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Talk about the Novels > Firestarter

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message 1: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2568 comments Mod
Who's reading along?

message 2: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1105 comments Mod
I plan to be..

Kandice | 4059 comments I am. I started a little early and am about 200 pages in. I had forgotten how easy it was to love Andy and Charlie! He is such a loving, protective father and she is just as fiercely protective of him. I guess it's to be expected when she lost her mother the way she did, but it's still really sweet to read their relationship.

message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 701 comments i might... I've never read this...

Nilofer (nilofers) | 83 comments I'm in, just reread this recently, it was my first SK book, so alot of good memories.

message 6: by Joe (new)

Joe Golden | 49 comments Angie wrote: "Who's reading along?"

I plan to get it from my library as soon as I go back probley sometimes this week.Firestarter is one of Kings books I havent read so I look forward to it.

Leshawn | 25 comments I haven't read it either. I grabbed it from my library and I plan to start today! I'm excited!

message 8: by Joe (new)

Joe Golden | 49 comments Me too.I hear its really good.I dont know why I havent read it in all these years.It just sliped threw the cracks I guess.Happy Reading.

Elena | 50 comments I plan to read it.

message 10: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna | 64 comments I plan on reading it too :)

message 11: by CyaNyDiA (new)

CyaNyDiA (nydia) | 5 comments I have never read it, but I will this month. I tend to shy away from books when I have already seen the movie.

Kandice | 4059 comments This is one of the movies that really is pretty good. They don't change a whole lot, and like someone said the cast is excellent! Drew Barrymore is the cutest Charlie and the guy that plays her dad...can't think of his name, but he has sweet eyes and a nice deep voice that goes well with his character. He was in An Officer And A Gentleman too.

Kandice | 4059 comments One of the things I am really enjoying re-reading this, are the references to books King has read. I wish I had started a list from the beginning. He mentiones orc and balrogs, some Shirley Jackson characters and others that were thrilling to read at the time because they referenced books I've read too.

There are not as many references to music as he usually includes, but this isn't the kind of story that lends itself well to that.


I really enjoy reading about Andy using the "push" to help the women lose weight or the executives to suceed. It does a great job of showing you the other side of what the Shop wants Andy for.

Kirsten Angie wrote: "Who's reading along?"
I plan on it, but I have to get the book. It wasn't at my library.

Lynne - The Book Squirrel (squirrelsend) It has been years since I read this so I think I will read it again as I have a few days free of nightshifts.

message 16: by Kandice (last edited Mar 01, 2010 10:07AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kandice | 4059 comments ********************Spoilerish*****************

I'm finding the idea of an "echo" or "ricochet" form Andy's pushes fascinating. Pynchot is the perfect subject. I'm wondering if there has to be some deep flaw the person is hiding, not only from the world, but possibly themselves as well, to cause it.

Sarah (adventgeekgirl) | 9 comments I will be right after I finish Bel Canto for another club. I'm really excited to read it! :-)

Kandice | 4059 comments Another thing I had forgotten about the book was Charlie's enjoyment of the "push". She says a few different times "if you're good at something you WANT to do it". That whole idea was lost in the movie, but is very, very important in the book.

Stacie (stacieh) I'm planning to read this too.

Carrie | 2 comments I'm going to try to read it. I've seen the movie and I have issues reading a book after I've seen the movie. I do own the book though, so I'm part way there!

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments It's been at least 15 years since I read "Firestarter" - so I'm really, really looking forward to re-reading it. It's one of the few of SK's works that I DON'T own, so I'll probably just pick up a cheap pb copy. I do remember that Charlie and her Dad's fight against the "Company" warmed the cockles of me little hippie heart!!

message 22: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Bondama wrote: "I do remember that Charlie and her Dad's fight against the "Company" warmed the cockles of me little hippie heart!! .."

Written BY and FOR Hippies like us!
Many of King's works follow that as an underlying general theme. Examples are _The Stand_, the DT series and _Dreamcatchers_; probably more that don't come to mind this instant.

message 23: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 2 comments I am, I should pick it up at the library within a day or so.

I really liked this book so I am excited to read it again~

message 24: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 701 comments I think I'll read this later and add my thoughts. Saw the movie a while a go, will have to find it again. Mt. TBR is rather daunting right now.

Leshawn | 25 comments This is my first time reading "Firestarter" and I wanted to share a few things. First of all, everyone whom I tell I'm reading it, has struck up a conversation with me about the book or the film. It seems to awaken a lot of curiosity.
Secondly, I was so caught up in the progression of the story, when the Shop attempts to kill Andy at the farm and Charlie unleashes her power to protect him, that I had to rip myself away from the lunch table and force myself to return to the lab and work.
This is a very exciting book!

