1980 Stephen King – Firestarter Audiobook read by Dennis Boutsikaris
He had been living in his now-famous mansion in Bangor, Maine, he was making more money than he knew exactly what to do together, and his publishing deal with New American Library was making everything better: the binding his audio novels was improved, the covers were better, and they treated him better than Doubleday ever had. Best of all, NAL was better at selling his audio books. Stephen King – Firestarter Audiobook.
Bill Thompson, the Doubleday editor who discovered King, had been worried that King would be viewed as a horror novelist after he filed ‘Salem’s Lot and when King told him the plot of The Shining. “First the telekinetic woman, then the vampires, today the haunted hotel and the telepathic kid. You are gonna get clicked,” he reportedly said. To Doubleday, terror was tacky and they had to hold their noses to sell King. Their editions of his audio books were printed cheaply, had lousy covers, and the higher-ups never wished to wine and dine King, they couldn’t even recall his name, leaving Thompson in the awkward position of having to re-introduce his bestselling author over and over again into the very people whose vacation bonuses were based on King’s earnings.
New American Library were paperback publishers and they knew the power of genre. Stephen King – Firestarter Audiobook Free. Salem’s Lot had been read at NAL with a great deal of enthusiasm,” King said in a meeting. “Much of it undoubtedly because they recognized a brand name possible beginning to form up.”
However, is there anything outside marketing that forms King as a horror author? Today, when you examine the Dead Zone (person attempts to assassinate political offender), Firestarter (girl and dad with psychic powers on the run by the authorities), and Cujo (rabid puppy traps girl and child in their car) you understand that using no dread boom to hang them out of, with no Stephen King horror brand to emblazon in their covers, these audio books would probably be sold as thrillers. King himself claims that he writes suspense. Right before Firestarter was released he gave an interview to the Minnesota Star saying, “I visit the horror novel as just 1 room in a very large house, that’s the suspense book. And, needless to say, his very own audio books. Firestarter by Stephen King Audiobook.
In another interview King stated, “The sole audio books of mine that I believe pure unadulterated horror are ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, and Christine, since all of them offer no rational explanation at all for its supernatural events that happen. Carrie, The Dead Zone, and Firestarter on the other hand, are much more inside the science fiction tradition. The Stand actually has a foot in both camps.”
So why did the horror label stick?
King writes about characters in extremis, their feelings dominated by anxiety, pain, and/or helplessness, and he’s excellent at maintaining tension, hinting darkly at unlucky events to come even at a audio publication’s happiest moments. Stephen King – Firestarter Audiobook Download Free. In addition, he lingers on descriptions of the individual body, living on physical details of imperfection and decay (age stains, deformity, decomposition, acne, injuries), in addition to reveling in writing about the physical aspect of life (gender, excretion, zit popping). His character descriptions are painted in broad strokes, often centered on a physical flaw (dandruff, balding, bad skin, obesity, emaciation), providing a lot of his characters that the appearance of grotesques. In addition, he wrote about teenagers and kids a lot, along with his lead roles were usually physically appealing.
These extreme scenes of violence and sex, his casts of attractive young men and women, along with his emphasis on fear and tension reminded audiences of the other area where violence, sex, tension, and childhood overlapped: the terror movie. As King boomed, therefore boomed the horror genre in film (1973 to 1986 is regarded as a golden age for American horror films) and one came to be related to the other. Assessing King’s writing to films is something critics have done since the start of his profession and King himself chalks it up to the fact that he’s a very visual writer, unable to commit words to the page until he could see the scene in his mind. Firestarter Audiobook Streaming. The connection in the public mind between his audio books and horror films was cemented when film adaptations of both Carrie and The Shining equally became widely publicized movies.
The brief answer: if it’s marketed like terror, if it reminds people of dread, and whether the writer is comfortable being branded as writing terror, it’s horror. Though, as King points out, science fiction would be a much better label for many of his music books.
Firestarter, the most science literary of King’s suspense novels, spawned a flop movie and its standing is now tarnished with time. Which is too bad as it’s unique among King’s audio books because it finally tackles his biggest blind spot: gender. Launched in 1976, King left Firestarter since it reminded him a lot of Carrie. With a main character based on his husband, Naomi, King was curious first by pyrokinesis and then from the notion of a personality like Carrie White passing her psychic abilities on to her own daughter. He was also becoming increasingly more liberal. Descended from generations of blue collar Republicans (he even voted for Nixon in 1968) King started drifting to the left in college, and wound up on the Democratic side of this spectrum. Stephen King – Firestarter Audio Book Download.
