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The Dark Half

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  129,028 ratings  ·  2,410 reviews
Thad Beaumont would like to say he is innocent. He'd like to say he has nothing to do with the series of monstrous murders that keep coming closer to his home. But how can Thad disown the ultimate embodiment of evil that goes by the name he gave it-and signs its crimes with Thad's bloody fingerprints?
Alternate cover editions:
New English Library, 199
Paperback, 469 pages
Published October 7th 1990 by New English Library (first published October 20th 1989)
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Nancy Delong
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  129,028 ratings  ·  2,410 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, book-to-film
“But writers INVITE ghosts, maybe; along with actors and artists, they are the only totally accepted mediums of our society. They make worlds that never were, populate them with people who never existed, and then invite us to join them in their fantasies. And we do it, don't we? Yes. We PAY to do it.”

Thad Beaumont wanted to write from the time he discovered that a person could make a living as a writer. He pounded away at the typewriter so much that his parents were beginning to fear that somet
Mario the lone bookwolf
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: king-stephen
Somewhat autobiographical, questions about identity, personality disorders, and paranormal manifestations mix up together to one of King´s average and weaker novels.

If another author, without King´s amazing characterization skills, would have written a book with hardly a real plot or characterization, it would have pretty certainly failed, but so it´s a solid, average read. I wouldn´t recommend reading it, King should truly have considered leaving more unfinished manuscripts like this one and C
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
George Stark. Not a very nice guy.

The Dark Half was my fourth Stephen King Reread in 2019 and it was just as brilliant as I remembered!

Equal parts warped, dark and brutal, this story is a must read for any King fan.

I won't get into the connections between this and King's own life and experience with Richard Bachman.

Let's just hope this twisted tale of a 'pseudonym gone rogue' is 100% a work of fiction.

I mean, a man gets beaten to death with his own prosthetic arm!

That's rough and that doe
Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A totally wild ride! Something I likely wouldn't have picked up on my own as I'd somehow missed this King novel. So glad I did as I enjoyed it much more than expected. As always, SK is a genius at creating characters who are flawed, intriguing, and yet somehow redeeming. I now need to hunt down the film version to compare notes on how it varies from the book.

Buddy Read with Amber and Kelly! Woot and double woot.
Recovering alcoholic Thad Beaumont is a cerebral literary writer whose books don't sell well; who also happens to have a very dark and popular crime fiction series written under the 'George Stark' pen name. When his alter-ego is exposed, he decides to give George Stark a very public 'mock-burial'! ... Thad's dark half 'George Stark' emerges from the grave with all Thad's compulsive behaviours and addictions... and is hell-bent on his mission to gruesomely murder everyone responsible for his 'dea ...more
This REALLY is one hell of a crazy-ass read, and it all begins with an eleven year old boy's excruciating headaches that lead to surgery, bizarre results and the freakish sparrow phenomenon afterward.

...Now this young boy Thad began writing weird stories at an early age, and as he grew up decided to use a pen name for a period of time.....sound familiar?

...Anyway, the time came to bury the alias and one George Stark with full honors....grave, headstone and publicity to boot.

...As the story progr

Dan Schwent
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2017-books
When someone discovered literary writer Thad Beaumont was also crime writer George Stark and tried to blackmail him, Beaumont and his wife decided to go public and kill off George Stark themselves. But when the pseudonym takes on a life of his own and starts killing people connected to Thad, can anything stop him?

I read this sometime in that hazy dawn of time before Goodreads. Since we had a trip to Maine coming up, I decided to read it again.

The Dark Half is an underrated book. Thad Beaumont ha
“Inside him a voice whispered for the first time: Who are you when you write, Thad? Who are you then?
And for that voice he had no answer.”
I discovered this book when I was fourteen or so, a teenager safe in the invincibility of youth. It grabbed me then, had me glued to its pages, enthralled by King’s storytelling. Rereading it now, I was a bit worried to see if the magic is lost as the wrinkles are gained — but I still loved it. The story is relatively snappy (it’s definitely not one of tho
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

What inspires an author to write a story?

Without question, King is a man with tremendous imagination. He took inspiration for The Shining when he stayed in a deserted hotel along with his wife, and he wrote Pet Sematary after King and his family stayed a year near an actual Pet Sematary in Orrington.

