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Roadwork

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  26,145 ratings  ·  970 reviews
#1 bestselling master of suspense...

King's other half can be even creepier.


They're tearing down Bart Dawes's home, leveling his memories, and destroying his past, all for a new highway extension. Funny what that kind of progress can do to a man. Scary, too.
Kindle Edition, 324 pages
Published (first published March 1981)
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Costas It's a man, resisting to change, mathematically descending into madness. He makes sense to himself, you sympathise, but he remains a man that can't…moreIt's a man, resisting to change, mathematically descending into madness. He makes sense to himself, you sympathise, but he remains a man that can't take it any more and resorts to violence. There are a few interesting encounters and conversations as he distances himself from his old familiar world, the expected (Chekhov's gun) mescaline trip, but that's it. I didn't find it great, I didn't find it boring though either. Even from a bad book you can learn things off it, and I was able to finish it fast during my vacation. However, I admit it that I mostly did it because I'm sticking to the Chronological Stephen King challenge and I want to read everything he's published. I found it easy to finish because it has short chapters and it felt like a countdown. But if you're struggling with it, go ahead and skip it, you're not missing out much :p(less)

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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  26,145 ratings  ·  970 reviews


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Matthew
Update - 8/25/2019 - Re-read

First read: 2 stars
Second read: 3.5 stars

This is probably the shortest time between reads for a King book I have ever done. Also, it is the first time I have Re-read a book where the first time I read it was also tracked on Goodreads.

I tried to give this one an extra special chance this time. King had been quoted as saying this was his favorite of the Bachman Books. I really wanted to go into it and discover that my first experience was completely wrong.
...more
Dan Schwent
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A new stretch of interstate is being build and Bart Dawes' house is right in its path. He has until January 20th to find a new place for he and his wife to live and also a new location for the Blue Ribbon, the industrial laundry where he has been employed for twenty years. What will happen if he doesn't?

I wasn't very old when the original four Bachman books were released but I can't imagine this one did very well before King outted himself. It doesn't really have a lot going on. Bart Dawes is
...more
Peter
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Another classic Bachman/King. The protagonist slowly is loosing his mind since bureaucracy and felt harassment get him out of job and family. A very realistic read. I still remember clearly The Rolling Stone record 'Let it Bleed' that was constantly played by Barton Dawes on his way to madness. You feel for this character as you have him very lively before your mental eye. One of the strongest character studies Bachman/King ever did. Very strong book. Absolutely recommended!
Lyn
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman reminds me of Philip K Dicks mainstream, non- SF stories. The style and tone of Confessions of a Crap Artist and Humpty Dumpty in Oakland with some scare the freaky deaky out of you is how this comes across.

Actually, I also thought about the 1993 Joel Schumacher film Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas. Both stories center around a good protagonist who has had enough. They thought they were living the American Dream but that dream has a dark underside
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
I know Roadwork isn't such a popular or well-received story but I actually really liked it. I found it more sad than scary (by the way for king fans who remember The Mangler, this book features Blue Ribbon Laundry!), probably more sad because it's more real than most. The frustration and desperation that comes along with flowing against the current of progress is something any reader can understand, and Bart is a truly likeable main character whose psychological plight is impossible not to care ...more
Johann (jobis89)
"I know something else as well: there's a place in most of us where the rain is pretty much constant, the shadows are always long, and the woods are full of monsters."

Roadwork tells the story of Bart Dawes, a man suffering from grief following the death of his young son. To add to his woes, he is to lose both his workplace and home as a consequence of the extension of a nearby interstate highway.

Let me give you a little background into my history with the Bachman books... before Roadwork, I had
...more
Ashley Daviau
My feelings are really smack dab in the middle on this book. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. I thought some parts were interesting but for the most part, I found it quite pointless if I'm being completely honest. It seemed like something that should have been a short story but was stretched needlessly into a full length novel.

Normally I always love King/Bachman's characters but they left a lot to be desired in this story. I had a hard time finding anything to like about any of
...more
Edward Lorn
Much better than I remember, but still not great by any stretch of the imagination. Fact remains, though, I cried more than once. Review and Thursday Theorist video coming next week.
Becky
Jul 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well then. As much as it pains me to do this, I calls 'em like I sees 'em, and this was an effort in futility on just about all fronts.

