reading Stephen King is the thing that was semi-missing here - my complete investment in the characters he creates ---- by the way (and I think most know this), Richard Bachman and Stephen King are the same person. And they are not. Two sides. Two distinct personalities. Kind of like these towns, and these two books written by “each man”. As far apart as the towns are, and as different they appear, they are linked and things do cross over. ---- So what happened with those characters and the love for them I usually feel? I don’t know, except to say that there were a lot of them (in the beginning anyway, cause boy do things get violent in a hurry, and people start dropping like flies). I wanted to know two of the “main” characters on that deeper level I have become accustomed to when reading King (i.e. Desperation). Not to say that this book doesn’t have its moments. A story is still in there. It’s just different from the norm with much of it being action over characterization. Hmm, maybe that’s Bachman.

What were the best parts for me? The parts linking this book to Desperation. Through this the story is given its reason. And I also enjoyed getting to know Audrey and Seth (those main characters I mentioned). Seth is the conduit to Desperation, and to Tak. Bachman lays down this narrative with intermittent back-stories, mostly through the diary of Audrey Wyler (Seth’s aunt). These back-stories are easily the most haunting parts and in my opinion the heart of the whole thing. But then at one late point in the book, there is this long letter written by an Allen Symes from the China Pit Mine in Desperation, NV. Like reading a short story within the big one, it was this very cool reveal laid out that serves to enhance the summation.

Final note: I read Desperation 13 years ago, and therefore have forgotten most of it (cause that’s what I do). Final final note: Don’t be like me.
Profile Image for Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows).
1,553 reviews319 followers
November 12, 2018
Reading the Regulators after 20 years was like reverting back to my childhood. I absolutely remember why I adore this book. Things get crazy and you're left wondering what in the hell is actually happening and things start happening right at the get go. As I was reading, I was like yep, yep, yep.. I remember that and THAT but what about THIS??? Oh yeah, that's Desperation! Haha!

I do like it when books incorporate different types of reads such as articles, journal entries, drawings, etc and this one definitely does that, giving us a bigger picture of how everything evolves. I feel like King/Bachman has a tendency to like things that lay dormant and come out with a vengeance.

It's not until the last few scenes where things go up a factor of craziness and we get an idea of what finally is going on and why that it really pulls me in and ups my feelings for the book. Poor Seth. Poor Audrey - POOR EVERYONE! And that final page... Love.

Now on to read Desperation and see if I still feel the same about that one too. Either way, I'm so happy to be revisiting this completely insane world.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
488 reviews507 followers
February 24, 2021
Acabé tan encantado con la lectura de "Desesperación" que me moría de ganas de hincarle el diente a "Posesión" y si bien concuerdo con la mayoría de que no llega al nivel de "Desesperación", creo que no lo hace por poco, porque la verdad es que también lo he disfrutado mucho. Especialmente la primera mitad del libro. Comparo ambos libros porque son libros "gemelos" y aunque no es necesario leerlos juntos, yo creo que se disfrutan más juntitos, así que lo recomiendo.

Nos encontramos en la calle Poplar, es un día soleado como cualquier otro, aunque todo vaticina que se acerca una gran tormenta. Los distintos vecinos se mueven e interactuan por el vecindario como cada día. Todo parece en calma, pero de pronto, un extraño coche rojo aparece por la calle y a este le seguirán otros coches de disntintos colores. La matanza está a punto de comenzar.

Lo primero que destaca y que a mí me ha gustado especialmente, es que el libro tiene toda la vibra de los slashers de los 90, al menos inicialmente. Ese toque de muchos personajes en peligro y que van cayendo poco a poco, esa tensión vertiginosa que pone constantemente a los personajes en peligro y te hace temer por los que te gustan, y también alegrarte cuando desaparecen los que no. Una historia con tantos personajes da para mucho. Precisamente me ha gustado que hubiera muchos personajes, muchísimos de hecho, porque me ha recordado más aún a ese rollo slasher que tanto me flipa.

La tensión se mantiene perfectamente durante toda la novela y eso es algo que King suele conseguir, aunque a veces meta rellenos. En este caso creo que no hay paja y que la historia no se estanca. Precisamente, creo más bien que en la segunda mitad pierde por acelerarse. Debería haber seguido un poquito más, aprovechando los personajes y la historia porque daba para un rato más. Y eso que el libro duraba casi las 500 páginas, pero lo deboré. Así que, para mí, por ese detallito no ha llegado a igualar a "Desesperación". Por lo demás me ha encantado.

