Firestarter

Firestarter

First, a man and a woman are subjects of a top-secret government experiment designed to produce extraordinary psychic powers.Then, they are married and have a child. A daughter.Early on the daughter shows signs of a wild and horrifying force growing within her. Desperately, her parents try to train her to keep that force in check, to "act normal."Now the government wants i...

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Title:Firestarter
Author:Stephen King
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Edition Language:English

Firestarter Reviews

  • Edward Lorn

    I can find absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. Firestarter is up there with 'Salem's Lot, The Shining, and It. This one isn't as creep-up-on-you scary as the aforementioned novels, but Firestarter is terrifying. To image a world wherein Charlie McGee exists is a scary thought indeed.

    This is one of the few King books that has absolutely zero lulls in the narrative. When the pace does slow, King shows off his superhuman character development skills. He doesn't simply make his character

    I can find absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. Firestarter is up there with 'Salem's Lot, The Shining, and It. This one isn't as creep-up-on-you scary as the aforementioned novels, but Firestarter is terrifying. To image a world wherein Charlie McGee exists is a scary thought indeed.

    This is one of the few King books that has absolutely zero lulls in the narrative. When the pace does slow, King shows off his superhuman character development skills. He doesn't simply make his character dev engaging, he makes it entertaining as well. You have fun while getting to know these characters, and before you know it, page one turns to page four hundred and you want to start all over again. Books like this are the reason I'm rereading this man's entire catalog.

    Notable names:

    Patrick Hockstretter (Carrie)

    The Shop (Tommyknockers, The Stand, and is mentioned throughout the Dark Tower series)

    In summation: In my opinion this is one of King's hidden gems. People don't talk about it as much as they do his more massive novels, but Firestarter is one of his best, and deserves your attention.

  • Paul Nelson

    Next up on my Stephen King quest is Firestarter, again it’s not a review as such but a collection of my thoughts on the book. So there most definitely will be spoilers.

    Firestarter was originally released in 1980 and was the Kings 6th release not including The Star Invaders.

    This story is a page turning masterpiece that flows effortlessly with literally no break in the pace whatsoever, from the initial chase and capture, to John Rainbird ruthlessly planning and playing with a young girl’s emotions

    Next up on my Stephen King quest is Firestarter, again it’s not a review as such but a collection of my thoughts on the book. So there most definitely will be spoilers.

    Firestarter was originally released in 1980 and was the Kings 6th release not including The Star Invaders.

    This story is a page turning masterpiece that flows effortlessly with literally no break in the pace whatsoever, from the initial chase and capture, to John Rainbird ruthlessly planning and playing with a young girl’s emotions right up to Andy McGee orchestrating an escape that you can’t help but get fully behind.

    Parts that I loved, Charlie growing up and her first experiences with her ability from her Fathers perspective.

    ‘And he felt it pass him-the invisible, incredible bolt of death from his daughters mind…. A soft, soundless passage of warm air… and then the teddy bear was on fire.’

    ‘Fire extinguishers had appeared silently, undiscussed, with almost the same stealth as dandelions appear during that period when spring and summer overlap.’

    Eddie Delgardo sitting at the airport his ‘half pleasant chain of daydreams was broken by a strange feeling of warmth coming from his feet.’ Eddie looked down and screamed, his shoes were on fire. Followed by a mad dash to get his feet first, closely followed by the rest of him into a water bearing container.

    The characters of John Rainbird and Cap Hollister were perfect for the regimental bad guy and psychopath with a cunning plan, when Cap was pushed into aiding and abetting the escape attempt by Andy McGee it all just fell into place almost with a satisfying click of the fingers. And then Charlie just vaporizes that chunk of lead heading from Rainbird’s gun and ‘For a moment it seemed that a high wind was rippling Rainbird’s clothes – and those of Cap behind him – and that nothing else was happening.’ But it did, all hell breaks loose.

    My only issue was with something that didn’t quite feel right for the story, was Rainbird at the computer asking it questions until the penny drops and the plan revealed by an artificial intelligence. To me it would just have been better to have Rainbird discover it in a different fashion but that’s just me and it was only a minor complaint.

    So that’s my 17th Stephen King book finished and I now sit at 25% completed, I think Firestarter will remain as a favourite as I work my way through the back catalogue, both characters and plot were spot on.