Now I know, I know, the Bachman books are depressing and dark and bleak and grim. I know all that. I expected it, and was even looking forward to it. But this... This was almost painfully tedious to get through. It was so pointless. So futile.

I've read all of the Bachman books, and they've all been dark and grim and whatnot... but they've all had a point. I
...more
Margaret
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King, considered "roadwork" one of his not so good novels. I want to disagree with His majesty . Lots of readers thought that it would have been a fine short story, but it failed as a novel. I object to that. For me, "it" and "the stand" would be better if they were "less" ,but "roadwork" is exactly the right size.Because it is real life. In 300 or so pages, it holds the full extension of human vulnerability and despair, in front of painfull fate ,grievous blows of life and the system's ...more
Sarah B
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It came to him that one of the surest signs of insanity was a man all alone, laughing in the middle of silence, on an empty street filled with empty houses."

I think that sentence pretty much sums up this book very well..it's about a man who never healed properly from the death of his young son and he is slowly falling apart. Then when other outside stresses are put on him, like the city wanting to tear down his house for the extension of a highway, he slowly sinks into madness.. reading this
...more
Calista
Stephen King novella, aka Richard Bachman, that was not the kind of story I enjoy. It wasn't for me. Stephen King writing as Richard does not bare fruit I enjoy.
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Roadwork - Stephen King, Richard Bachman
It's amazing what a difference a few years can make. When I was first getting into Stephen King's work, I had no idea where to start. I will never forget finding myself in a small used bookstore in Decatur, Alabama, perusing a bookshelf filled with worn King paperbacks and being shocked that a man could write so much. I picked titles at random, trying to remember what books my friend (a huge King fan at the time) had recommended to me days before this trip
...more
Dan
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misoneists and midlife crisis sufferers.
I read this after reading The Long Walk and couldn't get into it at all to begin with. I found it a little bit dull and difficult to relate to. But as the story progressed I became absolutely engrossed in it, it really becomes difficult to put down. It's incredibly sad at times, but can often be humorous and very suspenseful.

This is a straight novel, no supernatural elements a la' king. In short, its a tale of one man standing in the way of progress, clutching onto the remains of the past with
...more
Ruth Turner

Audiobook Narrated by G Valmont Thomas Dreadful narration.

This is the first audiobook narrated by Thomas that Ive listened to and it will probably be my last.

His reading voice is beautiful and if hed stuck to that I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. But he didnt.

His character voices were just awful. It was like watching a puppet show. At least thats the image that kept popping into my head. I couldnt finish listening to it.

***

Ebook:

Bleak and depressing as the Bachman books tend to be. I liked
...more
Nick Iuppa
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about loss. Its as simple as that. Bert Dawes lost his son Charlie to a brain tumor. He loved his son very much, so much that his wife, Mary, has to admit that theirs was a special connection. Hell, Burt still talks to the kid and somehow imagines Charlie talks back to him.
Now the city is handing Bert another loss. They want Bert to leave a home jam-packed with memories and mementos, the site of so many happy hours with his wife and son, and a neighborhood equally filled with a
...more
Tobin Elliott
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
In my rereading of King's work, this, along with Eyes of the Dragon and The Tommyknockers, was one of the novels I was kind of dreading, because, though I remembered very little of the novel, I distinctly remember being somewhat bored with it and flat out not liking it much.

Yeah, well, that was the young me. The unmarried me. The me that hadn't been a father. The me that had been too young to, on occasion, look back on his life and wonder what it all meant.

This time, this novel resonated quite
...more
Badseedgirl
This one is more like 3.5 stars. A perfect example of psychological horror. There are no monsters in this book except the ones in Bart Dawes own brain. The best part of the book was the way that Mr. King was able to make the highway extension feel like a character.

This story was written in 1981, I'm not sure if it would even have been published in a post 9-11 American society, at least not by a major publisher.
Latasha
I wasn't sure about this one but by the end I did like Bart and over all enjoyed this book. it's kinda heart breaking :(
Abbie | ab_reads
1.5 stars. Move aside Rage and Geralds Game, new least fave King coming through!

I cant even be bothered to write a review for this, it was just crap. Main character drew no sympathy from me, he was distasteful and absolutely fixated on vaginas. I swear every other word was vagina. And it was dull. Thats all youre getting from me folks.