But for The Dark Half, his inspiration was a lot closer to home.

King wrote couple of novels under pseudonym Richard Bachman in 70s and 80s. But in 1985, a bookstore clerk figured Bac
Stephen King once wrote some books under the pen name Richard Bachman, but the gag was blown by a book store clerk in 1985. In The Dark Half, a writer using a pen name is exposed and a murderous rampage occurs as a result with numerous victims getting killed in a variety of gruesome ways, including one guy getting beaten to death with his own prosthetic arm. Uh…Mr. King? I can assure you that I have no interest at all in revealing any secret of yours that I may accidently come across someday. I ...more
Edward Lorn
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of horror, supernatural thrillers, and crime fiction.
Recommended to Edward by: Mom
Stephen King aficionados might get a kick out of this geekgasm disguised as a review. It's not all new info, but I didn't know about Guy Pilsbury. If you know who that is (or should have been), you get a cookie.

Also, I cannot promise there won't be spoilers, but I will try my best.

Okay, we're all clear that Stephen King once wrote under the pen name Richard Bachman, right? Good. And if you didn't know, now you know. Bachman is probably one of the most famous pseudonyms ever created. King didn't
Before and after reading THE DARK HALF, I read some reviews of this usual, some I liked, and some I didn't. I don't normally argue with someone about their thoughts on a novel- because everyone has a right to their own opinion, but I will say - I really dislike when people call Stephen King a hack. Fine I get it, you don't like will never read another word he writes, but name calling is really unnecessary, and it not only insults the author, but it insults the people who enjo ...more
Jul 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
Short read and my first Stephen King book. I used to regard King as a pop-writer. I had a neighbor who couldn't get enough of him about 20 years ago. I just rolled my eyes at her. Now I'm her. LOL.

This book is a great gate-way drug to King. It was left in my apt. laundry room in the giveaway pile. I picked it up whilst waiting for my laundry to finish and stayed in the laundry room for the next hour. Character development from page 1. I have to admit ... now I have a bit of a problem. Is there
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans new and old
Goodreads Book-Buddy Buddy Read with Goodreads Book Buddies Chelsea and Kelly .

Thad Beaumont is a writer who wrote under a pen name known as George Stark who wrote terrifying thrillers and was a very bad man. Not wanting to write those types of books anymore, Thad buries George Stark and decides to write his own work. What happens when the pseudonym comes to life as its own entity and decides to go on a murder spree to take revenge and take over Thad's life? All Thad knows is that The Sparrows
Leo .
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
When the story was made into a TV series, Gary Busey, should have played the role of George Stark. 🐯👍
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller, crime
That was fun.

A writer decides to bury his pen name after being outed. But his alter ego has no intentions of staying in the land of the dead and comes back with a vengeance.

I had to laugh a little when I saw King dedicating this book to “the late Richard Bachman”. But maybe there are some autobiographical parts in here as well. I certainly hope not, but Stephen King has his own dark half, for sure. Maybe all of us have.

As far as SK novels go this one is pretty straightforward. There isn’t much o
Abbie | ab_reads
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first King of 2017 and it certainly did not disappoint! Thaddeus Beaumont (what a great name) is a writer of average success; George Stark is a writer of wondrous success; but Thad and George are the same person. And what happens when your pseudonym that you've tried to lay to rest somehow claws his way up from the grave and goes on a murderous rampage? King's here to tell you!
Based (hopefully loosely) on his own experience of writing as Richard Bachman, King once again delivers a great read
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Warning: gore and existential crises.

I read the Dark Half in my teen years and was utterly enthralled by the premise. A young boy who is believed to have a tumour, has his brain operated on. They find teeth and an eyeball in his brain. - a parasitic twin of sorts.

Image result for dark half movie gifs

The main character, whose name I have now forgotten (and it doesn't matter, the premise applies to all of us) later receives a visit from his Dark Half - a physical manifestation of his parasitic twin.

Looking back, I think I understand
Bill Khaemba
I Promised you a review :)
“...he was, after all, a novelist...and a novelist was simply a fellow who got paid to tell lies. The bigger the lies, the better the pay.”

