I just finished the audiobook, which was narrated very well by Dennis Boutsikaris, and like most King books I found it compelling and enjoyable. In particular, I liked King’s writing of the supposed expectations of privacy and civil rights that get denied to people over matters of “security” or keeping secrets. Every instance of this happening in the book is almost met with the saying “this is America, you can’t do this.” It’s one of the reasons I like the book so much, aside from being a sucker for a good story, is that aspect of human rights and privacy being trampled by the government and the outrage of people who have it done to them while the victims who have their rights/privacy either taken away or abused, their response is always one of consent despite loathing themselves for doing it and go along with it. It’s just an interesting thought that this was written and published in 1980, and we still have the unspoken consent to have our privacy and rights either bent or outright taken from us over security or a need to keep secrets now, 35 years later. Definite food for thought there.
This is also one of the rare stories with a female protagonist and a very well done as First Nations (or Native American, if you live the in the states) character who is the antagonist. I’m not one to bash an author who makes a minority a villain and roast them for not making it a hero or misunderstood villain, instead I found John Rainbird a great character who was written well. King’s deserves a lot of credit for that, Rainbird is complex character with great moments with Charlie that are very sweet, which makes his betrayal of Charlie epic and piercing. Most people nowadays would bash or send hateful online comments to writers/directors who dared to make a female or minority anything other than a fucking paragon of virtue that could be a role model for all future humans who should also have monuments built to honor them like the Gods of old for our descendants look upon and despair for they could never hope to live up to such expectations. Sorry, went on a rant there. Anyways, yeah a female protagonist with an interesting non white character who is also great and complex villain.
I’m also a sucker for story with nearly any female protagonist that gets some kind of power that separates and isolates them from the rest of the world, cough Buffy The Vampire Slayer cough, or a female character in a super hero setting like Black Widow and Jessica Jones, or a scifi like Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. So yeah on that level, I definitely enjoyed Firestarter.
I enjoy King’s works a lot and I find it difficult not to pick up all his works because I enjoy his style of writing and storytelling. I have a total of 12 of King’s works already: The Dark Tower 1-7, The Wind Through the Keyhole (which is technically Dark Tower 4.5), Salem’s Lot, The Stand, Hearts in Atlantis, and Firestarter. Add to that another couple in my list for future pick up. For the curious, the others I’m looking to pick up are: Mr. Mercedes, Finder’s Keepers, End of Watch, Carrie, The Eyes of the Dragon, The Talisman, Blackhouse, Under the Dome, and 11-22-63. There are also Dark Tower related books and short stories that could easily add 4-6 more books to that list. A list of books like that, 12 I own already with plans on at least 6 more for sure pick ups, means I enjoy his work a lot and will consider King’s opinions very heavily on other works. King’s praise of the Harry Potter books is one of the bigger reasons as I am planning to buy 3 extra audible credits (which is roughly about 45$ CAD) this month just to start the series with the first 3 books in the series this month and using my 2 credits next month to get books 4 and 5 then finishing the series in February. I could also just use my credits I get this month to pick up books 4 and 5 and then finish up in January. It would mean skipping out on Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher books (Sword of Destiny’ and the Last Wish), Richard K Morgan’s Market Forces, and Richard Matheson’s I am Legend, these are the books I was planning on picking up for December and January.
Drifting off topic there with my audible plans but that expresses how much I enjoy Stephen King books and how much I value his opinion on other author’s works.