Firestarter - CoverTitle: Firestarter

Author: Stephen King

Published: 1980

I feel like I’ve been reading this book forever. I started it about six months ago and have just been picking at it here and there when I feel like I’ve had time in between other things I’ve been reading and dealing with work stuff.

I’m usually a speedier reader than this. And this should be no reflection on Mr. King’s writing. This book may not have been as exciting as, say, Carrie or The Shining, but it wasn’t boring.

My big excuse? Life. It’s the same excuse I use for not reading anything else from the gigantic pile of books I have yet to read that’s sitting on the floor next to my bed. It’s not an incredibly long novel, so if I’d just put my mind to it, I’m sure I could have finished it in a week. But I didn’t.

The novel follows a young Drew Barrymore and her dad, the jerk from Major League. Just kidding, that’s just who played them in the movie. Charlie McGee is a little girl who has an amazing ability. Spoiler alert: she can start fires… wait for it… with her mind.

Her father, Andy, and mother, Vicky, met in college while participating in an experiment involving a drug known as Lot-6. The drug gave them some psychic abilities, which were passed on to Charlie in an extreme fashion. A shady government agency wants to control and study and eliminate the family. After Vicky is murdered, Andy and Charlie take off.

Roughly half the book depicts the McGees as they hide from the Shop (that shady agency). Eventually they’re caught, leading to the second half of the book. While in captivity, Charlie is manipulated into showing off her mental flamethrower. When she finds out she was manipulated and betrayed… well, you know that thing they say about a woman scorned? Imagine that woman is a slightly unstable little girl who may or may not be able to cause a nuclear explosion with a stray thought.

Not my favorite of Stephen King’s work, but a decent read nonetheless, despite the length of time it took me to complete it. Much better than the movie, which I actually saw many years ago.Firestarter - Drew Barrymore


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