    I’ll finish on another quote.

    ‘God loves to make a man break a vow. It keeps him properly humble about his place in the world and his sense of self control.’

    Yep.

    Also posted at.

  • George K.

    Βαθμολογία: 9/10

    Το Firestarter ήταν ένα από τα λίγα βιβλία του Στίβεν Κινγκ που για κάποιον άγνωστο λόγο παρέμενε μέχρι τώρα αμετάφραστο στην γλώσσα μας. Ειλικρινά δυσκολεύομαι να κατανοήσω τους λόγους για τους οποίους αυτό το βιβλίο δεν κυκλοφορούσε τόσα χρόνια στα ελληνικά (το 1980 κυκλοφόρησε στις ΗΠΑ!), από την στιγμή που μιλάμε για ένα βιβλίο του Βασιλιά. Κάλλιο αργά παρά ποτέ και μπράβο στις εκδόσεις Κλειδάριθμος που επιτέλους το έφεραν και στην Ελλάδα, δίνοντάς μας έτσι την ευκαιρία να απ

    Βαθμολογία: 9/10

    Το Firestarter ήταν ένα από τα λίγα βιβλία του Στίβεν Κινγκ που για κάποιον άγνωστο λόγο παρέμενε μέχρι τώρα αμετάφραστο στην γλώσσα μας. Ειλικρινά δυσκολεύομαι να κατανοήσω τους λόγους για τους οποίους αυτό το βιβλίο δεν κυκλοφορούσε τόσα χρόνια στα ελληνικά (το 1980 κυκλοφόρησε στις ΗΠΑ!), από την στιγμή που μιλάμε για ένα βιβλίο του Βασιλιά. Κάλλιο αργά παρά ποτέ και μπράβο στις εκδόσεις Κλειδάριθμος που επιτέλους το έφεραν και στην Ελλάδα, δίνοντάς μας έτσι την ευκαιρία να απολαύσουμε ένα πραγματικά πολύ δυνατό μυθιστόρημα, ένα θρίλερ σκέτο... δυναμίτη!

    Είναι το τεσσαρακοστό τρίτο βιβλίο του Στίβεν Κινγκ που διαβάζω (μετράω και την νουβέλα "Η Γκουέντι και το κουτί") και μετά την ανάγνωσή του θεωρώ ότι είναι ένα από τα πιο δυνατά και συναρπαστικά θρίλερ που έχει γράψει. Το έχει διαβάσει πολύς κόσμος γενικά, αλλά δεν είναι από τα βιβλία του που συζητιούνται και ιδιαίτερα. Δηλαδή όποιον φανατικό αναγνώστη του Κινγκ και να ρωτήσεις σχετικά με δέκα ή και δεκαπέντε βιβλία του συγγραφέα που του έρχονται πρώτα στο νου, αμφιβάλω αν το "Πύρινη οργή" θα είναι ένα εξ αυτών. Είναι σίγουρα ένα από τα γνωστά... άγνωστα μυθιστορήματα του Βασιλιά.

    Τι λέει η περίληψη στο οπισθόφυλλο της ελληνικής έκδοσης: "Πριν από έναν χρόνο, ο Άντι ήταν ένας φιλήσυχος οικογενειάρχης, υποδειγματικός φιλόλογος στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Χάρισον. Τώρα είναι ένας κυνηγημένος άνθρωπος -και, το χειρότερο, μαζί του είναι κυνηγημένη και η κόρη του η Τσάρλι. Η Τσάρλι είναι ένα χαριτωμένο κοριτσάκι με κοτσίδες, ευτυχισμένο και υγιέστατο, αλλά διαθέτει ένα τρομακτικό χάρισμα. Είναι ένα χάρισμα που δεν το θέλει -γιατί της δίνει δυνάμεις που δεν ελέγχει- και κάθε βράδυ πριν κοιμηθεί προσεύχεται να μην το έχει όταν ξυπνήσει. Υπάρχουν όμως κάποιοι που θεωρούν αυτό το χάρισμα ιδιαίτερα χρήσιμο, και είναι αποφασισμένοι να κάνουν τα πάντα για να τη βρουν και να αποκτήσουν τον έλεγχο των δυνάμεών της -ή να την εξολοθρεύσουν..."