Deanna Fairchild (edstweety) | 10 comments I'm up for this one! I'm new to the club but I think I have almost every Stephen King book there is...almost, oddly I don't see Firestarter in my library but no matter, it will download to my Nook or my iPhone quickly!

{erika} (sapphire--stars) | 4 comments Kandice wrote: "I am. I started a little early and am about 200 pages in. I had forgotten how easy it was to love Andy and Charlie! He is such a loving, protective father and she is just as fiercely protective of ..."

I couldn't agree more :] The relationship between Andy and Charlie is what helps make Firestarter one of my favorite King novels. It is so realistic and the end heartbreaking.

Leshawn | 25 comments Kandice,
I was intrigued with the idea of the "echo" as well! It seemed to tie in with King's exploration of the idea that great power has the possibility of catastrophe firmly rooted in its' soil. Even when Andy tried to use his psi power for good, the possibility of destruction was inherent. (the business man who wanted to play Russian Roulette) So many times Charlie and Andy used their powers, and the aftermath was strewn with corpses and suffering.
Poor Doomed Duo....

Elena | 50 comments I am new SK reader. I have always like his movies and I really don't know why I had never pick up his books. This is only the third one from him that I have read, and so far the best.

The story had me hooked most of the time. Other times my mind was wandering away to other things.

One thing that have been mentioned that I also liked about the story is the explanation of how Andy used the push for good things. I also liked the "echo" effects a lot (which there had been more of them).

message 30: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2568 comments Mod
My library my have one copy of this!

Elisabeth (adwielle) | 8 comments I'm reading along. So far I've read about 160 pages and it keeps getting better.

message 32: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1105 comments Mod
Just started today.....

Lincoln (linkn) | 3 comments What's the word for when you see the same thing over and over. Such as people have mentioned Andy's echo and the philsophical ramifications and now I've read of someone describing an echo in terms of population growth.

It is an interesting concept, but perhaps "feedback" would be better term in that the idea feeds itself round and round till something gives.

message 34: by Deanna (last edited Mar 21, 2010 03:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Deanna Fairchild (edstweety) | 10 comments ********* Some Spoilers in Here Folks! *************

hmmm....It's interesting to me that several people are fascinated by the 'echo effect' that Andy noticed with some people. First of all, as it was described by King, I think Echo is a good description because it was the echo of some old memory that got associated with the push he was giving....then, that echo multiplied in the brain until it came back to the 'pushee' much as an echo does in a canyon or something. My second point is that the harder Andy pushed the more likely there was an echo...somehow 'hammering' the brain caused that echo...something like a stone in water...the harder the initial hit the bigger the 'waves' of thought. Thirdly, what I just thought of also is how the dollar bill held the 'echo' of the features Andy pushed on, in a way that was an echo too....sounds all kind of crazy really! Still, it is fascinating when you think about it.

One of the things I found interesting in this book by King was Rainwater's obsession with he somehow thought he'd find an answer in the eyes of each person. He fixated on Charlie as the answers to all his questions and was denied that chance to observe her death and get whatever answers there were or weren't. I think it is nice justice that King killed him the way he did so he really didn't have time to contemplate his own dying as he had hoped to.

Another thought I've had about this particular book is that in some ways King dates himself with the material...the anti-govt, govt experimenting on humans thing, you know? That was sooo very common around the time he would have been writing this book. Just a little thought.

Finally, I wonder what would have happened with Andy if he had better learned to control his power as Charlie was starting to? Would he have been able to build his ability without harming himself? Would he have learned just how much 'push' he needed instead of blowing his brain as he did? I mean, obviously, the push he gave the dollar bill was evidenced by the lasting illusion... I just had that thought...not sure how he could have done that without 'giving in' to the govt!

It was fun to re-read this book. It has been years!

Kandice | 4059 comments I think the reason Andy was unable to control and harness his ability better was that he didn't obtain it until he was an adult. It was artifically obtained at that. Charlie was born with hers, so she learned to use and control it much a child learns to speak, or to use the same metaphor as the book "potty train". It was a part of her, so learning to harness it was just a pat of growing up.

Deanna Fairchild (edstweety) | 10 comments I don't know that I'd agree with that...Charlie didn't exhibit true control of the power until she started testing for The Shop. Sure, she learned the simplest type of control...don't use this or use this....but she couldn't control the scope or intensity until after The Shop set tests for her...of course, I think she probably would have learned some degree of control on her own with age but the testing The Shop did taught her in a more concentrated time frame than she probably would have learned on her own.

True, Andy got his talent artificially but, any skill, whether inherent or learned can be shaped and refined by structured training.

Kandice | 4059 comments Yes, she learned control after the shop tests, but I think that was because her parents had trained her not to use her ablility at all. Had she been using it all along, I think she would have quickly gained control. Of course the problem is the danger associated with fire.

