Cover image for Dreamcatcher : a novel
Title:
Dreamcatcher : a novel
Author:
King, Stephen, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
620 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
880 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.4 36.0 63676.

Reading Counts RC High School 8.1 43 Quiz: 25534 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780743211383
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Once upon a time, in the haunted city of Derry (site of the classicsItandInsomnia),four boys stood together and did a brave thing. Certainly a good thing, perhaps even a great thing. Something that changed them in ways they could never begin to understand.Twenty-five years later, the boys are now men with separate lives and separate troubles. But the ties endure. Each hunting season the foursome reunite in the woods of Maine. This year, a stranger stumbles into their camp, disoriented, mumbling something about lights in the sky. His incoherent ravings prove to be dis-turbingly prescient. Before long, these men will be plunged into a horrifying struggle with a creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past -- and in the Dreamcatcher.Stephen King's first full-length novel sinceBag of Bonesis, more than anything, a story of how men remember, and how they find their courage. Not sinceThe Standhas King crafted a story of such astonishing range -- and never before has he contended so frankly with the heart of darkness.


Author Notes

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, he became a teacher. His spare time was spent writing short stories and novels.

King's first novel would never have been published if not for his wife. She removed the first few chapters from the garbage after King had thrown them away in frustration. Three months later, he received a $2,500 advance from Doubleday Publishing for the book that went on to sell a modest 13,000 hardcover copies. That book, Carrie, was about a girl with telekinetic powers who is tormented by bullies at school. She uses her power, in turn, to torment and eventually destroy her mean-spirited classmates. When United Artists released the film version in 1976, it was a critical and commercial success. The paperback version of the book, released after the movie, went on to sell more than two-and-a-half million copies.

Many of King's other horror novels have been adapted into movies, including The Shining, Firestarter, Pet Semetary, Cujo, Misery, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers. Under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King has written the books The Running Man, The Regulators, Thinner, The Long Walk, Roadwork, Rage, and It. He is number 2 on the Hollywood Reporter's '25 Most Powerful Authors' 2016 list.

King is one of the world's most successful writers, with more than 100 million copies of his works in print. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages, and he writes new books at a rate of about one per year. In 2003, he received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2012 his title, The Wind Through the Keyhole made The New York Times Best Seller List. King's title's Mr. Mercedes and Revival made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2015 for Best Novel with Mr. Mercedes. King's title Finders Keepers made the New York Times bestseller list in 2015. Sleeping Beauties is his latest 2017 New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography) Stephen King is the author of more than thirty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are "Hearts in Atlantis", "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon", "Bag of Bones", & "The Green Mile". "On Writing" is his first book of nonfiction since "Danse Macabre", published in 1981. He served as a judge for Prize Stories: The Best of 1999, The O. Henry Awards. He lives in Bangor, Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

King's book, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories, made the 2015 New York Times bestseller list.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Jonesy, Henry, Pete, and the Beav have been friends since junior high, especially since the day they rescued Duddits, a Down's syndrome kid their age, from a trio of high-school bullies. They stayed Duddits' fast friends and defenders through high school and have kept up with one another for some 20 years now, gathering for a week of hunting in the Maine woods every fall. They haven't been in touch with Duddits the last several years, however, and don't know he is dying of leukemia. When they go hunting this year, they resolve to see Duddits afterwards. But this year, a big, sick, befuddled man wanders into their camp, saying he has been lost. Before Jonesy and the Beav can figure things out, all hell breaks loose. A blizzard comes on, delaying Henry and Pete's return with food and beer, and the guy gets much sicker and then explodes, releasing a legless, toothy thing that \xc9 . Suffice it to say that this is King's alien-first-contact yarn, and it's a corker--blood, pain, and bodily fluids all over the place, concluding with a long, suspenseful three-party chase. Predictably, given King's sentimentality about friendship, Duddits turns out to be the telepathic key to the bond between the other four protagonists, to heading off the alien invasion, and to saving Jonesy's and Henry's lives. An important secondary character, the maniacal army officer in charge of the military effort to "contain" the aliens, is pretty cartoonish, and King doesn't know intellectuals well enough to make Jonesy credible as the professor of history he is. So consider this second-rate King, but allow that it may be the best alien invasion story since Wells' War of the Worlds. --Ray Olson