El final cumple bastante bien, tal y como pasó con el de "Desesperación". Además, este tiene un detallito muy guay que me ha encantado y emocionado. En definitiva, "Posesión" se encuentra en el montón bueno dentro de los libros de King, Este año las lecturas que estoy haciendo de King van muy bien, espero que sigan así. Seguiré informando jajaja.
Profile Image for Jorie.
283 reviews35 followers
April 6, 2023
It took me a little more time to get into The Regulators than it did its companion novel Desperation. While both are supernatural stories, the latter remains more grounded, focusing on survival and the human religious experience. It eases you in with a realistic threat before things start getting weird. The Regulators is very fantastical, and fanciful events start happening immediately. Once I accepted this, a different, but very beautiful and poignant story unfolded.

Despite being called mirrors of each other, I don't think it's strictly necessary to read both Desperation and The Regulators to understand the other - though you should; they're both great. You can read either first and even years apart - they'll leave a strong enough impression that you'll remember the important connections when the time comes. And, really, they only have a cast in common, .

The same characters appear in these two novels, but most of them in significantly different roles. Ages, family dynamics, location, careers, and personalities are all subject to change. Heroes in one are sidelined in the other. This was a little jarring initially, but then I thought on my childhood.

When I was little and would play with my Barbies or Star Wars figures, I would never keep a regular narrative. Storylines would change at the drop of a hat, and roles would be reassigned based on which toy I was then favoring. If I got tired of pretending my bookcase was Coruscant, I'd take everyone to the bathtub and call it Hoth, no explanation.

(This capricious behavior continues to this day with my Sims families...)

I say this very lovingly: The characters between Desperation and The Regulators are treated just like toys, and this is very fitting thematically if you consider Seth's doings in The Regulators ;) It's very fun.

Very pleased to have had this unique reading experience. The last few days that I read these have been wonderful.
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,757 reviews757 followers
June 16, 2019
This book made me feel like I was reading King for the first time and falling in love with his writing all over again. I know this is a Bachman story but it just reeks of King to me! This story pulled me in right from the start, the non stop action hooked me and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was just constant go go go and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what grisly event would happen next. I adored the whole concept of Tak and the Regulators! I thought it was such an interesting and unique idea and I fell head over heels in love with this book. I think this just might have cracked into my top ten favourite Kings, I haven’t felt this way while reading one of his stories in a long time!
Profile Image for Michael || TheNeverendingTBR.
468 reviews161 followers
February 21, 2021

In an Ohio neighborhood there lives an autistic boy called Seth who gets possessed by the entity Tak, which is an ancient creature which is forced to take a human host in order to use it's powers to control and torture those around it to gain energy, however it's met it's match in Seth.

The book has a lot of supernatural elements, including Seth manifesting characters and scenery from his favourite television shows - such as The Regulators.

I liked this book, would I read it again though? Maybe not.

It was a good story, I just wasn't into it as much as it's 'Twinner' novel Desperation; the characters weren't as good this time around but it definitely gets four stars because I did like it for a read-oncer.


Never thought about it until now but Tak reminds me of Dandelo from The Dark Tower series, anyone else?
Profile Image for Constantine.
836 reviews136 followers
December 29, 2022
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Horror

Stephen King wrote the book "The Regulator" under the alias Richard Bachman. It was released concurrently with his 1996 book, Desperation. The two books depict opposing parallel universes, and most of the characters that appear in one book also appear in the other's reality, albeit in slightly different circumstances. When arranged side by side, the hardcovers of the first editions of each book create an entire artwork.

The Regulators is the tale of peaceful suburban life on Poplar Street in Wentworth, Ohio, when four shotgun-wielding pickup trucks terrorize the residents of the streets, killing anybody who comes out to the street. The locals must work together for survival, but they soon realize that it is not an easy task as they are outnumbered.