    Εντάξει, την βασική ιδέα δεν την λες και πρωτότυπη, ακόμα και για την εποχή που γράφτηκε το βιβλίο (πόσο μάλλον τώρα με όλα τα βιβλία, τα κόμικς και τις ταινίες/σειρές που έχουν βγει στο μεταξύ), όμως η εκτέλεση είναι υποδειγματική. Από την αρχή μέχρι το φοβερό και εκρηκτικό φινάλε οι ρυθμοί είναι αγωνιώδεις (οι κοιλίτσες είναι μικρές αλλά χρήσιμες) και ο Κινγκ κρατάει συνεχώς τον αναγνώστη σε αναμμένα κάρβουνα για το τι θα γίνει παρακάτω. Η πλοκή είναι γεμάτη ένταση, αγωνία, δράση και μπόλικες blockbuster σκηνές βίας και καταστροφής, οι χαρακτήρες είναι φυσικά πολύ ενδιαφέροντες, τόσο οι πρωταγωνιστικοί όσο και αυτοί που έχουν μικρότερο ρόλο (αυτό είναι και το σήμα κατατεθέν του συγγραφέα, άλλωστε), η ατμόσφαιρα φοβερή και σε σημεία αγχωτική. Η γραφή είναι, φυσικά, εξαιρετική, εθιστική και απολαυστική, με φυσικούς και πειστικούς διαλόγους και, εννοείται, με γλαφυρές και δυνατές περιγραφές των σκηνών δράσης και των χαρακτήρων.

    Δεν ξέρω, το βιβλίο με ενθουσίασε. Μάλλον, όμως, δεν είναι και για όλα τα γούστα. Σε άλλους μπορεί να φανεί μονότονο και όχι ιδιαίτερα πρωτότυπο, σε άλλους τίποτα το ιδιαίτερο ή το αξιοσημείωτο... ξέρω και ΄γω; Δεν με νοιάζει κιόλας, αφού εμένα με άφησε πλήρως ευχαριστημένο και ικανοποιημένο. Απόλαυσα μια πραγματικά δυνατή και συναρπαστική ιστορία και γνώρισα κάποιους ενδιαφέροντες χαρακτήρες. Οπότε βάζω πέντε αστεράκια, χωρίς αυτό απαραίτητα να σημαίνει ότι το θεωρώ ισάξιο με άλλα πεντάστερα έργα του. Απλά έτσι νιώθω. Κάποια στιγμή στο άμεσο μέλλον θα δω και την ομότιτλη ταινία, που ανήκει εδώ και λίγο καιρό στην συλλογή μου. Ξέρω ότι θα είναι κατώτερη του βιβλίου, αλλά πιστεύω ότι θα είναι σίγουρα ψυχαγωγική.

  • Anne

    I don't think the scariest thing about this book is the fact that this tiny kid has the power to potentially crack the Earth in half.

    The genius of this book is that your fear builds with the father's fear.

    And it's not the fear of simply being captured. He fears what all of this is doing to his daughter, and he fears what he has

    to his daughter in order to keep her safe from herself.

    The part that re

    I don't think the scariest thing about this book is the fact that this tiny kid has the power to potentially crack the Earth in half.

    The genius of this book is that your fear builds with the father's fear.

    And it's not the fear of simply being captured. He fears what all of this is doing to his daughter, and he fears what he has

    to his daughter in order to keep her safe from herself.

    The part that really got to me was when he had to hold up her charred teddy bear to her when she was a toddler and tell her that she was very bad for doing this to Teddy. You could almost smell his guilt and desperation just coming off the pages.

    He didn't want to yell at his little girl, but he

    to make her afraid and ashamed of what had happened. Otherwise, the next time she got angry and threw a tantrum it might not just be a stuffed animal that went up in flames.

    The creation of The Shop was an especially nice touch by King.

    It's (I believe) everyone's secret fear that there's some unknown government

    out there that doesn't have to conform to The Rules.

    The scientists and field agents were also chilling in that they were just

    without much thought to the moral ramifications.

    And Rainbird?

    Dear God, that guy was a whole new level of creepy!

    Partially, because he really

    love Charlie in his own sick way.

    He

    Charlie for who she is and what she can become, and he's

    of her. He felt that she was

    , and he was willing to patiently wait for her to trust him.

