My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read Stephen King when I want to be 100% sure I won’t be disappointed.
Firestarter is one of King’s earlier works, which you could probably determine if you’ve been through as much of his work as I have. It is one of the few books that don’t really count as being of the horror genre. Which isn’t to say that it wasn’t just as good.
The story is about father and daughter fugitives running from a secret government agency because they both possess unique powers that were the outcome of shady experiments by said facility on unsuspecting college students. I will admit that the story had it’s dull moments, certain ramblings that seemed unnecessary, but I strongly believe it was the early development of Stephen King’s writing skills which led to the trademark verbose yarn-spinning that I love so much. Many of King’s works are long and detailed and I admit to loving them for just that. Often I find it is that very quality in his writing that sticks and makes his stories relatable and realistic to me.
Another notable fine quality is how well developed the characters always are. In Firestarter, as in all other works, I found satisfying depth to protagonists, antagonists and side characters. I’m glad this is an ability he’s always possessed.
Interesting side note is that because Stephen King’s stories are rich in reference, I often find myself discovering music or books or movies through him. In this book, after the father, Andy, has a moment of frustration with his daughter, Charlie, there is mention of a short story by Jerome Bixby called “It’s a Good Life” where “..a little kid who had enslaved his parents with psychic terror, a nightmare of a thousand possible deaths, and you never knew…you never knew when the little kid was going to get mad…”. Despite the explanation of the story being brief I was intrigued enough to go looking for it online right in the middle of this book and reading it through.
I found it amazing. If you haven’t read it go look it up, it’s good. Very good. Everything is good. The goodest. It would have been easy for King to take this story in a similar direction of an uncontrollable power within a child bringing the world to it’s knees, but I’m glad it didn’t go that way and the humanity and moral compass of Charlie was kept steady and strong and formed an important basis of her character.
The book was long enough to be a pleasant way to spend a couple of days. One thing I might venture into saying is that it might be better to read this after you’ve become a Stephen King fan or at least become familiar with his work, than it would be to make this one of the first of his works you choose to explore. I think fans of King might enjoy it more.
1.God loves to make a man break a vow.It keeps him properly humble about his place in the world and his sense of self-control. (pg.179)
2. World peace, or world domination, and when you got rid of the trick mirrors of rhetoric and bombast,weren’t they really the same thing? (pg. 191)
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