I liked this book despite struggling in the beginning to keep up with the characters. I don't think reading it after Desperation was a good idea because I loved that book so much and the characters are still fresh in my mind. The character names are in this novel too, but they are totally different. Different ages, with unique characteristics. My other issue was dumping all the characters at me at the same time. It felt overwhelming. This was not the case in Desperation. King revealed the characters and their pasts before moving on. I like that approach much better than having them all together.

Despite its shortcomings, The Regulators is still a very entertaining book with a plot that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It has twists and King’s writing here is precise and suspenseful for the length of the book. The only thing I’m questioning myself is whether I would’ve loved this novel more than Desperation if I had read it before that one. But that is a thing I will never know now!
Profile Image for Wayne Barrett.
Author 3 books107 followers
January 13, 2016

Actual 3.5

Maybe if I had read this before I read Desperation I would have liked it more? That seems to be the consensus from many of the other reviews I read.

Anyway, having read Desperation prior to The Regulators, I was not able to enjoy this book nearly as much. We're pretty much dealing with the same bad-guy, and the same characters, only told from a different place and from a different perspective.

It's not that I don't like cross-overs or stories that tie in together; I actually love it, and King is a master at it. My problem was the actions and dialogue among some of the characters during the course of the story. I think if it had been presented with a little more seriousness and drama that it would have made a much greater impression. In numerous scenarios among terrifying and tragic moments there were flippant jokes, giggling and downright laughter taking place. This unrealistic actions distracted me from the seriousness of the moments that had built up.

All in all this was still a pretty good book. Definitely filled with enough action to keep the reader from getting bored. Now I'm off to finish my Spaghettios while watching a re-run of Bonanza. TAK!
Profile Image for Ken.
2,165 reviews1,323 followers
January 16, 2023
I just simply love the notion of a mirror novel to King's Desperation written under his pseudonym and published on the same day.

The similarities to both novels include the same cast of characters, though in slightly different circumstances.
For example, Collie Entragian is a retired cop in this universe.
Whilst the main link is the demonic villan Tak.

Bachman real identity had been exposed by this point, though I like the fact that King has fun reusing his alternative pen name in this much more gritter version.

This really is a relentless read.
The residents of peaceful street soon become terrorised by the imagination of a young autistic boys love of Westerns and Action shows after his possession by the psychic identity.

Reading both back to back really makes the connections obvious. Though with the large amount of characters in a much shorter novel, it was easier to get confused.

With multiverses all the rage now, King publishing these back in the 90's really highlights his artistic vision.
Profile Image for Велислав Върбанов.
388 reviews30 followers
May 15, 2023
4.5 ⭐

„Отмъстителите“ е много готина алтернативна версия на „Град Отчаяние“! Лично на мен ми допадна повече от оригиналната книга (добрият стар Ричард Бакман сменя фик��са на историята), но и двете са силни и докосващи. Основните персонажи са същите, обаче съдбата им е по-различна и живеят в градчето Уенуърт в щата Охайо, а пък зловещият Так ги открива и напада по друг начин...

Кинг със сигурност е вложил автобиографични елементи в героя си Стивън Еймс, който в тази версия ми стана по-симпатичен, а пък писателят Джони Маринвил отново ми е любим образ! Романът е вдъхновен от стар уестърн филм, което според мен го прави още по-интересен. Приятно ми напомни за „Вълците от Кала“, макар и да не достига чак неговото ниво.

„Единствено Коли Ентрейджиън забеляза неизказаната болка в погледа на момичето в мига, когато височайшото братче бе поставено в каручката. В момента Коли имаше други грижи, хиляди други г��ижи, но този поглед бе прекалено истински и прекалено тъжен, за да го пропусне човек.“

„Стивън Джей Еймс, почти дисквалифициран в Голямото американско надбягване с препятствия, си имаше девиз, който гласеше: „НЯМА ПРОБЛЕМИ, БРАТЧЕ“.