    And as disgusting as he was, for the most part, he was dead-on in his assessment of her.

    Honestly,

    was the scariest thing about Rainbird. You want to believe that if someone is psychotic and amoral, then they're also missing the things that would allow them to correctly read other people. In Rainbird's case, his lack of conscience just let him see through the bullshit, and get to the core of the individual.

    He was truly a chilling character.

    You know going into it that not everyone is getting out of this alive but for a King novel...

    I thought it had a pretty happy ending.

  • Jeff

    Damn hippy musicians!

    This was a buddy read with my bestest pal,

    .

    Stephen King sure as hell likes his characters with a heaping helping of psy-abilities. At the time of this writing, Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Stand and The Dead Zone had been published (needless to say, this is one hell of a run) and three out of five employed characters with some sort of psychic ability. Here, Andy and Vicky were part of an experiment that left them wit

    Damn hippy musicians!

    This was a buddy read with my bestest pal,

    .

    Stephen King sure as hell likes his characters with a heaping helping of psy-abilities. At the time of this writing, Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Stand and The Dead Zone had been published (needless to say, this is one hell of a run) and three out of five employed characters with some sort of psychic ability. Here, Andy and Vicky were part of an experiment that left them with “powers”. They had a child, Charlie, a pyrotechnic, who could conceivably engulf the Earth in flames. The term “mutant” (a la the X-Men) is only used twice.

    The heart of the story is the lengths that Andy goes to protect his daughter from falling into the hands of an evil government entity called “The Shop”. And this strong central component gives King something to build one of his best books around. This is King at his peak: a finely wrought, well-paced page turner.

    The film version is ass, but the soundtrack rocks.

  • Dan Schwent

    When some cash-poor college students volunteer for an experiment, they have no idea of the Pandora's Box they are about to unleash. Years later, one of them, Andy McGee, is on the run from The Shop, with his daughter, Charlie. Can Andy and Charlie evade The Shop before their world goes up in flames?

    First off, for years now, I cannot read the title without hearing the

    song of the same name. Maybe he'll follow this one up with a book called Fuel my Fire or Smack My Bitch Up one of these da

    When some cash-poor college students volunteer for an experiment, they have no idea of the Pandora's Box they are about to unleash. Years later, one of them, Andy McGee, is on the run from The Shop, with his daughter, Charlie. Can Andy and Charlie evade The Shop before their world goes up in flames?

    First off, for years now, I cannot read the title without hearing the

    song of the same name. Maybe he'll follow this one up with a book called Fuel my Fire or Smack My Bitch Up one of these days to continue along the same lines.

    Firestarter is one of those Stephen King books you don't hear all that much about. A lot of people only know of it because of the movie starring Drew Barrymore in the 1980s. Well, more people should know about it because it's a corking good read.

    A 1960s experiment gave Andy McGee and his wife psychic powers. It also altered their DNA enough to produce Charlie, their immensely powerful psychic daughter, whose abilities include pyrokinesis, hence the title.

    For a good portion of the book, the suspense comes from Andy trying to stay one step ahead of The Shop. The rest of it is the two McGees trying to escape The Shop's clutches. The Shop, and John Rainbird, make fantastic villains because they aren't nearly as far outside the realm of possibility as evil cars and spider-clowns.

    Like a lot of Stephen King books, the relationships between the characters keep the story going. John Rainbird proved to be more than the scene-chewing villain I originally pegged him as. Unlike the protagonists in

    , I feared for Charlie and Andy almost constantly.

    I'd forgotten how brutal King was sometimes in his older books. There are some parts of this one I'll remember for a long time. Maybe Stephen King will revisit a character or two from this book before he goes to the clearing at the end of the path, maybe as part of a Dark Tower story.

    As I said before, this is a very underrated King book. I don't really have anything bad to say about it. Four out of five stars.

  • Γιώργος Δάμτσιος

    8,5 στα 10.

