Stephen King * Dreamcatcher

“Wanting more is just a recipe for heartache.”

This must be among my top 5 favourite Stephen King Books. It’s got everything I love about a good story: memorable characters, aliens, mind control, a twist and amazing dialogue. The movie wasn’t that bad either!


Even though this is one of the very few stories whose movie adaptations varied wildly in the ending to what the book was about. The movie made it seem like there were actual aliens involved in the issue. The book made a different point. There was no alien. The alien was actually him. He was the alien part of the alien!

“Same shit, different day, he thinks, but now the joy is gone and the sadness is back, the sadness that feels like something deserved, the price of some not-quite-forgotten betrayal.”

As most Stephen King books, the stories are not about the action, they’re about the people and Mr. King has always been a keen observer of personalities, lives, fears, hopes and dreams. And this is what Dreamcatcher is really about. It’s about the dreams captured.

Perhaps all the science-fiction stories he read about time travel when he was a teenager had it right: you can’t change the past, no matter how you try.

“Hearts were made to be broken and minds were made to be changed…”

The Story

I read all 880 pages in a breadth. It took me slightly less than The Stand and IT but every page had something I could definitely recognise. Of myself. Of others. (or originally called “Cancer) is a alien invasion story, set in the haunted city of Derry -, yet is one of the most original I have ever witnessed. The book focuses on these four friends who have somewhat telepathic powers.

They go on a hunting trip. Miles away from their cabin a alien ship crash lands bringing what is called a Riply virus to earth infecting wildlife and people in the area. As the four try to survive though, they find that why this is happening and their powers may be linked. They may in fact have these abilities to stop the invasion but didn’t know it until now.

The story also jumps back and forth from the past to the present showing how they saved a handicapped boy and how he repaid their kindness and bravery with gifts from the Turtle.

Not only that, beyond the alien infection, there is a crazy general who quarantine the area and just crazy enough to kill every town infected or not. So that’s always good. They wind up in a life and death struggle, their only hope for survival locked in their shared past…and in the dreamcatcher.

Conclusion book is pure fun, and a brilliant action-packed piece from start to end. There are tons of stuff that are happening in this book, and several sub-plots, which include, among many, the Alien storyline and the underlining theme of friendship between our protagonists.

Although the Alien storyline was strong, I was more captivated with the friendship-line of the story. It touches upon the human emotions and empathy for those who are different from us, what is just and what is wrong, and what makes us who we are: Our decisions and our actions.

In terms of characters, some of the characters here were very well-developed, and several, sadly, were not-fully developed (or never), which bogged me a little bit. But Duddits, who is with Down-Syndrome, has made this book more emotional, and even more powerful, as the character-development of the four friends is signaled by their mutual care and love for him.

With this book, Stephen King’s first fully-length novel after the accident which almost got him killed, you could feel and taste his pain, struggling through physical and mental distress, his anger, but also the sense of not letting go and ‘staying on the line’. It feels as if King’s pain is streaming down into the abyss of consciousness as it does with Jonesy.



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