The Dark Half by Stephen King

The Dark Half, Stephen King, 1989

My favorite quote: “You’re dead, George. You just don’t have the sense to lie down.”

Notable characters: Thad Beaumont, the writer; George Stark, his dark half

Most memorable scene: Thad’s childhood surgery to remove the partial remains of his unborn “twin” 

Greatest strengths: Some of the most gruesome descriptions ever. Even for a King novel, there is a lot of very horrific and memorable imagery in this one 

Standout achievements: Its smooth merging of noir, gothic, and horror 

Fun Facts: In the 1970s and 80s, Stephen King wrote several books under the pseudonym, Richard Bachman. Writing The Dark Half was his response to being outed as the real author of the Bachman books 

Other media: The 1993 film of the same name by George Romero, starring Timothy Hutton. A DOS video game adaptation in 1992 by Capstone Software. A coming film adaption to be written and directed by Alex Ross Perry

What it taught me: That even the most unique and intriguing concepts require good execution  

How it inspired me: I’ve often thought about how to put a unique twist on the idea of a fictional character coming to life. So far, I got nothin’ … but I did once I write a poem about it (The Book of Morbid Methods)

Additional thoughts: While the idea of a pseudonym gone wild is actually pretty brilliant, I didn’t love this one. In my opinion, it wandered, repeated itself, and went on too long. On the other hand, there are moments in this book I’ll never forget … so it’s a mixed bag … 

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

2 thoughts on “The Dark Half by Stephen King

  1. Hi Alistair,

    I loved the Dark Half. I bought it as a regular from a book club I belonged to at the time. The Richard Bachman connection and fictional revenge on the publisher’s employee who outed him was very apparent, making this a very memorable book. I still quote the catchphrase, ‘the sparrows are flying’ to my wife whenever I see a flock f the little birds. Also, ‘Low slung sonofabitch’ is a cool monicker for a number plate!

    Keep ‘em coming.


    Tom Adams


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