The reason its not a 1 is the possible Dark Tower connection.
...more
Boston
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
3.5 stars
Marc-Antoine
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Playlist

Roadwork

On the Border - Al Stewart
I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Dinah Washington)
Alfie (Dionne Warwick)
Dirty Water - The Standells
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Mantovani (Greensleeves)
Green Door - Gisele MacKenzie
Stranger in Paradise - Gisele MacKenzie
Kitty Carlisle (Women)
Dave Van Ronk (Fixin to Die)
Gary Davis (Death Dont Have no Mercy)
Tom Rush (If Your Man Gets Busted)
Tom Paxton (Im the Man That Built Bridges)
Spider John Koerner (Rattlesnake)
Gimme Shelter - The Rolling
...more
Andrew “The Weirdling” Glos
There isnt much I could say about Bachmans Roadwork that hasnt already been said. This is part of my long term plan to (re)read all of Stephen Kings books more or less in order of publication. For me, this was a first time read.

I found this a very hard book to get through. First of all, very little action happens until the end of this 320 page book. It is really more of a character sketch of Barton Dawes. Personally, I tend to find such novels a little more tiring to get through, even when they
...more
Thomas Strömquist
Another great surprise in re-reading Stephen King was Roadwork, which I must confess that I did not remember a lot of details about. First: it was a whole lot easier to connect to the pained Barton Dawes now than when I was 19 (even if it was quite a shock discovering that the disillusioned man with crumbling marriage, crumbling physique and crumbling life is 40(!) - I had him at about 60 in my head, but on the other hand, what's the difference between 40 and 60 when you're 19?). Anyway, it's ...more
Robjr73
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Wow. This is a Stephen King (I mean Bachman) story unlike any other. The main character stands out from any character Ive ever read in a fiction. If youve never read Roadwork I can tell you that most likely you will either love it or hate it. You will either care about this character or you wont and if you dont...well youll probably want to move on quickly and pick up IT or The Shining to get this book out of your memory.

I was immediately drawn into this characters misery and paranoia. It felt
...more
Trey
Sep 18, 2017 added it
2 stars for the story.
One extra, for Bart Dawes.
Sad portrait of a character desperately trying to come to terms with an imposing external reality and slowly losing grip of his internal reality. Throughout the story, I came to like Bart, the main character whose elbowed off the stage of his work and social life like a has-been actor. It's just too bad I had to shove and push my way through over-description to really appreciate him.
I'm sure the suspense in the story had more impact back when it
...more
Scott
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
**The Stephen King Goodreads Discussion Group is doing a re-read of his works from the beginning to the end. Its been a long time since I have really immersed myself in Uncle Stevies world, but a rate of a book a month, I am all in. My goal is to read and review each one with as much honesty and reflection that I can give. **

Background Roadwork was originally published as a paperback original in 1981 under Stephen Kings pseudonym, Richard Bachman. It is a shorter length book. My paperback copy
...more
The Cow
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mkittysamom
So much despair and getting the short end of the stick... and so much disappointment and rage! Another angsty book with revenge or trying to make sense out of a social conformed political world where money runs the little guys over. The world changing but not for the better and I dont think the MC really made a dent into the powers of state... it was so depressing.. really. But I felt all of it and I still love reading Stephens alter persona.. because the tones may be different but his style of ...more
Dierdra McGill
I have only read one other of the Bachman novels, The long walk and I remember really enjoying it so when I came across Roadwork I was excited to read it. The Bachman novels are not really so much horror as Kings novels are and the difference is nice. I find it sad King had to stop writing as Bachman personally.
Roadwork is about a man who loses his place of employment and his house because the city is building a highway through both. He doesn't want to lose either and doesn't take it well at
...more
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Spanish Readers: * Carretera maldita [Febrero 2020] 1 44 Feb 13, 2020 01:23PM  
Stephen King Fans: ʀᴏᴀᴅᴡᴏʀᴋ 3 22 Mar 09, 2019 10:24AM  
STEPHEN KING PROJECT: ROADWORK [SPOILERS] 2 24 Apr 09, 2018 05:34PM  
STEPHEN KING PROJECT: ROADWORK [NO SPOILERS] 1 19 Feb 26, 2018 02:02AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: # 44 Roadwork by Richard Bachman 1 2 Aug 22, 2017 07:21AM  
Letras Macabras: Carretera Maldita, de Stephen King 16 113 Aug 16, 2017 10:16AM  

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3,990 followers
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,
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