Firestarter by Stephen King


A little girl with the psychic power to start fires is on the run with her father, fleeing an NSA-type government agency wanting to capture her, experiment on her, and kill her.

This is not the first time I’ve read this book; that would have been freshman year in college, when I discovered King and blew through him during the boring days before I made friends. I love to reread books, and King is particularly suited for that. I think it’s because of the hidden horrors he hides inside his stories. He’s great at spinning out subplots that contain creepy vignettes that are a lot of fun to rediscover, and Firestarter is no exception. In fact, the backstory dealing with the experiments that made Andy & his wife psychic are much more powerful than the front story, which winds towards an inevitable conclusion. King gets a bad rap for being a horror writer, but I find a humanity in his works that I don’t find in other writers in this genre or in the serial killer genre. You generally get the sense that he loves and respects his characters as people, and while he puts them through the ringer it’s very rare that he’s actually exploiting them (Pet Sematery is an example of exploitation).

Whenever I’m reading a new book, I’m always thinking in the back of my mind whether or not I’ll want to re-read it. My favorite reads are those where I’m both enjoying the book and looking forward to rereading it. It’s akin to what my friend Mega at It Hardly Matters calls Pre-Nostalgia.

Firestarter (Signet)


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