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The Dark Half

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  114,426 ratings  ·  1,864 reviews
A “wondrously frightening” (Publishers Weekly) tale of terror and #1 national bestseller about a writer’s pseudonym that comes alive and destroys everyone on the path that leads to the man who created him.

Thad Beaumont is a writer, and for a dozen years he has secretly published violent bestsellers under the name of George Stark. But Thad is a healthier and happier man now
...more
Kindle Edition, 484 pages
Published January 1st 2016 by Scribner (first published October 20th 1989)
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Nancy Delong
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Athelstan I read this way back in the early 90s but I still recall it in goodly detail. It has stuck with me that long. I'm reading Needful Things again and it…moreI read this way back in the early 90s but I still recall it in goodly detail. It has stuck with me that long. I'm reading Needful Things again and it references events in The Dark Half which brought me to this page. I, too, thought it one of his most original and lasting works. NOw I'm thinking I should re-read it. (less)

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3.76  · 
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 ·  114,426 ratings  ·  1,864 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
...more
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.
Carol
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

...more
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
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Sr3yas
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 Bachman
...more
Kemper
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
megs_bookrack
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
George Stark. Not a very nice guy.

Stephen King Reread #4 for the year 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 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 doesn't even begin to brush the
...more
Delee
Before and after reading THE DARK HALF, I read some reviews of this book...as 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 him...you 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
Shanti
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
...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
...more
Amber
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Leo .
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the story was made into a TV series, Gary Busey, should have played the role of George Stark. 🐯👍
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!
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Based (hopefully loosely) on his own experience of writing as Richard Bachman, King once again delivers a great read
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Paul Nelson
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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 which features a protagoni
...more
Terry
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.
Mara
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 writer
...more
Cody | codysbookshelf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth Turner

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!


***

Ebook:

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
...more
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
ChopinFC
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Phrynne
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very readable piece of gory horror from the master of the art Stephen King. I loved the idea about the sparrows and also the brilliant part about the twin being absorbed into his brother's body, which of course can really happen but never in the way this author visualises it! King writes good books and he writes excellent books but so far he has never let me down by writing a bad book. This is a good one. If you enjoy horror then this book is for you.
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was a solid book by King, and I really enjoyed the psychological thriller aspect of the story
Adam Light
King was hitting on all cylinders in this high toned son of a bitch. Still one of my faves.
Obsidian
Well I haven't read "The Dark Half" since I was a teen. I realize now why that was, probably because teen me was bored reading parts of this as adult me was now. I do think that parts of the book are fairly good (I loved the sparrows and the growing realization of who George Stark was) but think that the book gets bogged down a ton with way too much talking that goes nowhere and an ending that kind of fizzles. You end up having to read the other Castle Rock books in order to find out what happen ...more
Wendy
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books, may-18
A wild, crazy and creepy Stephen King novel!
Not one of my favourites but certainly worth the read!
Brandon
Following a commercial flop with his debut novel, author Thad Beaumont begins writing violent crime stories featuring tough-guy Alexis Machine under the pseudonym George Stark.  This seems to do the trick as Beaumont is massively successful.  But the urge to return to his original dramatic style brings about the end of Stark.  After a mock funeral for his alias is staged, those with a connection to Stark’s work are turning up dead.  Is a vengeful fan behind the brutal killings or is George Stark ...more
Marc-Antoine
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one where Stephen King goes for the gross out.
Jason Schneeberger
3.5/5

Not Mr King's best work, but not his worst either (of which, there are very few in my experiences). But, even an average Stephen King book, is better than most authors best work.
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658,103 followers
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
“You're dead, George. You just don't have the sense to lie down.” 56 likes
“He didn’t know if that was really true or not, but he discovered something which was tremendously liberating: he didn’t care. He was very tired of thinking and thinking and still not knowing. He was also tired of being frightened, like a man who has entered a cave on a lark and now begins to suspect he is lost. Stop thinking about it, then. That’s the solution.” 26 likes
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