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The Regulators

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  79,052 ratings  ·  1,804 reviews
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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, US/CAN/UK, 512 pages
Published September 1997 by Signet (first published 1996)
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Jim Bowen It's sort of a "parallel universe" story. The characters are similar, just in a different situation.…moreIt's sort of a "parallel universe" story. The characters are similar, just in a different situation.(less)
Maria Rose Okay the ending was a bit soft but it did give a resolution to what happened to Audrey and Seth mindset and their ability to create their own dream wo…moreOkay the ending was a bit soft but it did give a resolution to what happened to Audrey and Seth mindset and their ability to create their own dream world.(less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  79,052 ratings  ·  1,804 reviews

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Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**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 imagin
Johann (jobis89)
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 attac
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 atmos

Edward Lorn
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would go out on a limb and say that King fans that do not actively love this book have forgotten the face of their father. At the very least they've completely forgotten the joys of being young and imaginative. And I suppose it depends on how you view the necessity of maturity whether or not you believe that's an insult. How I intend those statements do not matter. It's how you perceive them that counts, and that is out of my hands.

The Regulators is one of King's best books. It showcases all o
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.
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), R
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
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
Ashley Daviau
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 interest ...more
Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it

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 agai
Wayne Barrett

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, a
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.
Jeffrey Caston
Dec 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, uncle-stevie
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.
Benjamin Thomas
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
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 boo
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.
Thomas Stroemquist
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 prob ...more
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 frie
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 r
May 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 begin ...more
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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: T
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 r
Jen from Quebec :0)
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 event
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
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, stephen-king
"Summer's here. Not just summer, either, not this year, but the apotheosis of summer, the avatar of summer... "

Released at the same time as Stephen Kings 'Desperation', The Regulators has the same cast of characters but is set in a different environment. It's actually a pretty cool concept of parallel worlds with the same antagonist in both.

The plot is pretty simple and there's no obligation to read Desperation first. A convoy of multi-coloured vans roll into Poplar Street and open fire on a
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
There's no Stalky Little Boy. Never was. There's a THING inside of Seth--not an id, not another manifestation of his personality, not a hitchhiker, but something like a tapeworm. It can think. And talk. It talked to me today--it calls itself Tak.

This novel is a companion novel to Desperation which I read earlier this year, and I have to say, I enjoyed this one so much more. The story in this one was more linear and easier to follow, and the characters are all more real, less caricatu
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was something different as I expected.
The story is written so fast and with so much things happend, it's like watching an action movie!!
The imagination and the creativity that the author exhibits is indeed amazing..
And by now, I think that almost everybody must know that Richard Bachman is Stephen King!
I didn't loved this novel, but I liked it indeed..

The story is about an autistic little boy named Seth, and his family living in a little American town, then an ancient demon named "TAK
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I’m very glad I read this immediately after reading Desperation. Firstly, had I not read these back to back I might have forgotten some of the characters who, while radically different, share their names across the two novels. Secondly, I’m glad I read Desperation first because I fear I would have actually been disappointed in that one had it been preceded by The Regulators. While I enjoyed both, I found The Regulators to be the better story overall.

King, writing as Bachman here, couches an abso
Lucy Jackson
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this many years ago and absolutely loved it, I would not re-read books but I'd make an exception for this one. ...more
Ruth Turner
Nov 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
I’ve tried a half a dozen times to re-read this book and I just can’t get into it. Even the audio, narrated by Frank Muller (one of my favorite narrators), couldn't hold my attention.

I remember not liking it the first time I read it in the nineties, but at least I managed to finish it. Not this time. It goes against the grain to give up on a King novel but honestly, it's just aggravating the crap out of me and giving me a headache.

Although I've marked it DNF I hope to come back to it at a later
Jen_Ken a.k.a....Jenny from the block
I’m torn with this one. So I’m going with 3.5. I like the story; I only wish that King would have used different characters from Desperation. My guess this could have been George Stark’s version of the same characters. On the plus side; this format works, as the pace is fast for me as I’m a slow reader but at least I read. Also this was a perfect read for this hot summer we just went through since the elements were easily identifiable. I do like incorporating the seasons with my reads and King d ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, stephen-king
Read this one before Desperation just because it was hard for me to follow the 1st time through. I kept confusing the characters in both novels because they have the same names but completely different people. I still after reread didn't like this one as much as Desperation. This is one of King's fast paced novels. Quick action and less dwelled on characters. I like the pace but felt I needed more of the classic King attention to detail. ...more
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Stephen King Fans: The Regulators Book 38 40 192 Jun 26, 2021 12:47PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 16 May 17, 2019 01:49PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page count correction 7 21 Apr 15, 2018 09:58AM  
book reveiw 1 quarter 3 2 25 Feb 10, 2013 02:19AM  
date discrepancy 5 70 Jun 27, 2012 11:29AM  

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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, Signe

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