Publisher's Weekly Review

In an author's note to this novel, the first he's written since his near-fatal accident, King allows that he wrote the first draft of the book by hand. So much for the theory that it's word-processing alone that leads to logorrhea. Yet despite its excessive length, the novel one of the most complex thematically and structurally in King's vast output dazzles and grips, if fitfully. In its suspenseful depiction of an alien invasion, it superficially harkens back to King's early work (e.g., the 1980 novella "The Mist"), but it also features the psychological penetration, word-magic and ripe imagination of his recent stuff (particularly Bag of Bones). The action shuttles between present and past, following primarily the tribulations of a band of five males four regular guys from Derry, Maine (setting of King's It and Insomnia), and their special friend, Duddits, a Down's child (then man) with telepathic abilities. The first chunk of the text offers a tour de force of terror bound in darkest humor, depicting the arrival at the four guys' remote hunting cabin of a man who's fatally ill because he harbors in his bowels an alien invader. Yet the ferocious needle-toothed "shit-weasel" that escapes from him is only one of three varieties of invader the protagonists, and eventually a black-ops containment force, face: the others are Grays, classic humanoid aliens, and byrus, a parasitical growth that threatens to overtake life on Earth. The presence of the aliens makes humans telepathic, which leads to various inspired plot complications, but also to an occasional, perhaps necessary, vagueness of narration is there anything more difficult to dramatize than mind-to-mind communication? Numerous flashbacks reveal the roots of the connections among the four guys (one of whom is hit by a car and nearly dies), Duddits and even the aliens, while the last part of the book details a race/chase to save the world a chase that goes on and on and that's further marred by the cartoonlike presence of the head of the black ops force, who's as close to a caricature as King has strayed in several novels. The book has flaws, then, and each of them cries "runaway author." Is anyone editing King these days? But, then, who edited, say, Mahler at his most excessive? The genius shines through in any case, in the images and conceits that blind with brilliance, in the magnificent architecture, in the wide swaths of flat-out riveting reading and, most of all, in the wellsprings of emotions King taps as he plumbs the ties that bind his characters and, by extension, all of us to one another. (One-day laydown, Mar. 20) Forecast: As King's first book-length fiction since the accident, this novel originally titled Cancer will generate particular interest commercially and critically. It may be nominated for awards; it certainly will top the charts. Film rights optioned by Castle Rock. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Four childhood friends, each laboring under the burden of their own midlife crisis, agree to take their annual hunting trip to the north Maine woods. There they are quickly and violently drawn into the immediate aftermath of an invasive landing by a viral/fungal/parasitic alien race. Though one of the friends has always been slightly telepathic, "infection" by the aliens has the side effect of enhancing mind-reading ability in humans. The story becomes a race to prevent the aliens from conquering Earth by viral contamination of the water supply. On this journey, King demonstrates his prodigious writing skills, character development, and storytelling abilities, while leaving his audience more than slightly bewildered by some of the metaphysical and psychic aspects of the action and conclusion. Jeffrey DeMunn does a great job with an extremely diverse range of characters and some unusual vocal gymnastics. Dreamcatcher is a solid purchase on its literary and audio merits and will be extremely popular. For all fiction collections. Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

