Thanks to constant reader Chad A. Clark for recommending me this book. He has written considerably about Stephen King and the latter’s works which have also been compiled in the book Tracing the Trails. The Dead Zone (2017 Audiobook Edition) is not my first time reading King (check my review of his short-story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams here) but it’s my foremost attempt at actually completely a long-form work of his after I put down Dreamcatcher (2021) after 20 pages into the novel. Conversely, The Dead Zone had my attention till the very end.
While Stephen King has legitimately earned a standing as a scary author, a portion of his best fiction rotates around accounts of regular humankind influenced by components of the paranormal. Subsequent to arousing from a five-year trance state, John Smith has returned from the ether with a special insight to see certain prospects and covered up pasts of others by contact alone. Selecting to utilize his forces for great, John is called upon for such assignments as assisting the police with getting a slippery attacker. Be that as it may, when he warmly greets a political competitor at a convention, he sees a future wherein the up-and-comer will start an atomic holocaust as president, which drives John to a definitive issue of changing a conceivably dubious future, maybe in any event, forfeiting himself simultaneously.
This was my first time listening to an audiobook, and I’m confused about one thing, is it that the script complemented by Hollywood actor James Franco’s narrative skills was what made my introduction to this medium so heartwarming? Or was it that the source material itself has been so well compiled by Stephen King?
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As in his other works, King’s characters inhale and live on the page. While this is for sure a book about out-of-this-world experiences, how John lives after his mishap just as how others around him respond to him and his new capacity is the thing that gives the novel genuine heart. We feel for him since he emerges from his extreme lethargies a modified man, on the other hand awed and dreaded by the individuals who can’t comprehend what it is to get an undesirable present for clairvoyant vision. Also, we feel for John as he grapples with the foreboding that killing the politician will prompt his own passing or his incarceration? What’s more, is the future he witnessed even certain?
The Dead Zone is extraordinary compared to other otherworldly fiction works out there. And I’ve read my fair share of paranormal fiction.
The Rating: 5 out of 5.
P.S. James Franco is no stranger to Stephen King having acted in the lead role of Jake Epping/Jake Amberson in the miniseries adaptation of King’s bestselling time-travel thriller 11.22.63 (2011) of the same name which debuted on Hulu in 2016. Stephen King and J.J. Abrams served as executive producers while James Franco apart from his main acting credit also produced the series.