„Опитът показваше, че дори благородните лъжи обикновено само влошават нещата. Правят ги още по-налудничави. А обстановката на Поплър Стрийт и бездруго беше достатъчно налудничава.“

„Нещата започваха да се навързват. Все още не пасваха идеално, но от само себе си започваха да образуват множество, като онези, които учеха едно време по алгебра.“

„Ето ти един американски интелектуалец с добри маниери, завършил частна гимназия — писател, движил се навремето в средите около Лени Бърнстейн — стъпил на гърба на чернокож като на стол. И ако това не е представата на един истински либерал за ада, значи Брад нищо не разбира.“

„И всичко това се случва едновременно, сякаш всички тези късчета от реалността танцуват във въздуха, завихрени от циклон.“
Profile Image for Baba.
3,562 reviews860 followers
October 30, 2020
Bachman, Bachman, Bachman you could a' been a contender. Another dark Bachman ride in this pretty much pure supernatural horror. A suburban near paradise-like white-picket fence neighbourhood is suddenly under attack by the van driving Regulators... and you guessed it, their lives will never be the same again... the ones that survive, that is!

Not as good as The Long Walk but most likely is in a lot of people's top ten King's, not mine though. Recommended Bachman read, especially for horror fans. Long days and pleasant nights.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Caston.
Author 9 books136 followers
December 28, 2021
Another one ticked off the "Did I read this one before or not?" shelf.

I realized I had once I started the audiobook. Read it ages ago and just forgot.

It still is going to be on the lower end of my favorite King books, but I certainly liked it better than "Desperation." I liked the sort of parallel universe/connections King wrote between this book and Desperation. The story in The Regulators just seemed more interesting, even though this had some trippy, trippy elements.
Profile Image for Benjamin Thomas.
1,953 reviews272 followers
November 8, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Chris  Haught.
576 reviews214 followers
November 23, 2015
Excellent. While this was the third time I've read The Regulators, it's the first time I read it immediately after Desperation.

It's fun to compare the two while reading, to see what scenes are similar and what characters change roles.

But this book is more enjoyable to me than Desperation, as it has a much quicker edge-of-your-seat pace.
Profile Image for Thomas Stroemquist.
1,481 reviews122 followers
May 1, 2017
In the end this book picked up and is worth three stars I think. This and the "companion" piece; Desperation is not among the King's more triumphant achievements though. First, I'm having real troubles understanding the idea with a Bachman tie-in to a King book at this late date. Even if even the late Bachman must be allowed to write out of usual style, "The Regulators" is a very far cry (yes, even considering Thinner) from his other stuff. More to the point, the mythos presented herein was probably enough for one book and a focus on that story may have paid off better than stretching it out to two similar, but definitely different, stories of the same (with definite differences, though) evil force. Another not so well-working take was to use many of the same characters - but also them not exactly the same - in two books, disregarding (some of) what we learned about them in the first and definitely what happened to them. In this book, where characterization is not as strong as most often, this is a setback - even the ones you thought you knew are not precisely the ones you thought. After the initial kind of cool feeling of unreality and trying to grasp an understanding that lurks just out of reach, pretty soon the re-use of characters and the 'parallel' story line boils down to just making you wonder why.

Still, I found this to be a better (and certainly more fun) read than Desperation, enough depth are given to the characters to make them interesting to follow and the explanation for the incredibly violent "Regulators", wrecking havoc on a calm neighborhood is quite tickling of the imagination.

Ancient evil lurking in mines, however, makes me think of Entombed and I think it may be time for a re-read of that one. Recommended! And a quick one at more than 1000 pages less than this "pair"...
Profile Image for Becky.
1,339 reviews1,632 followers
December 16, 2015
It's been a while since I read this book. I had some pretty fond memories of it, and it's always been my favorite of two companion books that King/Bachman published together. They are alternate realities, kind of mirror images, of each other... But The Regulators is also a link to the Dark Tower universe as well.

We have the same characters (plus some new), but in different roles and with different perspectives and personas than we saw in Desperation. We have a different setting, suburban Ohio rather than BFE, Nevada, but Desperation, NV makes a cameo appearance so that Tak's presence is explained. Because Tak is again our villain here, but in a very different manner than he was in Desperation.

It seems to me that The Regulators should be read 2nd, if one is to read them back to back. It seems to make more sense that way. You'd have a fuller understanding of the capabilities of Tak, and of the characters themselves, even though their lives in each book are incredibly different. But more than that, it's always seemed to me that the characters that we meet in The Regulators are the "real" versions of the characters. These are the characters as they really exist, and the characters that we met in Desperation, Nevada are selfishly warped caricatures of themselves. With the exception of the two "outsiders" from each book, which are the same - Steve and Cynthia. These characters remain almost exactly the same. Their situations have changed, yes, but THEY have not.

