The Dark Half: A Novel
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Master storyteller Stephen King presents the classic “wondrously frightening” (Publishers Weekly) #1 New York Times bestseller about a writer’s horrific and haunting pseudonym.
“I’m back...I’m back from the dead and you don’t seem glad to see me at all, you ungrateful son of a bitch.”
After thirteen years of international bestseller stardom with his works of violent crime fiction, author George Stark is officially declared dead—revealed by a national magazine to have been killed at the hands of the man who created him: the once well-regarded but now obscure writer Thad Beaumont. Thad’s even gone so far as to stage a mock burial of his wildly successful pseudonym, complete with tombstone and the epitaph “Not a Very Nice Guy.” Although on the surface, it seems that Thad can finally concentrate on his own novels, there’s a certain unease at the prospect of leaving George Stark behind. But that’s nothing compared to the horror about to descend upon Thad’s new life. There are the vicious, out-of-control nightmares, for starters. And how is he able to explain the fact that everyone connected to George Stark’s untimely demise is now meeting a brutal end of their own in a pattern of homicidal savagery...and why each blood-soaked crime scene has Thad’s fingerprints all over it? Thad Beaumont may have once believed that George Stark was running out of things to say, but he’s going to find out just how wrong he is...
conscience, even in this desperate situation, to feel a little twinge of guilt at that. Something was happening all right—but he was the one who knew, and be wasn’t telling. “Nope,” Harrison said from behind the wheel, leaning forward to speak past his partner. “We can’t reach Chatterton and Eddings at the house, that’s all. Might have gone inside.” “Liz said she’d just made some fresh iced tea,” Thad said, lying giddily. “That’s it, then,” Harrison said. He smiled at Thad, who felt another,
wonder if they weren’t! So what did you do when you hung up?” Alan told him that, too, and now he did not lie because he believed Stark knew what he had done—the simple fact that he was here alone answered most questions. Alan thought that what Stark really wanted to know was if he was stupid enough to try an untruth. When he had finished, Stark said: “Okay, that’s good. That improves your chances of livin to fight another day all to hell, Sheriff Alan. Now you listen to me, and I’ll tell you
booze wasn’t all of it. What was the old saw about familiarity breeding contempt? That wasn’t supposed to hold true for men and women in love, at least according to the Romantic poets she’d read in English Lit 101, but in the years since college she had discovered there were certain facts of life about which John Keats and Percy Shelley had never written. But of course, they had both died a lot younger than she and Gerald were now. And all of that didn’t matter much right here and right now.
elevators, folding the straight-razor and sliding it back into his pocket. An arriving elevator binged softly. It might have been a tenant; going-on-one wasn’t really late in the big city, even for a Monday night. All the same, Stark moved rapidly for the large potted plant which occupied the corner of the elevator lobby along with an absolutely useless nonrepresentational painting. He stepped behind the plant. All his radar was pinging loudly. It could be someone returning from a post-weekend
of time for buts and rebuttals. You and everyone else. For the time being, just listen to me. Thad wasn’t kidding when he said George Stark wasn’t a very nice guy. He may have thought he was kidding, but he wasn’t. I knew it even if he didn’t. Not only was George Stark not a very nice guy, he was in fact a horrible guy. He made me more nervous with each of the four books he wrote, and when Thad finally decided to kill him, I went upstairs to our bedroom and cried with relief.” She looked at Thad,