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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  168,270 ratings  ·  2,489 reviews
First, a man and a woman are subjects of a top-secret government experiment designed to produce extraordinary psychic powers.

Then, they are married and have a child. A daughter.

Early on the daughter shows signs of a wild and horrifying force growing within her. Desperately, her parents try to train her to keep that force in check, to "act normal."

Now the government wants i
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 1st 1981 by Berkley Books (first published September 29th 1980)
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Taylor It is certainly not a waste of time!! There are twists throughout the book that I didn't see coming so I think you should give it a try, especially if…moreIt is certainly not a waste of time!! There are twists throughout the book that I didn't see coming so I think you should give it a try, especially if you like Stephen King. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jon He wants to see if he can see some kind light in her eyes that may show in the way to the after life.

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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  168,270 ratings  ·  2,489 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
When some cash-poor college students volunteer for an experiment, they have no idea of the Pandora's Box they are about to unleash. Years later, one of them, Andy McGee, is on the run from The Shop, with his daughter, Charlie. Can Andy and Charlie evade The Shop before their world goes up in flames?

First off, for years now, I cannot read the title without hearing the Prodigy song of the same name. Maybe he'll follow this one up with a book called Fuel my Fire or Smack My Bitch Up one of these da
Buddy Read with my pal, The Jeff.

I don't think the scariest thing about this book is the fact that this tiny kid has the power to potentially crack the Earth in half.
Don't get me wrong...the thought of that curls my toes.
The genius of this book is that your fear builds with the father's fear.
And it's not the fear of simply being captured. He fears what all of this is doing to his daughter, and he fears what he has had to do to his daughter in order to keep her safe from herself.
The part that re
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You're a firestarter, honey... just one big Zippo lighter."

Andy and Vicky McGee take part in a top-secret government experiment, gaining psychic powers. Then they have a daughter - Charlie. Charlie demonstrates even more power than her parents and they must keep her abilities secret, as the government wants Charlie back.

Firestarter was one of the few "classic" Kings I had left to read (I had never watched the movie either), and yet I wasn't particularly excited about it, it seemed like a Carrie
Edward Lorn
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I can find absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. Firestarter is up there with 'Salem's Lot, The Shining, and It. This one isn't as creep-up-on-you scary as the aforementioned novels, but Firestarter is terrifying. To image a world wherein Charlie McGee exists is a scary thought indeed.

This is one of the few King books that has absolutely zero lulls in the narrative. When the pace does slow, King shows off his superhuman character development skills. He doesn't simply make his character
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pushes and shoves can be a dangerous can Fear, Pain and Fire!

FIRESTARTER had me at the get-go with a super-intense, spring-into-action run as 34 year old Andy McGee and daughter Charlie, 7 flee for their lives with no money and only the clothes on their back.

The story alternates between Andy's college days bringing to light how the need for an extra $200 bucks brought him to present day terror in search for a way out....a way to survive....a way to keep his daughter safe.

There is

Ashley Daviau
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Firestarter doesn’t quite crack my top five King books, it does come pretty damn close! While I do find the idea of pyrokinesis and telekinesis fascinating and it is no doubt a big part of what makes this book so good, that’s not what makes this book great to me. For me, what really seals the deal, is the beautiful relationship between Charlie and her father. There’s just so much love and trust there, it’s incredibly touching and what makes me love this book so much!
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I liked most about Firestarter was the bond between a father and his daughter. The character development is solid in this Stephen King story, especially considering the relationship of Charlie and Andy McGee. Maybe I liked this element of the book because they are the victims, and I always root for the underdog. Also, because it’s clear how much Andy loves his daughter. He would give his life for her. A short afterward follows the end of the book. In it, King thanks his own daughter, who mu ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooksiown
Charlie McGee and her father Andy are two people on the run from the shop a group of ruthless government mad doctors that wants to experiment on Charlie for her powerful pyrokinesis powers. Can they survive? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good read. If you enjoy Stephen King's books, definitely check this out at your local library and wherever books are sold.
Manuel Antão
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Page-Turning Foofaraw: "Firestarter" by Stephen King

(Original Review, 1980-09-21)

The popularity of "occult" novels haunts the science fiction community. We of all people are expected to pay serious attention to stories based on semiliterate misreadings of religious apocrypha. Not based, mind you, on either testament of the Bible, but on superstitions which Catholic, Protestant and Jewish theologians can tell you are mostly transformati
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Damn hippy musicians!

This was a buddy read with my bestest pal, Firestar.