The basic story is the same in each book - a group of (mostly the same) people have been chosen and attacked by an ancient evil being called "Tak", and they must fight for their survival.

Desperation has a kind of gritty, realistic feel, with fantastic elements regarding what Tak is and is capable of, and the divine intervention of God to help the group. The Regulators, however, is almost cartoonishly fantastic regarding the events that happen, but real in that there is nothing to help the group but themselves and their intuition and wits.

I love the characters in The Regulators much more than those who appear in Desperation. They are just normal people, in a friendly neighborhood, who see the insane pop into their lives and cope as best as they can. There's no sense of the resentment or anger that Desperation had, because people here aren't being called on for help by a God that was cruel enough to take everything and then some and then demand help. It's easier for me to accept chaotic craziness of random events than a divine plan of misery and loss and suffering leading up to a sacrifice of everything.

Anyway, my point is that I like these characters because not only do they feel truer to me, I can identify with their confusion and reactions as they are more similar to my what my own would be than what Desperation's characters showed.

Another plus for this book is that the statement/questions hardly made any appearances at all. Maybe this was because there wasn't that "guiding hand of God" bending people's intuitions toward a specific goal, but I much prefer when questions are just questions and statements are just statements and guesses are just guesses. :)

I always enjoy this book, but I have to say that having read more of King's books now, especially the Dark Tower books, than I had the last time I read it, I enjoyed this even more than the last time.

There will be spoilers for both The Regulators and the last Dark Tower book, so stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled.

Last warning!

Ok. If you're still reading, so be it.

The last bit of The Regulators is a letter from a newlywed woman staying at the resort where Audrey's recreated safe place is based on. She writes to a friend of hers who is a sucker for ghost stories that as of June 19, 1986, the resort has been haunted for four years by a mother and son, who are obviously supposed to be Audrey and Seth. The letter intimates that there are alternate planes of existence, and that the letter writer does not feel that they are ghosts, but rather that they are just on a different plane. "Go then, there are other worlds than these." Right?

However, what's really creepy and weird is if you notice the date, it's 13 years to the day before the accident that almost killed King. 13 years to the day before his life is saved by Jake Chambers and Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower. So, with the alternate plane reference, and the characters dying and coming back to a different time and place, and the letter's date, we have definite links to the world of the Dark Tower.

But Stephen King had NOT had his accident when he wrote The Regulators. The accident would have been 3 years in the future.

Profile Image for Jayakrishnan.
488 reviews168 followers
March 13, 2021
This book was awful. I mean it started off well. It was intriguing with people getting shot out of a van. King cuts to newspaper articles and letters from a crazed woman to a friend to build a background to what is going on. All nice touches. But there were too many characters and I had a tough time keeping track of them. King lost me when that lion monster came on. It was one of those books where the sub plots were more interesting and mysterious than the main plot.

Audrey's letters to her friend about how the arrival of Seth affects her and her husband Herb's life was terrifying. It could have been a separate book. The battle between Seth and Tak was also interesting.

I would not have read The Regulators book if I knew it was a companion novel to Desperation. In my humble opinion, Desperation was one of the novels that signaled the beginning of King's decline.
Profile Image for Jimmy Cline.
150 reviews189 followers
May 8, 2009
It feels unusual to give this thing such a high rating. I remember the beginnings of almost all of his novels surpassing the endings as far as my interest in King's writing goes. Maybe I just prefer open-ended scenarios a lot more, whether it be with film or literature, and he tends to try to wrap the plot up at seemingly arbitrary points in the story. His endings are hyperbolically ridiculous too. Anyway, what I remember so vividly about this story was the insane suburban slaughter at the beginning. One second two children are in a convenient store, and the little kid is looking a magazine with Ethan Hawke on the cover, thinking about sex, then him and his sister return to their neighborhood. Lazy summer day, etc. Suddenly a barrage of several brightly covered cars rip through unleashing a storm of bullets on the houses, killing most of the neighborhood. I know, most of the appeal of it lies in the cheap shock value inherent in the juxtaposition of the tranquil American suburb with the violent tumult of an inner city shootout.

