View all 33 comments. I had never heard of Stephen King- I had read a lot of mysteries, but had never read a horror novel. To me this was the perfect start into the genre. It is suspenseful and gripping without being gory. Johnny Smith- is a well liked small-town schoolteacher. After dropping off his first love -Sarah- at her house , he gets into a horrible car accident, which puts him into a coma for five When he finally wakes up, everything has changed.
Sarah has moved on, his mother is even mooooooore unstable, his father is having a hard time coping with his marriage and hospital bills, and a man called Greg Stillson has entered into the world of politics. Something else is different too- while John has always had an uncanny ability to find lost things or predict small future events, now this "gift" has turned into something much more powerful.
This will always be one of my favorite Stephen King novels- partly because it was my first, and also because of John Smith and his story- he is certainly a character I have never wanted to let go of. View all 18 comments. I have the film adaptation of this on VHS it's one of my few tapes I haven't watched yet , and reading The Dead Zone really makes me want to watch it now. As is often the case in King's books, the characters have supernatural powers, but something about John Smith's abilities stand out high above those of Charlie McGee's pyrokinesis.
King focuses less on shady people who want to use this power for evil, and more on John Smith himself and what his own conscience is telling him to do. I can defini I have the film adaptation of this on VHS it's one of my few tapes I haven't watched yet , and reading The Dead Zone really makes me want to watch it now.
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This is a very powerful story and it has an unforgettable way of holding up human nature to the wonder of the supernatural and remarkable. It begs the question for all readers, if you had special powers, what would you use them for? If you knew something bad was coming, what would you do? This book isn't all dark and serious, of course. King injects his own brand of subtle humor into the characters and dialogue throughout, and there's also some time for a bit of drama.
View all 10 comments. It had that Something Wicked This Way Comes vibe to it with the spinning wheel, the creepy carnival worker, and Johnny Smith pressing his luck and drawing a crowd. The rest of the book walks through events where this psychic ability becomes useful in a number of ways, ultimately leading up to a thrilling, larger-than-life climax that puts ole Johnny in a precarious situation with huge stakes, really unbelievable stakes, but, man, when you get there, who even cares anymore?
Having multiple plots building on each other was a little awkward at times. I finished one storyline and moved on to the next section, and this time Johnny has landed a new job of living somewhere else, time jumps forward a bit, and those precious events are only mentioned a few times, replaced by something even bigger this time. Time to ditch the minor leagues and show the majors what you can do for once. King never fails at setting a scene or developing his characters, and his abilities are on full display here as well.
Sarah and her adventures that become more subplot are drawn up very well and her relationship with Johnny plays out in an interesting, and mostly believable way. The bad guys are bad. There are a few of them around. I loved the small town setting, especially as the political stuff started to kick in later. Hearing King bounce his political views around a bit through the dialogue was a treat.
One Heartbeat A Minute (John Smith)
I dig his style. This was certainly a thrilling adventure, and at times it even made me think. If I had that kind of ability, if I could see things happening down the road, how would I handle it? What decisions would I be willing to make? It was cool to read a King book and get myself all mixed up in a wild story, but I also came away thinking about life just a smidge. Looking forward to taking another step on this read-King-books-in-order trail. Also, Drew Barrymore. View all 4 comments. Sep 23, Paul Nelson rated it liked it Shelves: books-read.
So there may well be spoilers but I think pretty much everyone has read it a long time ago anyway, all except me. The outstanding feature in his new material is the depth he gives to his characters, a depth that was touched on but not prevalent at the start of his career. His new stuff wraps the art of storytelling neatly into a bundle, with gripping characterization and plots that leave you hanging on for more.
I did enjoy the story of Jonny Smith, he is a character that is easy to invest everything in but my problem lay with the bad guys. I appreciate he saw him becoming President and heralding a nuclear war but I was more taken in by Jonny and his teaching successes with Chuck, the lightning strike and his relationship with Sarah than I was with how the book ended. I know this book is well thought of by most, even a favourite but for me it was a case of the writer honing his considerable talents for future forays, primarily a character driven story that sacrificed plot devices that when I think back could have been made a classic so easily by simply veering slightly off the path he set for himself.
January Oh man! I totally read this book in January of ! I even wrote that in the book so I wouldn't forget. I mean, the minute I read the prologue, I knew I had read it recently. Johnny Smith, falls down ice skating and his world is never the same again. How can I forget that I read this? It wasn't even that long ago-two ish years ago? So let me give more of a review though: This is one of King's greatest character developments.
The protagonist is someone we find ourselves very connecte January Oh man! The protagonist is someone we find ourselves very connected to, very invested in his story. We want John to do well. In hindsight, I wonder if Stephen King used this earlier novel to influence his story Revival? Also, there is that incident with lightening--remember that? Super familiar. I love the ending too-bringing it full circle with the love interest, Sarah. A great read from the Master!
Update Fe. Because I really, really like Johnny.
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He might be one of King's most healthy protagonists. I love how midway through the book, we get this Spiderman-esque plot line where Johnny due to an unfortunate accident and coma, he wakes up with a supernatural ability gets to use his newly developed "powers" to help local authorities catch a serial killer.
Johnny isn't a Batman like hero--taking to the streets to solve crime, but more like the reluctant hero we see in Spiderman but told with all the talent Stephen King brings to the table and it's so compelling!! But enough about the protagonist--what about our antagonist, Greg Stillson-who for all intents and purposes reminds me so much of our current POTUS he who shall not be named but who always says stupid things like "fake news".
I love the ending of this book and I enjoyed re-reading it today before I wrote this review. Seriously, this could make its way onto my top 10 list. It's worthy. I changed my review from 4 stars to 5. And legendary being that it's the first Castle Rock book. What comes from knowing things?