Andy, on the other hand, had been using his ability pretty steadily, as needed, for years and didn't seem to be in any more control of it than he was in the beginning. Yes, he had a better feel for what he could and could not do, but not better control, which was evidenced by the echos we were discussing. Not to mention the harm it caused him. I do agree that he may have been pushing harder than was necessary and that's what hurt him, not simply using his ability.

Lincoln (linkn) | 3 comments I'm keen to talk more about this but haven't finished it. Be back when I do. :-)

Deanna Fairchild (edstweety) | 10 comments *****Some Spoilers here folks! **********

Still, she used the power when asked to at the airport, and other times obviously. In all honesty it would have been very difficult for her to learn control too early in her life. Using the potty training example...we are taught Don't Do THAT.....easy to learn DO or NOT DO...but much harder to learn potty training you either have accidents or you don't..there is not degree. By the time she started testing for The Shop she had had the experience at the airport and at the farm...where she lost control and was horrified by the when she started doing the tests she KNEW she had to have a controlled situation. Perhaps she would have learned that on her own but she knew The Shop could provide the controls she needed to control the power...she became aware through her other experiences that it might be possible to control the power. I think her learning to control the power would have been MUCH more erratic if she had just done it on her own.

For Andy, I think his lack of control probably manifested more after his wife's death because he was running for his and Charlie's freedom. He was desperate so his control slipped somewhat. If he had trained more formally he would have practiced using the power under stress and might not have blown himself like he did...or perhaps it was just inevitable...after all, he always got the headaches if he used the push much, so perhaps he was just a ticking time bomb once he started using his power at all. It is entirely possible if the govt had trained him they would have caused him to 'blow' It could go either way for either of them really!!!

Lincoln (linkn) | 3 comments I think she knew that she needed to control the power long before the tests. She made a comment when she cooked the chickens at the Manders that she didn't mean to, that it got out of control.

Instead of potty accidents being black or white, I think a kid rushing to the potty but does't get there in time is still learning a new skill, just like Charlie.

Totally agree that it's easier to teach a kid Do vs Don't but it's only with experience that someone can learn abstract concepts like "Don't do X except when....". The classic white lie scenario, don't lie but sometime a little white lie is OK. Compared to Charlie this is "Dont light fires, except when there are bad people".

For Andy, experience may or may not have made him better. He was litterally thrown into the deep end runing for his life. Would his skill improve with practice like a muscle? Maybe, but probably not in my mind. The headache's and body wipe outs says his body was fighting him all the way with it.

Kandice | 4059 comments I also agree it's easier to teach a do than a don't, but just like anything new and dangerous, practice makes perfect. If Charlie had been using her ability all along, even in tiny ways, instead of full blown anger and fear mode, I think it would have been natural for her to harness and control it.

You're probably right about Andy. Because his "gift" was aquired, he was simply not physically able to cope with it. Charlie being born with hers makes all the difference.

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Remember, while Andy was the X factor, and Vickie the Y --

Charlie was the all important "Z". When a baby is born, to use Wanless' comparison, it has NO control. But, as Charlie ages thru the book - She gains her control. Not so much thru the Shop, as thru her own oncoming adolescence. She matures, learns, and THEN gains control (At least that's how I read it, She was born with the power, but learned to use it as she grew. All of us remember the power of oaths or promises made when we were kids. She's just exceptional.,

message 43: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2568 comments Mod
Just got this book... seems short so hopefully I finish by April 1st!

message 44: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1105 comments Mod
I'm almost done. Just another 40 pages or so.

Just have to say, as a character, I love Rainbird.

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Chris, I think you're right , and one thing I've always wanted King to do is write a separate story or novel just about John Rainbird, and how he got the way he is.

message 46: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1105 comments Mod
Just imagine what it would have been like in Vegas if Rainbird had gone to work for Randall Flagg...

message 47: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna | 64 comments Finished this last week and really enjoyed it. John Rainbird was an interesting yet very scary character--with his ability to lie and manipulate people the way he does and his sick twisted behavior/obsession with love and death. Charlie was my favortie character in the book--I loved the way she was able to grow and learn to control her powers.

SPOILER BELOW*************************************************************************************************************************************************************

I especially loved how she survived everything and even though she was left all alone in the end she was still strong enough to go and do what her father wanted them to do all along--get their story out.

message 48: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1105 comments Mod
Here's a weird thing. As I neared the end of the book, I got to wondering what Charlie would be like as an adult, and what she'd be doing.

Then I glanced up at the television and saw Drew Barrymore in some commercial or another....I was like..oh, there she is....

Misty | 27 comments LOL - that's funny Chris!

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 150 comments I'm currently reading/listening on Audiobook and loving Firestarter :-) Sorry, I missed the group read because my library was purchasing the Audiboook on CD and it wasn't released until April 1st. I like to have both Audio and Print versions whenever possible. This is my kind of story :-) Firestarter is Awesome!
Firestarter by Stephen King

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