Naturally, there are the handful of survivors (so typical of the whole King oeuvre) that join together, find strength in numbers, and attempt to battle the sudden mysterious evil that is terrorizing them. I'd have to read it again, which probably will not happen for some time. If I had to admit it, I'd say that everything that King had written under the Bachman pseudonym was by far more interesting than his more popular books. Especially, the earlier stories which, from what I recall, he wrote in his drug addled college days. Out of all of his books (and there are just fucking way too many), this is the material that comes closest to experimental fiction. Of course, many of his rambling epics could be seen in the same light. Or it could also be because he has a tendency to especially not omit anything inessential.

I don't know why I'm writing about this right now.

Unfortunately, I spent a majority of my grade school days reading only Stephen King. I'm thankful to my mother in many ways because when I would see her with one of this things in her hand, my curiosity usually got the best of me. I wasn't exactly precocious as far as literary, or even book related taste was concerned, but reading King was the germination of my relationship with books. More importantly, watching my mother read was. I would like to thank both of them for that. I suddenly feel nostalgic for those days in the suburbs of northern Illinois, and the sweltering, humid heat. Going to the library in the summer when I was younger was the closest was the closest thing to a religious experience for me.

I sometimes wish that I would never have become distracted by all of the sex, drugs, and rollerblading that I loved in my youth. Sooner or later I knew that these things would take me out of my sleepy, sun-filled bedroom. That the peacefulness of reading alone in my room would be interrupted by all of that fun-sounding adolescent life to be had. Not everyone does this. If I had to, then I might blame it on a hyperactive short attention span. (What's with the fucking double adjectives, Cline?) And what was that parenthetical thing you just did? Maybe I'm just trying to say that distraction is very ephemeral company in life.
Profile Image for Amanda.
293 reviews
August 28, 2009
One of the most frightening and horrible books I've ever read. Oh God, this story unfolds with a kind of unnatural speed and a huge amount of horror. As I was reading, I almost wished i could stop because it was just too scary. I'm really scared of being in a situation where it doesn't seem like there's a way out.

What Stephen King/ Richard Bachman does in this book is explore the unnatural beings in the Dark Tower universe and the imagination of a child. He brings together two polar opposites: Tak, a mind-invading thing who thrives on death and pain, and Seth, an autistic boy who has always loved and been loved. The setting of their battle is the home of Seth's aunt Audrey Wyler and her neighborhood. The story has the feeling of a juggernaut, it grows and grows and grows, unable to stop until its destroyed everything.

The true genius of this story lies in how well it's crafted. There are distinct levels, it builds, levels off, rises again, levels off, and then finally plummets down to the conclusion. The description at the beginning of summer and the neighborhood is, seriously, a thing of beauty. For how long it lasts. The storm in the book (literal) plays this key role, but very subtly. The Regulators has this way of playing out in your head like a movie, so you can keep track of such devices like the storm and other foreshadowing details. It's vivid and unforgiving. And it's scary. Really terrifying.

I can't say it was a GREAT adventure. But it was, for sure, an extremely nervewrackingly realistic one.
Profile Image for Franco  Santos.
484 reviews1,343 followers
July 8, 2015
Buen libro de King. Sinceramente es una novela que está muy simplemente escrita. No tiene una narración compleja y de calidad sino más bien pobre y con carácter aficionado. Con esto quiero decir que no se esperen la misma calidad literaria de otros libros de este autor, porque de eso mismo carece.

Con respecto a la historia tengo que decir que es muy buena. Desde la primera página te atrapa de manera rápida y profunda. De hecho es un libro que lo empecé a las 21 y me lo terminé a la 1. Avanzás con mucha rapidez.

Creo que ésta es la novela -junto con su par Desesperación- más cruel y desalmada de King. Es muy fuerte. King no tiene piedad. Este relato posee escenas que te van a romper el corazón y vas a decir ¿En serio, King, en serio? Es sumamente macabro. Les advierto que es una historia sin escrúpulos, que les puede chocar con vehemencia.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews14 followers
April 18, 2015
Description: There's a place in Wentworth, Ohio, where summer is in full swing. It's called Poplar Street. Up until now it's been a nice place to live. The idling red van around the corner is about to change all that. Let the battle against evil begin.

Read by Frank Muller

Muller gives this so much energy.

