Back In The (Dead) Zone

The following is in response to The Dead Zone, a book by Stephen King.


He felt as if Stillson might have taken the game of the Laughing Tiger a step further inside the beast-skin, a man, yes.
But inside the man-skin, a beast.
~pg. 297, The Dead Zone by Stephen King

I started this year off right with a reading challenge on and I set my bar at twenty books. That might sound kind of low for you serial readers out there, but not for me. Hell, last year I only read about five books. I know, shame on me. But I’ve been a good boy this year and I’ve already surpassed my twenty-book goal, so you can tell Santa I want some gift cards to Barnes and Noble this year. What book did I start off this year with you ask? The Dead Zone by Stephen King.

The book was great—I mentioned it was by Stephen King right?—and the movie adaptation with Christopher Walken was pretty good too.  Protagonist John Smith, after having been in a coma due to a car accident, was able to see into the future. The parts that he couldn’t see were in the dead zone. John ultimately has to make a pretty hard decision when he foresees the world ruined by nuclear conflict due to Greg Stillson becoming the president of the United States.

There were a few things in the text that really caught my attention. On two separate occasions (pages 182 and 214) King uses snakes as a metaphor, which brought up a religious undertone. Was John’s gift a curse? Was it given to him by God, chance, or the Devil? It was something to ruminate about, which John does on page 219. “It was a talent. It was a curse (pg. 222).” And wouldn’t you know it, on page 345 there’s a little homage to his first novel Carrie, which must have occurred in the same Kingian universe.


About evinhughes

I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University. I have a bachelors degree in Information Technology and a bachelors in Writing and Linguistics.
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