Stephen King sure as hell likes his characters with a heaping helping of psy-abilities. At the time of this writing, Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Stand and The Dead Zone had been published (needless to say, this is one hell of a run) and three out of five employed characters with some sort of psychic ability. Here, Andy and Vicky were part of an experiment that left them wit
Buddy Read with Anne

Have you ever thought about how it would be like to possess superpowers like being able to set things on fire with the simple power of your thoughts? Surely you have, even if pyrokinesis might not precisely be what people imagine when thinking about superpowers. Just think about it for a moment: You could wander through the streets and destroy entire cities; you could burn the people who want something bad to happen to you; you have all the power necessary to climb to the ver
George K.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Βαθμολογία: 9/10

Το Firestarter ήταν ένα από τα λίγα βιβλία του Στίβεν Κινγκ που για κάποιον άγνωστο λόγο παρέμενε μέχρι τώρα αμετάφραστο στην γλώσσα μας. Ειλικρινά δυσκολεύομαι να κατανοήσω τους λόγους για τους οποίους αυτό το βιβλίο δεν κυκλοφορούσε τόσα χρόνια στα ελληνικά (το 1980 κυκλοφόρησε στις ΗΠΑ!), από την στιγμή που μιλάμε για ένα βιβλίο του Βασιλιά. Κάλλιο αργά παρά ποτέ και μπράβο στις εκδόσεις Κλειδάριθμος που επιτέλους το έφεραν και στην Ελλάδα, δίνοντάς μας έτσι την ευκαιρία να απ
Paul Nelson
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Next up on my Stephen King quest is Firestarter, again it’s not a review as such but a collection of my thoughts on the book. So there most definitely will be spoilers.
Firestarter was originally released in 1980 and was the Kings 6th release not including The Star Invaders.

This story is a page turning masterpiece that flows effortlessly with literally no break in the pace whatsoever, from the initial chase and capture, to John Rainbird ruthlessly planning and playing with a young girl’s emotions
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason Firestarter always seems to get overlooked in various King lists, but it’s got all the hallmarks that makes he’s stories so popular.

Andy and Daughter Charlie are on the run from a government agency known as The Shop.
Andy had participated in experiments during the 1960’s that gave him the ability to auto-hypnotic, whilst meting he’s future wife Victoria, she also gained minor telekinetic abilities.
But it was their child Charlene McGee who gained frightening powers.

Kings not advers
Mar 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Firestarter was my second book by Stephen King. Somehow it managed to be a lot worse than Carrie, which was my first. I'll be bluntly honest with you, reading this almost felt like flipping through 520 pages of nothing. I guess it's easy to forgive this disappointment because this book is early King, and regardless of the fact that I'm not an expert in the King field, it seems that this lacked a certain va-va-voom factor which his books are known for. And besides, Fabian is a King expert and he ...more
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: king
Part of February's #reviewking19 project where I revisit my Goodreads reviews of King books I've read.
Firestarter. This one flies under the radar when it comes to Stephen King standouts. The popular kids: IT, Salem's Lot, The Shining, Misery steal a lot of the limelight.
But it's King's lesser known titles that truly standout as favorites for me.
I read this book in high school and I'm particularly fond of it.
Honestly, this has more of a Science Fiction/Thriller vibe to me, rather than "horror" bu
Γιώργος Δάμτσιος
8,5 στα 10.

Πολύ ωραίο βιβλίο. Αν δεν κάνω λάθος πρέπει να είναι κάπου το 7ο ή το 8ο που κυκλοφόρησε ο Κινγκ και είναι από εκείνα που δεν ανήκουν στα ''δρακουλίστικά” του, όπως έλεγε κάποτε ο περιπτεράς της γειτονίας μου. Και, όντως, αυτό είναι καθαρά ανθρωποκεντρικό και εστιάζει σε ένα μικρό κοριτσάκι, την Τσάρλι. Δεν θα αναφέρω καμία λεπτομέρεια, (έχει τόσες κριτικές που είναι πια περιττό). Σημειώνω απλώς ότι η ιστορία είναι πολύ όμορφη και μοναδικό της ψεγάδι είναι πως μοιάζει πια κάπως ξεπερα
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This may very well be one of the earliest subtle horror stories from King. That said, this one wasn't a scare-fest out to make the reader piss himself/herself like many of his early works.

But here the terror is perhaps worse. In this novel, the "monsters" are normal human beings that work for the US government. Agents of The Shop earn a paycheck from the legitimate government to keep America "safe". They just might be scarier than Cujo, Barlow, Pennywise, Annie Wilkes, Tak, and the Crimson King
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Oh. my. gosh. review to come.....
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was the first novel of Stephen King I bought - well, not exactly me. I was laid up in bed with a dislocated knee and my aunt bought it for me, to keep me through the monotonous days.