This audio book reads just like a paranoid, left-wing fantasy on speed. Kicking off with ten-year-old Charlie McGee along with her dad, Andy, on the run by a government agency called The Shop, we’re not 20 pages before they’re run to earth and barely slip away. It turns out that Andy and his wife were dosed with an LSD-esque drug called Lot Six at a government experiment in the 60’s. It activated their latent psychic powers, which they have passed on to their kid, Charlie, who can start fires with her mind, but was expressly forbidden to perform “the bad thing” by her parents. Mother was murdered by The Shop, and Andy is armed only with the capability to control heads, at the cost of brain damage every time that he “pushes” someone.
Cornered again, Andy convinces Charlie to cut loose with her powers and she turns out a calm farm into a raging inferno, murdering dozens of Shop representatives in their escape. Stephen King – Firestarter Audiobook. A few months later, they’re captured by John Rainbird, a death-obsessed Shop operative with a mutilated face. Regardless of his daughter, Andy becomes an obese pill junkie, and it all ends in a horse barn with Charlie realizing the depth of her betrayal by Rainbird, destroying the Farm, and witnessing her daddy’s death. It seems simple, but King was firing on all cylinders at this point in his profession, and therefore it is anything but.
There are few things more fraught than the association between fathers and daughters, and pop culture has devoted enormous amounts of time and energy to showing the discomfort dads feel with their daughter’s sexuality, from questioning who they date to controlling what they wear. From the conclusion of the sound book her dad is dead, she’s not merely in full charge of her pyrokinesis but it’s much more powerful than anyone thought, and she’s on her way into New York City to take the government by blowing the whistle to Rolling Stone, of all areas. Stephen King – Firestarter Audiobook Free Online.
Sex and passion are linguistically joined at the hip (“burning fire” “the flames of desire” “smouldering eyes” “smoking hot”) and it’s the dirtiest of Freudian jokes which Charlie is told that her ability to start fires is “The Bad Thing” and she should not do or she will hurt her parents. “it is a sexual relationship,” King later said about the friendship between the two characters in a meeting. “I just wanted to touch on it gently, but it makes the entire conflict more monstrous.”
As her inhibitions enclosing using her powers drop, Charlie revels in her newfound power, which earns her special statements and makes her the center of attention from every guy in the audio book. The point is made repeatedly that unless she is commanded or killed her abilities could ruin the Earth, a clichéd fear of female sexuality (when they begin, they simply can not stop). Since Charlie’s sexuality gets more and proceed liberating and overt (including fantasies of riding a horse, naked, to fulfill John Rainbird), the sexual desires of the guys dominating her life become more covert and self-destructive. Firestarter Audiobook Download. Andy starts using his “push” to attempt to escape, but it sometimes sets off ricochets from the subconscious minds of his victims, unleashing their key obsessions and sending them into self-destructive feedback loops.
For Dr. Pynchot, the psychiatrist in charge of Andy and Charlie, the ricochet involves an episode of sexual humiliation at the hands of the fraternity brothers. He becomes obsessed with the “vulva-like” opening of his new trash disposal and winds up dressing in his wife’s panties and killing himself by pushing his arm into it while it is running. The mind of the Farm, “Cap” Hollister, earns a ricochet that is somewhat more subtle, but a lot more symbolic, becoming doddering, distracted, and obsessed with slithering, phallic snakes that he guesses are hiding everywhere, waiting to leap out and bite him. Firestarter Audio Book Stephen King.
Among the audio book’s most powerful images is of Charlie standing before a burning barn after wild horses have burst throughout its wooden walls, laying waste to the might of america army, her dead father behind her, liberty somewhere up ahead. It is about as poptastic and tacky and powerful a picture of a young woman’s sexual awakening as you could find, so resonant that it needs to be airbrushed on the side of a van.
Far from being one of the “meh” sound books, coming Firestarterwith a open mind shows it to become one of King’s most fascinating. He’s from his self-proclaimed comfort zone here, investigating the sexual awakening of a character based on his own daughter, and observing strength, freedom, and liberation in ways his audio books rarely did. Stephen King – Firestarter Audiobook.