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The Regulators

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  68,927 ratings  ·  1,279 reviews
Author of the bestselling novel Thinner and four thrillers that have sold millions in an omnibus edition entitled The Bachman Books, the late Richard Bachman has been described as "Stephen King without a conscience." Now he performs an eerie encore with the posthumous release of The Regulators, a harrowing story of a suburban neighborhood in the grip of surreal terror.

Hardcover, 475 pages
Published October 1996 by Dutton
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Jim Bowen It's sort of a "parallel universe" story. The characters are similar, just in a different situation.
Stephanie King has a hard time with endings. He knows it and owns it. As a constant reader I accept it. But yes, I agree it could've ended better.

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
**4.5-stars rounded up**

To the residents of Poplar Street, in suburban Wentworth, Ohio, July 15, 1996 seems like any other summer day. The paperboy is dutifully tending his route, the Reed twins are entertaining young ladies and the corner store is functioning like a well-oiled machine.

Not one of them suspects that the proverbial shit is 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 in one
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

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.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
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),
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
Edward Lorn
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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,
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 ...more
Thomas Strömquist
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 ...more
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
Benjamin Thomas
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
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
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king, 2019
"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
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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:
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 ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Not a bad story, but not very memorable, either. The Regulators is typical Stephen King, with a small town setting and things that aren't always as they seem.
Lucy Jackson
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 caricatured
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
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Regulators and Desperation are also quite deep but, excellent read from the master Stephen King. ...more
Aug 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the companion book to Desperation, and although it's listed here as being written by Stephen King, it was actually Richard Bachman. Ha ha, for those of you that know they are one and the same. King/Bachman uses the same character names in both books which makes for an exercise in memory if they are read close together. For the first 100 or so pages I would think of the character from Desperation as the name was recycled in The Regulators. As a testament to his skill, after that point, I ...more
Ruth Turner
Nov 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rick Slane
This was my first Stephen King and he hooked me.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Horror, Stephen King fans
Recommended to Jason by: SK bibliography
4.5 stars rounded down to four.

This was quite a pleasant surprise. I was expecting this to be so-so based on some reviews I saw before reading it which only proves that I need to stop peeking at reviews before I read the books (unless I'm trying to decide whether or not to read a book. That's different). Most people seem to like it less than it's twinner Desperation. It's been 13 years since I read that, and I remember that I liked it, but I'll have to read it again to give a fair comparison
Mar 21, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the companion book to Desperation, and although it's listed here as being written by Stephen King, it was actually Richard Bachman. Ha ha, for those of you that know they are one and the same. King/Bachman uses the same character names in both books which makes for an exercise in memory if they are read close together. For the first 100 or so pages I would think of the character from Desperation as the name was recycled in The Regulators. As a testament to his skill, after that point, I ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
My brain is practically shot. I've been studying all damn day and believe me The Regulators and Food Sanitation doesn't mix well. At some point I will try to give this a more proper review. Until then this will be just fine. If not, sue me.
Anyway, The Regulators is a slight step away from its mirror, Desperation. I'm not going to compare the two, you can do that yourself but I will say, they are both good in their own rights. Maybe to long or scattered or the ending didn't work like it should or
Andrew Fourn
Likely my least favorite King book. Weak all around.

Writing: 2
Typical King fare. Decent writing, but nothing to go nuts about.

Story: 1
I...I have no idea what this book was about. A demon-possessed kid who could project his imagination onto the real world...? Ummm...yea, I have no idea what the heck was going on.

Characters: 2
Surprisingly weak for a King story. No one I could relate to. Too many cookie cutter suburbanites who weren't fleshed out enough for me to remember who was who.

Other Factors:
Amber J
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this book is a horror for sure. It's hard to explain but its kind of like a part 2 of the book regulators but not really cause the story doesn't progress, it's more like its rewritten. Lots of the same names but for instance. In desperation the there are two kids and there parents, in the regulators there are too but the kids names are now the parents names and the parents names are now the kids names. The main characters have shifted and even the bad guy is similar but not the same. Its ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 14 May 18, 2019 01:19AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page count correction 7 21 Apr 15, 2018 09:28PM  
Around the Year i...: The Regulators, by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) 2 15 Oct 01, 2016 08:13PM  
book reveiw 1 quarter 3 2 25 Feb 10, 2013 01:49PM  
date discrepancy 5 69 Jun 27, 2012 10:59PM  

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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,
“When there’s no more room in hell, this artifact said, the dead will walk the earth.” 1 likes
“None of this was real, after all. It was just a refuge in her mind.” 1 likes
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