But somehow, I never got around to reading it at that time. It was only about an year later, after finishing The Shining, that I read it. By that time I was willing to love anything by Stephen King, and this book didn't disappoint.

Charlene McGee is a girl with a gift - pyrokinesis, i.e., the ability to set thing
Thomas Strömquist
Stephen Kings 9th is for me truly a partly hidden (or at least partly forgotten) gem! This sailed up amongst my very favorites of this mans books now and is the first that I actually changed (the 5-level) rating of following my re-read. The book starts in the midst of a breathtaking white knuckle hunt for a man and his daughter and does not stop for as much as a breather during the first third.

The eventual decrease of the furious pace comes with an increase of terror and dread though, so no res
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Having always been a big fan of the film, I was anxious to experience the fire starting abilities of Charlie in book form. Did the book end up leaving a burned imprint in my mind as much as the movie did?

Stephen King's Firestarter, written in his older school style, begins with Charlie and Andy McGee on the run from a company called “The Shop”. The first few chapters are riddled with intriguing flashbacks to fill the reader in on current day situations and up the desperation of the protagonists
Miss Kim
It all started with twelve broke college students. Andy’s friend told him about a drug trail at the university that was paying each participant $200. Thinking ‘easy cash’, Andy goes for it. He ends up spending an undetermined amount of time there and is given the drug which also contains some kind of hallucinogenic. He also meets the woman that would later become his wife, Victoria, and during the trial, they both realize they can communicate with out speaking. After it was over, both were unsur ...more
Abbie | ab_reads
Firestarter has definitely earned a place in my top 10 Kings! This is King writing at his very best.
This book combines some of my very favourite elements of a novel: mental powers such as telekinesis and pyrokinesis; an awesome young female protagonist who isn't perfect/infallibly strong; and a ruthless, brutal, government secret agency who will stop at nothing in the name of national security. If that doesn't sound great to you then I dunno what does!
Charlie McGee is now one of my fave protag
Franco  Santos

Es un libro que empieza con muy buen ritmo, muy rápido, sin embargo, a medida que iba avanzando se me hacía cada vez más pesado. En la mitad ya me era muy tedioso; no lo soportaba.

Tiene como 350 páginas sumamente aburridas, repetitivas, pesadas, lentas. Perdón, King, pero este libro no fue para mí. Hay gente que lo ama, lamentablemente yo no puedo decir lo mismo.

Tengo que aceptar, no obstante, que el final me encantó.

Un punto positivo -además del inicio y el final- fueron los personajes. Son
Sometimes King comes up with the best and most creative ideas. Firestarter was no exception. The whole idea behind a government experiment giving people "abilities" is pure genius. Then, to twist it a bit to make those abilities effect human genetics to give the offspring of those who participated in this government experiment have abilities as well? Genius. I loved the whole idea of the story.

When King does sci-fi, sometimes he really gets it right. The Dead Zone, anyone? It was one of the bes
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pero que tedioso

Me es difícil dar una calificación al libro. La idea es interesante, no es original (Para nada) peor sí interesante. Un libro de ciencia ficción sobre dos "mutantes" perseguidos para investigar sus dones prodigiosos. Con un comienzo intrépido que en lugar de ser una prueba de lo bueno que resultaría el libro fue todo lo contrario.

El libro decae en cada capítulo. Y no porque cuente algo aburrido, sino por todas las divagaciones que tienen sus personajes que con más que innecesari
Joe Valdez
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heat seekers, warm hearts, trailblazers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, horror

Stephen King is a firm favourite of mine and I’m enjoying working my way through all of his books (although I’ve only done around 1/3 so far!). This one is definitely one of his better offerings but didn’t quite get the upgrade to 5 stars but there is plenty of interesting things going on here to make this a must read for anyone looking for a good psychological thriller with corporate medical mischief.

Who doesn’t want some sort of super power. But, as Uncle Ben once said, with great power c
(Reading Challenge: 10. Un bestseller del New York Times)

A cautionary tale about not get involved in paid college experiments, no matter how much you need the money.

Si estás en busca de un libro de horror, esto no es lo que buscas. Creo que podria definirse más bien como uno de conspiración gubernamental.

Lo tienen encerrado en una habitación pequeña con una puerta que no puede abrir y una cerradura que no puede forzar. Lo someten a pruebas. Dobla llaves. Cierra puertas. Y según me han dicho, es
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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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“The world, although well-lighted with fluorescents and incandescent bulbs and neon, is still full of odd dark corners and unsettling nooks and crannies.” 57 likes
“No one likes to see a government folder with his name on it.” 41 likes
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