FIRST, THE NEWS From the East Oregonian, June 25th, 1947 FIRE CONTROL OFFICER SPOTS "FLYING SAUCERS" Kenneth Arnold Reports 9 Disc-Shaped Objects "Shiny, Silvery, Moved Incredibly Fast" From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, July 8th, 1947 AIR FORCE CAPTURES "FLYING SAUCER" ON RANCH IN ROSWELL REGION Intelligence Officers Recover Crashed Disc From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, July 9th, 1947 AIR FORCE DECLARES "SAUCER" WEATHER BALLOON From the Chicago Daily Tribune, August 1st, 1947 USAF SAYS "CANNOT EXPLAIN" ARNOLD SIGHTING 850 Additional Sightings Since Original Report From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, October 19th, 1947 SO-CALLED SPACE WHEAT A HOAX, ANGRY FARMER DECLARES Andrew Hoxon Denies "Saucer Connection" Red-Tinged Wheat "Nothing but a Prank," He Insists From the (Ky.) Courier Journal, January 8th, 1948 AIR FORCE CAPTAIN KILLED CHASING UFO Mantell's Final Transmission: "Metallic, Tremendous in Size" Air Force Mum From the Brazilian Nacional, March 8th, 1957 STRANGE RINGED CRAFT CRASHES IN MATO GROSSO! 2 WOMEN MENACED NEAR PONTO PORAN! "We Heard Squealing Sounds from Within," They Declare From the Brazilian Nacional, March 12th, 1957 MATO GRASSO HORROR! Reports of Gray Men with Huge Black Eyes Scientists Scoff! Reports Persist! VILLAGES IN TERROR! From the Oklahoman, May 12th, 1965 STATE POLICEMAN FIRES AT UFO Claims Saucer Was 40 Feet Above Highway 9 Tinker AFB Radar Confirms Sightings From the Oklahoman, June 2nd, 1965 "ALIEN GROWTH" A HOAX, FARM BUREAU REP DECLARES "Red Weeds" Said to Be Work of Spray-Gun, Teenagers From the Portland (Me.) Press-Herald, September 14th, 1965 NEW HAMPSHIRE UFO SIGHTINGS MOUNT Most Sightings in Exeter Area Some Residents Express Fear of Alien Invasion From the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader, September 19th, 1965 ENORMOUS OBJECT SIGHTED NEAR EXETER WAS OPTICAL ILLUSION Air Force Investigators Refute State Police Sighting Officer Cleland Adamant: "I Know What I Saw" From the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader, September 30th, 1965 FOOD POISONING EPIDEMIC IN PLAISTOW STILL UNEXPLAINED Over 300 Affected, Most Recovering FDA Officer Says May Have Been Contaminated Wells From the Michigan Journal, October 9th, 1965 GERALD FORD CALLS FOR UFO INVESTIGATION Republican House Leader Says "Michigan Lights" May Be Extraterrestrial in Origin From the Los Angeles Times, November 19th, 1978 CALTECH SCIENTISTS REPORT SIGHTING HUGE DISC-SHAPED OBJECT IN MOJAVE Tickman: "Was Surrounded by Small Bright Lights" Morales: "Saw Red Growth Like Angel Hair" From the Los Angeles Times, November 24th, 1978 STATE POLICE, USAF INVESTIGATORS FIND NO "ANGEL HAIR" AT MOJAVE SITE Tickman and Morales Take, Pass, Lie Tests Possibility of Hoax Discounted From the New York Times, August 16th, 1980 "ALIEN ABDUCTEES" REMAIN CONVINCED Psychologists Question Drawings of So-Called Gray Men From the Wall Street Journal, February 9th, 1985 CARL SAGAN: "NO, WE ARE NOT ALONE" Prominent Scientist Reaffirms Belief in ETs Says, "Odds of Intelligent Life Are Enormous" From the Phoenix Sun, March 14th, 1997 HUGE UFO SIGHTED NEAR PRESCOTT DOZENS DESCRIBE "BOOMERANG-SHAPED" OBJECT Switchboard at Luke AFB Deluged with Reports From the Phoenix Sun, March 20th, 1997 "PHOENIX LIGHTS" REMAIN UNEXPLAINED Photos Not Doctored, Expert Says Air Force Investigators Mum From the Paulden (Ariz.) Weekly, April 9th, 1997 FOOD POISONING OUTBREAK UNEXPLAINED REPORTS OF "RED GRASS" DISCOUNTED AS HOAX From the Derry (Me.) Daily News, May 15th, 2000 MYSTERY LIGHTS ONCE AGAIN REPORTED IN JEFFERSON TRACT Kineo Town Manager: "I Don't Know What They Are, but They Keep Coming Back" Copyright © 2001 by Stephen King Excerpted from Dreamcatcher by Stephen King All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.