    Πολύ ωραίο βιβλίο. Αν δεν κάνω λάθος πρέπει να είναι κάπου το 7ο ή το 8ο που κυκλοφόρησε ο Κινγκ και είναι από εκείνα που δεν ανήκουν στα ''δρακουλίστικά” του, όπως έλεγε κάποτε ο περιπτεράς της γειτονίας μου. Και, όντως, αυτό είναι καθαρά ανθρωποκεντρικό και εστιάζει σε ένα μικρό κοριτσάκι, την Τσάρλι. Δεν θα αναφέρω καμία λεπτομέρεια, (έχει τόσες κριτικές που είναι πια περιττό). Σημειώνω απλώς ότι η ιστορία είναι πολύ όμορφη και μοναδικό της ψεγάδι είναι πως μοιάζει πια κάπως ξεπερα

    8,5 στα 10.

    Πολύ ωραίο βιβλίο. Αν δεν κάνω λάθος πρέπει να είναι κάπου το 7ο ή το 8ο που κυκλοφόρησε ο Κινγκ και είναι από εκείνα που δεν ανήκουν στα ''δρακουλίστικά” του, όπως έλεγε κάποτε ο περιπτεράς της γειτονίας μου. Και, όντως, αυτό είναι καθαρά ανθρωποκεντρικό και εστιάζει σε ένα μικρό κοριτσάκι, την Τσάρλι. Δεν θα αναφέρω καμία λεπτομέρεια, (έχει τόσες κριτικές που είναι πια περιττό). Σημειώνω απλώς ότι η ιστορία είναι πολύ όμορφη και μοναδικό της ψεγάδι είναι πως μοιάζει πια κάπως ξεπερασμένη. Προφανώς όμως δεν φταίει ο Κίνγκ που άργησα να το διαβάσω κοντά 40 χρόνια...

  • Ron

    What I liked most about Firestarter was the bond between a father and his daughter. The character development is solid in this Stephen King story, especially considering the relationship of Charlie and Andy McGee. Maybe I liked this element of the book because they are the victims, and I always root for the underdog. Also, because it’s clear how much Andy loves his daughter. He would give his life for her. A short afterward follows the end of the book. In it, King thanks his own daughter, who mu

    What I liked most about Firestarter was the bond between a father and his daughter. The character development is solid in this Stephen King story, especially considering the relationship of Charlie and Andy McGee. Maybe I liked this element of the book because they are the victims, and I always root for the underdog. Also, because it’s clear how much Andy loves his daughter. He would give his life for her. A short afterward follows the end of the book. In it, King thanks his own daughter, who must have been about 10 at the time, for inspiration into the character of Charlie. That’s when I understood why the relationship in the book seemed so real to me.

    It’s a government agency that plays the bad guy, or a hidden branch of the military of sorts. Those guys are always looking for the perfect weapon, aren’t they? In his younger days, Andy signs up for a study trial in college, just to make a quick 200 bucks. Two great things come out of it: meeting his future wife, followed by the birth of their daughter. The novel is told in present time, with views into the past, of a life on the run - because that’s the bad thing that came out of that “simple” college experiment. The agency wants what it produced. No matter the cost. Those [email protected]&$.

  • Councillor

    Have you ever thought about how it would be like to possess superpowers like being able to set things on fire with the simple power of your thoughts? Surely you have, even if pyrokinesis might not precisely be what people imagine when thinking about superpowers. Just think about it for a moment: You could wander through the streets and destroy entire cities; you could burn the people who want something bad to happen to you; you have all the power necessary to climb to the ver

    Have you ever thought about how it would be like to possess superpowers like being able to set things on fire with the simple power of your thoughts? Surely you have, even if pyrokinesis might not precisely be what people imagine when thinking about superpowers. Just think about it for a moment: You could wander through the streets and destroy entire cities; you could burn the people who want something bad to happen to you; you have all the power necessary to climb to the very top of the world. Some people might long to have such a power, but surely most people would not want such a dangerous ability to get into the hands of anyone. And now imagine this ability being in the hands of an eight-year-old girl, a girl who cannot control her powers and who is able to leave destruction behind wherever she goes, who is able to set a man’s hair on fire by simply concentrating a little bit. A horrifying idea, isn’t it?

    Stephen King took this idea as a premise to his novel

    , a novel which has never been as famous as

    ,

    or

    , but can still be considered to be fairly respected within the horror genre. According to most people, he succeeded in creating a well-developed, interesting story keeping its readers on the edge of their seats and making them turn the pages. He didn’t for Anne and me, though, and this can be accounted for by various reasons.

