Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Constant Reading Project: Firestarter

Released: Sept. 29, 1980
Pages: 426
Screen adaptations: 1984, directed by Mark L. Lester.
Connections to other work: Government organization "The Shop" gets mentioned in The Tommyknockers and is assumed to be responsible for creating the Captain Trips superflu in The Stand.

We've entered the 1980s with King's work, and I have a confession: I've only read Firestarter once and didn't like it very much. It felt too forced to me. It lacks the organic progression of the best of King's work. In other words, in feels like he's trying too hard.

But I could be wrong. I read the novel in 2000, having avoided it for as long as I could because I didn't want to read something that seemed too much like a little girl version of Carrie White. I don't really like the movie, either. If ever something was ripe for a remake (instead of a shitty and unnecessary sequel, which is out there), this is it.

So I'm keeping an open mind this time. I'm not entirely the same person I was twelve years ago, so I'm reading this now with a different perspective. Who knows? Maybe it will be better and maybe it won't.

I'll be reading a 403-page paperback, but my next day off isn't until Monday, so it might take me longer to get through this than it took me to polish off The Dead Zone.

In other news, my wife and occasional Warning Signs contributor, Savannah started reading the next book on the list, Cujo. We might have her thoughts on that right about the time I write the introduction to it.

One last thing.  Firestarter is dedicated to Shirley Jackson. If you've never The Haunting of Hill House, get your ass in gear. If all you know of Jackson is "The Lottery," and that memory is tainted by late high school or early collegiate required reading, give it another chance. While you are at it, pick up We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

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