1989 Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook read by Grover Gardner
When someone decides to sober up, they often eliminate individuals from their own lives who stuck with them through their drunk decades. It’s a cruel, essential housecleaning and one Stephen King embarked on between 1988 and 1989, the year he ceased drinking (snorting coke, swilling transplant( popping pills). He abandoned his longtime editor, Alan Williams, whom he’d followed to Putnam (for The Tommyknockers) and returned to his regular writer, Viking. He then stepped back and allow his vanity job, hard rock radio channel WZON, go from his preferred rock n’roll format into a more conventional, noncommercial public radio channel format. Then he stopped publication of his popular Castle Rock fan newsletter. Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook.
However there was one man he could not eliminate without a struggle, his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. The more King tried to put this ghost to rest, the longer Bachman struggled, and the outcome is one of his most mystical and violent sound books. It is profoundly intermittent, but The Dark Half is like a rough draft for his nonfiction memoir, On Writing. Only more people get beaten to death with prosthetic limbs.
The Dark Half is the last sound book King composed before he got clean. He started it in November of 1987, the month The Tommyknockers hit shops, and finished it in March 1989, the year that he started going to Alcoholics Anonymous. Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook Free. In October 1989 it landed on shelves at a huge first printing of 1.5 million copies, all the better to slake pent-up demand. After years of writing fantasy (The Eyes of the Dragon, various Black Tower audio books), a thriller (Misery), along with a science fiction audio book (The Tommyknockers), and following the Drought of 1988 (the first year since 1976 with no Stephen King audio book) his voracious readership desired horror, horror, horror!
Stephen King The Dark HalfOne of the last three Castle Rock stories (including the novella “The Sun Dog” in Four Past Midnight, and Needful Things) which were intended to bid farewell to King’s favorite fictional setting, The Dark Half was the audio book that strove to answer the eternal meeting question, “Where do you get your ideas?” As King said in an interview, “It seems to me that for most writers there actually is another individual hiding inside,” or because he writes in The Dark Half, “He is just two men – he has ever been two men. The Dark Half Audio Book Download . That is what any man or woman who makes feel for a living must be. The person who exists in the standard world…and the one who produces worlds. They are just two. Always at least twice.” King had long ago given his additional man a title, Richard Bachman, writing several science fiction books and thrillers under his name before killing off him with a case of “cancer of the pseudonym” when a buff exposed Bachman’s actual identity following Thinner.
Never bashful about literalizing a metaphor, The Dark Half takes this thought, reverses it (Bachman’s audio books were less popular as King’s) and provides it flesh. The Dark Half starts with King wringing more use from his older Bachman individuality, using it as a real-life springboard for the introduction of the audio book.
Stephen King The Dark HalfBeaumont’s subterfuge has been blown open, much in precisely the same manner King’s Richard Bachman title was exposed. People magazine arrives at his cozy home to establish a photo shoot beside a fake George Stark grave and to interview Beaumont along with his wife concerning the “death” of George Stark. The Dark Half Audiobook by Stephen King. Beaumont confesses he never liked the sonofabitch Stark in first place, along with his wife is happy that she won’t be sharing her home with Stark anymore because she discovered him unpleasant to be around, despite the fact that his writing paid the bills. But in some weird, unexplained act of mystical woo-woo, Stark is enfleshed and escapes out of his phony tomb and starts to murder everyone involved with his exposure. He then comes for Beaumont. What exactly does he want? From the words of the replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner as he faces the man who manufactured him, “I need more life.”
It could be a mistake to flip all of King’s audio novels into psychoanalysis, but this one, about a writer wrestling with his more successful alter ego that wishes to kill his loved ones and eliminate his real identity is too rich to resist. One of those things King has stated kept him from becoming sober was his fear that his ability all lay at the base of a bottle. When he stopped drinking, he’d quit writing. Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook Free. Stark is the fear made flesh, his talent seen as the dark part of his life that made him rich and famous but also made him a danger to his loved ones and friends. When he stopped hurting them, if he ceased hurting himself, he would not have the ability to write. And in a way, he’s not wrong. Stephen King audio books are long, so The Dark Half is long. The sound book kicks off with a reprint of a whole fake Folks magazine article, subsequently treats readers to a six page fantasy sequence that’s repeated, with very little changes, eight chapters later. Chapters occur from 1 character’s point-of-view, and then another chapter relates the specific same events from another character’s POV, adding very little that is useful or new. The music book is larded with pointless stream of awareness digressions in which personalities weigh their crotches: He finished his beer and assessed his crotch. Dry. Good. There was a light stain there, nothing anybody but his wife would detect. “Anyhow, that attracts me to the previous point. or facet or whatever the hell you want to call it”. Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook Online.
There is uncontrolled ellipses abuse, and at one stage the audio novel comes screeching to a stop for a thrilling subplot about the way in the world the authorities will contact a physician…who is camping in Yellowstone National Park! And too often, characters seem to make decisions not because they are plausible, but to serve the requirements of King’s plot, laboriously dragging themselves about on the chessboard of his master plan so as to be in the right place for the huge set pieces. Stephen King The Dark Half Audiobook Download Free. As previously-reasonable cops decide to go on assignments alone without telling anyone, or minor characters suddenly reveal that they were only from the sound book to obtain the most important character from a jam by delivering a pair of keys or a bit of insight with all the mechanical clunking of a gumball machine they keep repeating the exact same thing, “that I have to understand how it’s going to turn out” It is a mantra heard far too frequently in this audio book, a justification for cheating since an author: I will have this character do something ridiculous, since I want to hurry up and reach the ending because I want to learn how it turns out.