    First off, the basic concept of the story is intriguing, but the execution merely consists of a) running because the bad guys want to use this ability for their intentions or b) rambling about how to finally stop running from the bad guys. Option c) would spoil the course of the book for those who are yet to read this, but I can promise you that it is not very different from those two aspects. Stephen King is known as one of the best storytellers out there, and I can certainly agree with this, being a fan of his works as well. I personally consider his books

    ,

    ,

    and

    to belong to the best books I have read so far. But in the end, Stephen King either convinces me or he doesn’t, and

    was one of the most boring, long-stretched, boring, uninspiring, badly-written and - did I mention this already? -

    novels I have read for a long time. Whenever something interesting actually happened, the dreadful writing immediately managed to make it uninteresting again. After finally finishing

    and being relieved and happy about now being able to turn towards other books, Anne and I compared the writing in

    with a passage in

    , and it felt like reading something from entirely different authors – although the books were actually published only six years apart from each other.

    King can certainly tell a story, and he can certainly write as he proved already quite a few times. He’s not the best writer, though, a deficit he is usually able to encounter with his intriguing characterizations and his well-crafted plots which

    advance by contradicting the character motivations. However, in this novel, King was unable to make me care about any of the protagonists, and the only two characters who even had the potential to be interesting were John Rainbird, the main antagonist, and Irv Manders, a minor character.

    In the end, the conclusion to the story was rather satisfying, though not quite making up for the pure boredom the first 350 pages could be called, and after turning to the last page, only two thoughts crossed my mind: Relief about having finished this, and the almost certain knowledge that even if King had released a sequel to this book (for which the potential is clearly visible), I would never even touch it. Luckily enough, I did not fall out of love with King, but for people who have never read anything by him, I would recommend choosing another book instead. However, most people seem to have enjoyed this book way more than I did, so maybe Anne and I both simply read this wrong and you, dear reader, would miss an awesome book if you trust our negative reviews.

    So,

    is basically this peculiar King novel about the girl who was born with pyrokinetic powers she cannot control, this novel everyone considers to be fairly underrated. Maybe both Anne and I are simply lacking the necessary emotions for this novel, but 33% into it,

    still does nothing but bore us and stand out of King's other works with its ridiculously bad writing. So far, we could also be reading this book:

    At least Mr. King, as much as I respect him for many of his other works, seems to have put a lot of hints about how to make his readers hate this book into action. Let's hope the other 67% will become more interesting and unworthy of a - so far - upcoming 1-star rating. Never mind that everyone else loved this book.

    Not everything is negative about this book though; it could be worse. Like ... not having someone to talk to who is just as bored by this. It helps to get through this a lot to be able to motivate each other inspite of the writing being this uninspiring.

  • Anne

    . Somehow it managed to be a lot worse than Carrie, which was my first. I'll be bluntly honest with you, reading this almost felt like flipping through 520 pages of nothing. I guess it's easy to forgive this disappointment because this book is early King, and regardless of the fact that I'm not an expert in the King field, it seems that this lacked a certain va-va-voom factor which his books are known for. And besides, Fabian is a King expert and he

    . Somehow it managed to be a lot worse than Carrie, which was my first. I'll be bluntly honest with you, reading this almost felt like flipping through 520 pages of nothing. I guess it's easy to forgive this disappointment because this book is early King, and regardless of the fact that I'm not an expert in the King field, it seems that this lacked a certain va-va-voom factor which his books are known for. And besides, Fabian is a King expert and he agrees with me - I have back up people, stay back. I honestly don't have much to say about this book, for lack of inspiration, and like I said before, I would've dumped this before I even got to the next running scene if not for Fabian who wouldn't let us quit. To read his review, please click here ⏩

    And here goes.

    were once participants in a medical experiment in college which left them permanently changed and with special abilities that you and I will never be capable of having(don't you just love Stephen King's rascal mind?). Years later, the experiment over, we find out that Vicky and Andy married and had a daughter named Charlie, and The Shop, the secret governmental organization which carried out the experiment which caused their "abilities" is still after them.

    Run father run. Run daughter run. For like two-thirds of the book that is all they do. They run, they get cornered, they escape, and they run. That's it. This was too thin a narrative line to stretch over a long book, a book of 520 pages. Bless our souls. I don't even know how Fabian and I got through this.

