by Stephen King
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Eyes Of The Dragon
Stephen King fans, rejoice! The bodysnatching-aliens tale Dreamcatcher is his first book in years that slakes our hunger for
horror the way he used to. A throwback to It, The
Stand, and The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher is also an interesting new wrinkle in
Four boyhood pals in Derry, Maine, get together for a pilgrimage to
their favorite deep-woods cabin, Hole in the Wall. The four have been telepathically linked since childhood, thanks to a searing experience
involving a Down syndrome neighbor--a human dreamcatcher. They've all got midlife crises: clownish Beav has love problems; the intellectual
shrink, Henry, is slowly succumbing to the siren song of suicide; Pete is losing a war with beer; Jonesy has had weird premonitions ever
since he got hit by a car.
Then comes worse trouble: an old man named McCarthy (a nod to the
star of the 1956 film Invasion of the Body
Snatchers) turns up at Hole in the Wall. His body is erupting with space aliens resembling furry
moray eels: their mouths open to reveal nests of hatpin-like teeth. Poor Pete tries to remove one that just bit his ankle: "Blood flew in
splattery fans as Pete tried to shake it off, stippling the snow and the sawdusty tarp and the dead woman's parka. Droplets flew into the fire
and hissed like fat in a hot skillet."
For all its nicely described mayhem, Dreamcatcher is mostly a
psychological drama. Typically, body snatchers turn humans into zombies, but these aliens must share their host's mind, fighting for
control. Jonesy is especially vulnerable to invasion, thanks to his hospital bed near-death transformation, but he's also great at messing
with the alien's head. While his invading alien, Mr. Gray, is distracted by puppeteering Jonesy's body as he's driving an Arctic Cat through a
Maine snowstorm, Jonesy constructs a mental warehouse along the lines of The Memory Palace of Matteo
Ricci. Jonesy physically feels as if he's inside a warehouse, locked behind a door with the alien
rattling the doorknob and trying to trick him into letting him in. It's creepy from the alien's view, too. As he infiltrates Jonesy,
experiencing sugar buzz, endorphins, and emotions for the first time, Jonesy's influence is seeping into the alien: "A terrible thought
occurred to Mr. Gray: what if it was his concepts that had no meaning?"
King renders the mental fight marvelously, and telepathy is a handy
way to make cutting back and forth between the campers' various alien battlefronts crisp and cinematic. The physical naturalism of the
Maine setting is matched by the psychological realism of the interior struggle. Deftly, King incorporates the real-life mental horrors of his
own near-fatal accident and dramatizes the way drugs tug at your consciousness. Like the Tommyknockers, the aliens are partly
symbols of King's (vanquished) cocaine and alcohol addiction. Mainly, though, they're just plain scary.
Dreamcatcher is a comeback and an infusion of rich new blood into King's body of work.
On The Hardcover Flap
Once upon a time, in the haunted city of Derry (site of the classics It and
Insomnia), four boys stood together and did a brave thing.
Certainly a good thing, perhaps even a great thing. Something that changed them in ways they could never begin to understand.
Twenty-five years later, the boys are now men with separate lives and separate troubles. But the ties endure. Each hunting season the
foursome reunite in the woods of Maine. This year, a stranger stumbles into their camp, disoriented, mumbling something about lights in
the sky. His incoherent ravings prove to be disturbingly prescient. Before long, these men will be plunged into a horrifying struggle with a
creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past -- and in the Dreamcatcher.
Stephen King's first full-length novel since
Bag of Bones is, more than anything, a story of how men remember, and how they find their
courage. Not since The Stand has King crafted a story of such astonishing range -- and never before has he contended so frankly with
the heart of darkness.
On The Paperback back
Once upon a time, in the haunted city of Derry, four
boys stood together and did a brave thing. It was something that
changed them in ways they could never begin to understand.
Twenty-five years after saving a Down's-syndrome kid from
bullies, Beav, Henry, Pete, and Jonesy--now men with separate lives and
separate problems--reunite in the woods of Maine for their annual hunting
trip. But when a stranger stumbles into their camp, disoriented and
mumbling something about lights in the sky, chaos erupts. Soon, the
four friends are plunged into a horrifying struggle with a creature from
another world where their only chance of survival is locked in their
shared past--and in the Dreamcatcher.
Never before has Stephen King contended so frankly with
the heart of darkness. Dreamcatcher, his first full-length novel
since Bag of Bones, is a powerful
story of astonishing range that will satisfy fans both new and old.
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