I remember when we all used to go camping, torches under the chin, we would take a turn at telling a story under chiaroscuro canvas - it didn't matter if the subject was weak, if it was told right, even the weakest story held water in these conditions. Such is the way with 'The Regulators', if you meet this all rational and with scathing scepticism you get nothing back.

As Gabby says in her review, this is a compliment/companion to Desperation so that must mean we have to revisit the music I chose for that read.

4* The Shining (The Shining #1)
3* The Stand
4* It
5* Misery
3* Carrie
5* The Ginslinger
3* Pet Sematary
4* 11/22/63
3* 'Salem's Lot
3* The Green Mile
3* Needful Things
3* Cujo
4* Different Seasons
3* Christine
5* The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, #2)
TR The Dead Zone
3* Firestarter
5* The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3)
3* Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4)
2* Dreamcatcher
4* Insomnia
TR Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5)
4* Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2)
3* Desperation
TR The Talisman (The Talisman, #1)
4* Four Past Midnight
2* The Tommyknockers
2* The Mist
3* Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)
4* Hearts in Atlantis
3* Rose Madder
3* Joyland
4* Full Dark, No Stars
4* Nightmares And Dreamscapes
2* Lisey's Story
TR Black House (The Talisman, #2)
3* From a Buick 8
3* Revival
3* Just After Sunset
3* Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay
1* UR
3* Blood and Smoke
3* Children of the Corn
3* A Death

Profile Image for Jen from Quebec :0).
404 reviews83 followers
September 21, 2017
I read this in just a few hours- a very fast read, with fast paced action and writing to match. VERY cool to read upon finishing the companion book, 'Desperation'; although this one is not quite as...deep or as layered as 'Desperation', which, frankly, had much more story and better character development. I think that of these 2 novels, 'Regulators' is the weaker book, and maybe this is why Stephen King relegated *this* title to his pseudonym instead of to 'himself'!

The entire sequence of events in this novel occur over the span a mere two hours and in the same setting of just one street, and that is all. Not much for setting and really fast pacing/timing. There is not enough TIME for character development, dammit! :0P Also, the 'big baddie' of this one, a creature named Tak, is NOT explained in any detail at *all* and in fact, I think this would be a...confusing book, if one were to read it *without* reading 'Desperation'! Not cool.

It is one of the *very* few King books that is not also on my 'favorites' list, him being my favorite author, most of his works are listed as being 'favorites' but I cannot place this one on said list. It is like a short story gone on far too long, or, like a novel that is seriously lacking a lot of important elements. Either way, not great. HOWEVER, if I think of it only as a companion piece to 'Desperation' as opposed to a completely isolated story, I am less inclined to view it as terrible, and it's with this mindset that it gets 3.5 stars, as opposed to 3, but there is no function to show this rating.

(Note: I have actually never in my life had the chance to ever read this story on its own WITHOUT having already read 'Desperation', such is the order that I acquired the 2 books...I wonder how people who have only read THIS story would rate it...) ---Jen from Quebec :0)
Profile Image for Andrew.
131 reviews3 followers
February 16, 2018
Augh it's awful.

I don't think I've ever 1-starred a King before, but yeesh, this one deserves it. Years back, I read and generally disliked Desperation, an initially promising but eventually disappointing attempt at capturing the terror of being pulled over in a strange place by the long arm of the law. I wasn't a fan, but it had its charms. A little research revealed the book had a sibling, The Regulators, written by King's rambunctious evil twin Richard Bachman. I figured I'd check it out if I stumbled across it down the line.

I regret that stumble. It's an unsubtle pile of violence porn in which small town America falls under assault by futuristic vans filled with assholes wielding super shotguns. The vast and meaningless cast of townsfolk blunder around, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. People die grotesquely. Things get weird. There's autism? More people die. Now there are cowboys. Watch out for the perils of racism! More death, now with explosions and coyotes. Augh. Augh. It was so painfully boring in spite of being as cartoonishly weird as King could muster.

I love the guy, don't get me wrong. King is a madly prolific writer who swings for the fences, producing fantastic worlds and memorable characters. Sometimes though, the end product just leaves me scratching my head. This is one of those cases. The Regulators is definitely one to avoid unless you are absolutely starved for weirdness or are trying to finish off the man's entire bibliography.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,907 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.