First of all with any Stephen King book the reader must understand that they will be freaking traumatised to some extent and you won’t be able to put down his book until the end. So it’s the best conundrum or maybe the worst. The book itself has the classic King vibe to it, a malevolent haunting story whic
Paul Nelson
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Thad Beaumont is a writer, not a very successful one it has to be said, not until he started to write under the Pseudonym George Stark, a definitive change in direction to something altogether darker and that's what brings the money in. Now it's time to out the Stark and via people magazine, the Pseudonym is finally laid to rest, fake grave and all.

The only problem, George Stark isn't quite ready to rest in peace.

As with my other early King reviews I'll talk about what I liked and disliked about
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars.

I just don't know how Stephen King does it!

I read the synopsis for The Dark Half and I had an idea of how this story would unfold.

I was wrong about everything.

This book took so many unexpected turns that I just had to stop thinking about what might come next.

I always love it when Uncle Stevie bases a book off of something from his real life.

Carrie was inspired by 2 girls he went to school with.

The Shinning was written about a scary haunted hotel after he stayed at a scary haunted
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as crazy as I remembered. Review to follow...
3.5/5.0 stars. Not my favorite, but certainly vintage and worth the read. "Stark's grin widened, become a thing of pestiferous splendor." Who else could think to say that? I never grow tired of reading his books. ...more
May 17, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021-read
Unusually for me, I can't remember if I have actually read this before. It feels familiar enough that I'm inclined to say that I have, but I don't specifically recall doing so. Although if I have read it, it was very likely around the time it was first published in 1989, so I'm going to cut myself a bit of slack.

This was a middle of the road King read for me. His books are always entertaining and he has a real strength in character building. That said, I didn't find this quite as compelling as I
Johann (jobis89)
"You're dead, George. You just don't have the sense to lie down."

Thad Beaumont is an author that's not very successful, however under his pen name "George Stark" he writes highly successful books about a violent killer called Alexis Machine. Following an article in People magazine in which he admits to being George Stark and taking part in a photo shoot with a fake grave, Stark himself comes to life and goes on a killing rampage before targeting Beaumont himself.

This book is clearly a reference
Cody | CodysBookshelf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brace yourself for some layers of authorship! Ready? This book was written by Stephen King as Stephen King not too long after the "death" by exposure of his pseudonym Richard Bachman. The story is about an author, Thad Beaumont, who, under similar circumstances, has just laid to rest his own successful pseudonym, George Stark. Trouble is, George Stark isn't too keen on going quietly into the night. And George Stark can be one high toned son of a bitch.

High Toned Son of a Bitch

I love it when King writes about writ
Ruth Turner
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it

Audiobook – Narrated by Grove Gardner – Excellent narration.

I enjoyed this audio very much. Gardner is an excellent narrator and the voice he gave to “George Stark, that high-toned son of a bitch from Oxford, Mississippi” was perfect!



This was another of King’s books that I didn’t much care for the first time I read it. But, neither I feel the need to destroy it like I did The Tommyknockers, after reading that for the first time. Even so, I never really felt the urge to read it again. Bu
Ashley Daviau
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was just SO damn good! I haven’t enjoyed a King book so much in a long time. In fact, I think it may just have cracked into my top 10 King books, that’s how good it was! It’s clear this is a reference to King writing as Bachman and that makes it all the more scary and captivating. You can’t help but be drawn in and wonder which half will win the ultimate battle! And the imagery in this book is just phenomenal, I felt like I was watching a terrifyingly creepy and detailed movie come to ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 Stars

I wil preface this review by stating I am a big Stephen King fan. Actually I'm a huge Stephen King fan, so giving this only 2 1/2 stars went against a lot of the personal feelings and experiences I've had over the years reading his amazing novels.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, and just like anything else in life sometimes you just have to listen to your instincts and after 150 pages in the bucket I should've called it a day...but being the forever optimist I just trudged ahe
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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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“You're dead, George. You just don't have the sense to lie down.” 58 likes
“But writers INVITE ghosts, maybe; along with actors and
artists, they are the only totally accepted mediums of our society. They make worlds that never
were, populate them with people who never existed, and then invite us to join them in their
fantasies. And we do it, don't we? Yes. We PAY to do it.”
More quotes…