    Adventurous running, which manages to keep you on your toes and galloping through book pages towards the end, and exasperating running - which is simply enervative and very vexatious. By now you'd have guessed that Andy and Charlie adopted the latter. Not even the writing in this book could save it for me because even that I found lacking. It was too simple and boring, almost offensively plain. The only parts I could forgive were those that gave audience to Charlie's voice. Charlie is a 7 year old girl, and as such, should sound like one - I'll concede to that. But what about the rest of the narration? I just found the writing to be too poor, but of course that's my subjective opinion.

    The conclusive truth is even if we were the world's most patient readers, you can only wait so long

    And when your tolerance is wearing thin and your hope is dwindling, you stop caring - if you even cared at all in the first place, which I'm not sure I did. It was just too late at that point for any kind of turn around.

    One good point: Charlie and Andy were very likeable characters. Even though I didn't like them, couldn't relate to them, couldn't care enough about them. But the point... Is they were.

    It was revealed in the earliest pages of the book that Vicky died. What we were left with were Andy and Charlie trying to evade The Shop, on the run with hardly any monetary support and only their abilities to survive. I imagine that they were drawn close by her absence, and you can imagine the strength of the buddy system formed in such a precarious situation. Charlie and Andy adored each other, worried about each other and helped each other all the way. The buddy system heightened the special father-daughter bond they originally shared. Their love was marked by a state of awareness, a knowledge that this could be the end of the road, and they could be caught at anytime. Separated, hurt, or killed. And they acted based on this knowledge. It was one of the good parts of this book: The way it portrayed such lovely kinship.

    And Here I make reference to Carrie.

    Just sprinkle some ketchup on Charlie and we might as well be talking about Carrie. The Shop is just an organization of bullies after all. I honestly love how King delves into the paranormal. But of course, the two stories differ greatly.

    There's a saying that Fire is a good slave and a bad master. Please don't try experimenting with this theory. It all comes back to King's affinity for the paranormal. Scientific explanations were proffered for this phenomenon here, but pyrokinesis is ostensibly a mind affair. Since I'm weirdly attracted to anything that relates to the psyche and mind, this plotline intrigued me a little bit. In the end, it failed to excite me as much as it should have because I wasn't fully convinced by the displays Charlie made. Or maybe the phenomenon wasn't really explored properly. I don't know, but something was simply amiss. Little Charlie had to struggle with the concept of good and bad and right and wrong using her ability, pyrokinesis, as a compass for gauging. It was disheartening at times, and at other times it was impressive to read about how mature and brave she was. A girl of 7 shouldn't have had to deal with issues which Charlie dealt with. A girl of 7 shouldn't struggle and contemplate so critically about such concepts or be so horribly afraid of the gravity and consequences of powers(Aside from pyrokinesis, she also had some psychic powers) she never asked for. This brings me back to Charlie's likeability and how endearing she was as a character.

    Other characters that interested me were

    (who Fabian said he would love to encounter as a major character in another King book, and I couldn't agree more) and

    - this guy scared me. There was a pattern to his madness, but I can't be too sure about what it was yet.

    And my final disappointment. I was so dissatisfied with the ending. It felt unfinished, like something suspended and left in the limbo. But no, it wasn't an open ending. I would say the ending was resolved, but it felt like Charlie's story wasn't truly finished. Ordinarily the feeling of continuity of a story even after the story has ended should be a good thing. Here it felt...not wrong, but just not right.

    I always say reading a book is akin to going on a journey. This book was like going carpooling. I don't remember much of the things we saw(I'm not sure Fabian does too), and I was mostly bored watching the sights fly by, but we made it. The book was a fail, but our buddy read - always a success. If you're a king fan, definitely read this. I dare say your experience might be different. If you're a newbie like me, I would say try something else by King. Someone told me King has written about 60 books, it's a whole sea of books. Go fishing.

    To say that Firestarter is underwhelming would be a grave understatement. The writing is poor and the story lacks allure. I would probably have dumped this book and bleached it from my memory 60 pages ago but thank the book gods for a buddy reading partner like

    The only thing this story has taught me is to never underestimate the significance of a reading buddy. Life's too short to read a book you aren't enjoying. So why, you ask, do we keep on with this? I won't lie. There's joy in complaining about a book and being frustrated together. And rejoicing in the little breakthroughs we encounter along the way.

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