There is much to like and fear in THE REGULATORS....the summertime atmosphere is so nice....the trip to the open-pit mine in DESPERATION so creepy....young Seth (and his drawings) such a joy, and we have a wonderfully 'spirited' ending, BUT.......
Sort of, cause these two places dont really exist until you open the pages of this book, where the weird becomes scary, the scary gets weird, and an ancient evil entity by the name of Tak takes over a once ordinary residential street.) But what I like most about reading Stephen King is the thing that was semi-missing here - my complete investment in the characters he creates ---- by the way (and I think most know this), Richard Bachman and Stephen King are the same person. I dont know, except to say that there were a lot of them (in the beginning anyway, cause boy do things get violent in a hurry, and people start dropping like flies). I wanted to know two of the main characters on that deeper level I have become accustomed to when reading King (i.e. Desperation). The parts linking this book to Desperation. Final note: I read Desperation 13 years ago, and therefore have forgotten most of it (cause thats what I do).
I would go out on a limb and say that King fans that do not actively love this book have forgotten the face of their father. The Regulators is one of King's best books. That King is able to pack so much character development into a book that never lets up is remarkable. You hear complaints about young characters feeling too aged for their, well, for their age, and older people acting like children, and yes sometimes that complaint is warranted, but here everyone stayed true to their personalities, and that's the first rule of character development: your characters must remain consistent. I was talking to my buddy Gregor Xane about the issues people have with this book, and he mentioned that it's likely simply because the novel is too weird for the general public. How much they reside in the real world instead of their own heads certainly affects things, especially when dealing with this book. Finally, there's much discussion about whether or not this book feels like a Bachman book. There's plenty who feel that this should have been a King book instead, and I can dig it, but my one argument would be the ending. I think Seth's fate cements this novel as a Bachman book, but I'd love to hear your opinion. In summation: This book is big fun and I can't imagine why any Stephen King fan would dislike it...then again I don't understand how anyone could molest a child or be a Nazi or drop a bag of puppies in a dumpster but that shit happens. And while people who don't like this book might have logical reasonings as to why they don't like it, I simply do not understand. smooches Final Judgment: One of King's best, and without a doubt the best of the Bachman books.
My problem was the actions and dialogue among some of the characters during the course of the story. This unrealistic actions distracted me from the seriousness of the moments that had built up.
I do like it when books incorporate different types of reads such as articles, journal entries, drawings, etc and this one definitely does that, giving us a bigger picture of how everything evolves. It's not until the last few scenes where things go up a factor of craziness and we get an idea of what finally is going on and why that it really pulls me in and ups my feelings for the book. Now on to read Desperation and see if I still feel the same about that one too.
First, I'm having real troubles understanding the idea with a Bachman tie-in to a King book at this late date. Still, I found this to be a better (and certainly more fun) read than Desperation, enough depth are given to the characters to make them interesting to follow and the explanation for the incredibly violent "Regulators", wrecking havoc on a calm neighborhood is quite tickling of the imagination.
You'd have a fuller understanding of the capabilities of Tak, and of the characters themselves, even though their lives in each book are incredibly different. The basic story is the same in each book - a group of (mostly the same) people have been chosen and attacked by an ancient evil being called "Tak", and they must fight for their survival. Desperation has a kind of gritty, realistic feel, with fantastic elements regarding what Tak is and is capable of, and the divine intervention of God to help the group. I love the characters in The Regulators much more than those who appear in Desperation. There's no sense of the resentment or anger that Desperation had, because people here aren't being called on for help by a God that was cruel enough to take everything and then some and then demand help. There will be spoilers for both The Regulators and the last Dark Tower book, so stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled. So, with the alternate plane reference, and the characters dying and coming back to a different time and place, and the letter's date, we have definite links to the world of the Dark Tower.
I remember the beginnings of almost all of his novels surpassing the endings as far as my interest in King's writing goes. Especially, the earlier stories which, from what I recall, he wrote in his drug addled college days. Unfortunately, I spent a majority of my grade school days reading only Stephen King. I'm thankful to my mother in many ways because when I would see her with one of this things in her hand, my curiosity usually got the best of me. I wasn't exactly precocious as far as literary, or even book related taste was concerned, but reading King was the germination of my relationship with books. I suddenly feel nostalgic for those days in the suburbs of northern Illinois, and the sweltering, humid heat.
This one was a miss, in my opinion but there is still enough here to make it worth the read. I had already read Desperation, the companion book to this volume, and came away with the feeling that I had just experienced a pretty good King novel. In this novel, King definitely displays his famous talent for scene setting. The opening chapter is one of the best I've read, setting the stage for the coming horror. King uses a great mechanism to deliver the horror this time.
King provided biographical details for Bachman, initially in the "about the author" blurbs in the early novels. Other "facts" about the author were revealed in publicity dispatches from Bachman's publishers: the Bachmans had one child, a boy, who died in an unfortunate, Stephen King-ish type accident at the age of six, when he fell through a well and drowned. After Bachman's true identity was revealed, later publicity dispatches (and about the author blurbs) revealed that Bachman died suddenly in late 1985 of "cancer of the pseudonym, a rare form of schizonomia". Brown located publisher's records at the Library of Congress which included a document naming King as the author of one of Bachman's novels. King has taken full ownership of the Bachman name on numerous occasions, as with the republication of the first four Bachman titles as The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels by Stephen King in 1985.