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Firestarter (1980)

de Stephen King

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
9,547114824 (3.64)140
Fiction. Horror. HTML:

Innocence and beauty ignite with evil and terror...

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.
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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 its brainchild back??for its own insane ends.


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Mostrando 1-5 de 113 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
There is a lot to like in this story. The concept has always fascinated me, especially given the veneer of plausibility as the US government does have a well-documented history of unethical human experimentation and has had programs investigating psychic phenomena. So the setup, and the description of Charlie and Andy McGee’s wild talents, the psychological manipulations, and the action scenes are wonderfully entertaining. The characters who people The Shop are fantastic.

But the book is not without its problems. The pacing is awful, dragging endlessly in spots until the final third of the book. This is also very much a book of its time, with now cringe-inducing stereotypes toward race, gender, and sex. Charlie, who is only 7 years old, behaves with a maturity and critical thinking ability far beyond her years, even for a child who has spent all her life having to conceal her essential self and years on the run from deadly government agents.

Audiobook, via Audible. The performance by Dennis Boutsikaris is excellent.

I read this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season, for the Guy Fawkes Night door; the book task: Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning.
( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
Firestarter (published in 1980) is a science fiction/horror/thriller novel and it is Stephen King using a tried and true formula that worked for Carrie and The Shining. Child protagonists with psi abilities seem to be King's meat and butter. And as in the Shining, the psi-carrier is a child, an eight-year-old girl named Charlie; but instead of foresight or hindsight, Charlie has firestarting powers. She looks and a thing pops into flame. Charlie's parents Vicky and Andy were once college guinea pigs for drug experiments by The Shop, a part of the supersecret Department of Scientific Intelligence, and were given a hyperpowerful hallucinogen which affected their chromosomes and left each with strange powers of mental transference and telekinesis. And the Shop has been after them ever since because people of these abilities must be eliminated.

Firestarter starts in medias res with Charlie and Andy on the run from Shop, with Charlie's mother already dead at the hands of the Shop. Andy goes into hiding with Charlie in Manhattan and the Vermont backwoods—and Charlie uses her powers to set the bad men on fire and blow up their cars. They're soon captured, however, by Rainbird, a one-eyed giant Indian with a melted face—and father and daughter, separated, spend months being tested in The Shop. But they eventually orchestrate an escape and square off against The Shop in one big fire battle, which of course, is covered up by the government. And the novel ends with Charlie attempting to take the truth of what the Department of Scientific Intelligence has done to the magazine The Rolling Stone.

Firestarter is a lean Stephen King novel, that is mostly focused on action and the thrill of the chase for Andy and Charlie throughout. It's not as scary or thought-provoking as say The Shining. And it's thematic elements are rather thin. But, the bonds of a father trying to protect his daughter are enough to sell the story. Ultimately, many of King's books that deal with psi-children are about the the nature of parental control or lack thereof and the nature of inherited trauma (Carrie, The Shinning, Firestarter). Firestarter is obviously a huge influence on the Duffer Brothers Stranger Things (well, Stephen King in general), as the character El's journey, somewhat mirrors Charlie's.

Firestarter is a quick, action packed, thriller from Stephen King. It's not perfect but worth a read. A very exciting film could be made from this book, but from what I hear, there has never been a good adaptation. Which is a shame really. I think audiences would eat it up. Duffer Brothers get on this adaptation SAT. ( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
Enjoyed it, it is not my favorite King book. I would love to see a reboot of the original movie. I see common threads between this Doctor Sleep and the Institute. I like the latter too much better.
  Everlord42 | Dec 5, 2023 |
I’m struggling with this review.
I really liked the book, I found the characters likable and endearing, especially Irv and Norma, I just wanted more.
I think I’m gonna have to give this one a reread in a few years, but nevertheless I’m super excited to see the movie now! ( )
  Danielle.Desrochers | Oct 10, 2023 |
Not one of his best, but still a solid read. I re-read it for the first time since the 80's so I didn't remember much about it, but I think I liked it better the second time through perhaps because I have become more acclimated to the dark side of life in the interim. The situation for the characters of Charlie and Andy trumps any actual characterization. Everything revolves around their quest to escape so you don't get to know those characters outside of that reality. The plot builds slowly, but the climax is fairly well telegraphed ahead of time so there are no great surprises. Unlike some of his others, this King novel didn't have me on the edge of my seat. It was a good diversion, but not a real page turner. ( )
  AliceAnna | Aug 31, 2023 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
King, Stephenautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Boutsikaris, DennisReaderautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Christensen, HarroTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Edwards, LesArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gove, GeoffArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Grisham, JohnIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lahtinen, Aarne T. K.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Stroud, StevenArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Stuart, NeilDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Fiction. Horror. HTML:

Innocence and beauty ignite with evil and terror...

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 its brainchild back??for its own insane ends.


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