Stephen King The Dark HalfBut all of the heavy dragging of the plot comes to a stop when Stark is onstage. A monster right from King’s fictional id, he is a descendant of those violent greasers who’ve populated King’s music books all of the way back to Billy Nolan at Carrie. He has a way with girls, he’s reckless, gruesomely and inventively violent, and he educated Beaumont to compose “what people want to read.” However, just what is he? Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook. King has always loved describing his critters, whether they’re aliens, or psychic abilities, or ghosts. It is not a Stephen King audio book unless everyone receives a backstory, right down to the man who delivers the mail, but King can not put his finger on Stark. He starts the audio book as an eyeball and a number of teeth (revealed hilariously in this excerpt in The Dark Half videogame — yes, there’s a Dark Half videogame) inside baby Beaumont’s brain, and King gave an interview saying that Stark was, “…the ghost of a twin that never existed.” But none of it makes any sense.
His conjoined existence is brought to a grisly end in the first chapter. Then is he some sort of psychic build created by Beaumont? If that is true, then what is it crawls out of the grave and begins sleeping with girls and beating Beaumont’s groundskeeper to death with his own prosthetic arm? And exactly what is it precisely that he wants? Stark is obviously flesh, and he’s definitely falling apart, and he asserts that Beaumont must compose a new Alex Machine audio book because of him. Stark can not do it himself because most of his attempts come out like Jack Torrance’s “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” in The Shining. Stephen King The Dark Half Audiobook Free. He wants Beaumont to compose the sound book with him and then he will be “living” and Beaumont will “evaporate” Disappear where? How can he be alive? King does not tell us and leaves it vague and unexplained in a very un-King-like method.
Stephen King The Dark HalfAnd that is the problem with King’s writing process. It’s spooky, and it doesn’t make any sense. King has attempted to research why and how he writes in The Shining, Misery, and The Dark Half, and he gives it a try as non-fiction with On Composing, however even there he could only go up to now. Sure, King can talk about what makes a good story, and not using adverbs, and making sure he turns in 2000 words per day, 365 days a year, but his description of the actual process of production are somewhat mystical at best. He speaks about “finding” his tales, about working out as a vessel for their demands, about being surprised by the turns they choose. That is because the closest analogue you can find for King’s procedure is automatic writing. He writes in a “semi-dreaming state” (It) he writes so quickly he doesn’t have enough time to stop (The Shining), or he writes at a Budweiser-induced blackout (Cujo). When Beaumont needs to locate Stark in The Dark Half, he selects a pen, lets his mind go blank, and when he comes to his page is coated with Stark’s thoughts. Alcoholics discuss how you need to “Let go and let God.” He’s learned to “Let go and let Stark”. The Dark Half Audiobook.
And that is the secret of writing. It doesn’t make sense to anyone but the writer. When Stark and Beaumont finally meet, they talk in a shorthand Beaumont’s wife can’t understand, and laugh at jokes she finds not funny. She’s baffled that Beaumont wants to write the audio novel that Stark is demanding from him for no better reason than he has a fantastic idea of how to pull it off, even though to do so will imply his own destruction. And it’s in this last quarter of the audio book the Dark Half shakes off all its creaky plot contrivances, cushioned chapters, wheel-spinning exposition, and unrealistic character behaviour, to get at a hard-to-summarize, embarrassing, unpleasant reality about writing: authors are much more in love with their own ability than with other men and women.
Stephen King The Dark HalfThe final meeting between Beaumont and Stark feels as though it was composed in one, white-hot burst of inspiration. Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook. The two men meet, traveling through a secret door, and start to write their music book together. They despise each other and enjoy one another and seem to be melding into one individuality when, suddenly, a massive flock of sparrows descend and rip Stark to shreds. It seems silly, and it’s, but on the webpage it is executed with such intensity of conviction the laughs die in your throat. (King says he had completed the audio book and was pretty miserable with it when he suddenly had the inspiration to bring the sparrows while driving one day, which made all of the difference.) The next Stark expires, Beaumont bursts into tears.
The sound book ends on a minor key to finish all small keys, with everyone brutalized and in shock after their brush Beaumont’s writerly side. Although his kids may recover from what happened it is apparent that Beaumont’s happy marriage isn’t long for this world. The Dark Half Audiobook Free. His wife has seen a lot of, has recognized that she will always play second fiddle to her husband’s talent, and she can not return after that. Beaumont burns down his house, burns Stark’s car, and burns up his manuscript, hiding his face behind his hands as he sees and sobs. His friend, the sheriff, watches and thinks:
Standing next to you is like standing beside a cave a nightmarish creature came out of. The monster is gone today, but you still don’t want to be too near where it came from. Since there might be another. And even if the cave is empty forever, there are the dreams. And the memories. There’s Homer Gamache, for instance, crushed to death with his prosthetic arm. Thanks to you. All for you. Stephen King – The Dark Half Audiobook.