What is the purpose of knowing the future? So you can change it? But wouldn't what you knew about the future and the change you were going to bring to the future, be the way it was supposed to be anyways? Just think about it I think in the case of Johnny Smith and The Dead Zone , I would have to say what happened to Johnny and the events surrounding him, happened for a reason. This is not a horror novel, in my opinion. This is more of a sci-fi novel do What comes from knowing things? This is more of a sci-fi novel done in King-style. I have been really surprised, especially as I read The Dead Zone , this isn't more of a popular read, especially with King readers.
Johnny Smith's character and his ability were done very well. I really liked all of the characters, especially Johnny and his parents. About halfway through the novel, I felt like something else was going on, and it turns out I was quite wrong: view spoiler [ I thought the killings were Johnny while he was in the dead zone, because he seemed to not really know what was happening to him while he was there.
Mainly because, if it had been what I originally thought, it would have just been too easy for King. My favorite part of the book would have to have been when the killings were going on, and Johnny's role in the particular part.
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Having just finished the book, that is not a spoiler, and doesn't give away I really like sci-fi, but only if it is realistic, and is done like The Dead Zone. I'm really happy King penned this novel, and didn't take it to certain lengths I thought it might go. Great job, King! View all 27 comments.
Dec 02, Laura Noggle rated it liked it Shelves: , stephen-king. This audiobook is excellent, and I would definitely recommend it to someone who is a fan of James Franco he reads it with such vervre! It's not bad, per se, but not especially grippin 2. It's not bad, per se, but not especially gripping either. It's entertaining, and stuff happens, but not much in the way of integral plot.
Yes, there are some parallels to be drawn with the current president. See article. Other than a slightly chilling prediction of future leaders, this book isn't particularly scary either. It's listed as a "science-fiction thriller," but mild suspense might be a better fit. Ann was still talking but her voice was far and wee, as E. Cummings had said about the balloon man. Flocked images tumbling over and over one another, none making sense.
The carny wheel. The mirror maze. His dear, homely face in the harsh, county fair lighting, naked bulbs strung on electric wire. Now it was up to his neck, the rich brown smell of it in his nose and his screams became thin and gasping as the quicksand implacably pressed the breath out of him. Birds flew swooping and cheeping and scolding, and green shafts of sunlight like tarnished copper fell through the trees, and the quicksand rose over his chin.
The thud of the big snare drum. Mellow gold trumpets and trombones. James Franco completely brings this book to life with his narration — worth it just for the audio chocolate. Apr 23, S. Aruna rated it it was amazing Shelves: thriller-mystery. Probably the best of King's early works, and may even represent a turning point in his writing.
The novel is a work of genius because of its structure. I don't think King planned it, the story just went where it went, but the result is a series of vignettes, different stories centered around the same character, which in the commercial fiction world of today would have ended up as several books of a series that's why it was so adaptable as a television series. Stories that flow into each other i Probably the best of King's early works, and may even represent a turning point in his writing. Stories that flow into each other is what makes the novel stand out.
Each story is a moral tale in which our tragic hero uses his clairvoyant gifts to help those around him to either navigate troubled waters or, in some instances, to be brought to justice for the good of all. But the most important story lurks in the background from the beginning, only to come to fruition in the last part of the book. It is a controversial one as well, justifying a political assassination.
One thing I didn't like so much was King changing voice in the various parts. The Dead Zone has a bit of everything: emotion, psychological horror, paranormal, suspense, tension.
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It even has a hint of literary quality, though some might say I'm stretching it. Poignantly told, raising some ethical and moral questions, investing your emotions Truly a great work by a great author. Apr 08, Beattie rated it it was amazing Shelves: autumn , halloween , tbr-busting , divination , us-new-england , epistolatory-diary-blog , ouch , doo-lally , supernatural , moidah.
Description: Johnny, the small boy who skated at breakneck speed into an accident that for one horrifying moment plunged him into The Dead Zone. No, not this, nor indeed this: or this: Will the real Johnny Smith plea Description: Johnny, the small boy who skated at breakneck speed into an accident that for one horrifying moment plunged him into The Dead Zone.
No, not this, nor indeed this: or this: Will the real Johnny Smith please stand up, please stand up This film is a must for when I have finished with the book. Loved the politics here in the brew up to the bi-centennial election: Ford, Reagan, Carter are in the mix. Remind you of anyone?
All we need to do is watch carefully should he drag an innocent in front to save his bacon - it will happen. I pretty much overdosed on this book, it worked so well as an audio whilst I curled up on the settee with my sudoku book. Aug 06, Scott rated it it was amazing Shelves: stephen-king-scary. My goal is to read and review each one with as much honesty and reflection that I can give. It was adapted not only into a fairly successful movie in , but also a cable network television series in My Kindle lists it as pages and my trade paperback is pages.
When Johnny was six years old, he suffered a traumatic ice-skating accident that caused him to black out. Johnny wakes up from a coma four-and-a-half years later and his world is forever changed. Nobody expected him to live, including Sarah and his father. Sarah has married and had a son while Johnny was asleep.
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His father has prayed for him to pass on. Only his religious-crazed mother believes in him and the secret mission she tells him that God has planned for him before she passes away. Then Johnny discovers he has changed. When he touches someone or an object of theirs, he can see things… Things that will happen to them… Awful, scary things… To some this is a gift, but to him it feels like a curse. As word of his abilities get out, people from all over ask for his help.
Smith beat the odds despite being told he wouldn’t make it through the night.
Even local law enforcement seeks his aid in finding a serial killer. This fast-rising politician will someday be in a position of power and cause a terrifying fate on a global level. Not having read this book in a long time, I had completely forgotten how under-rated I think it is. The idea was new and unique at the time it was written, spawning both a hit movie and successful cable television series.
The characters are real, compelling, and layered. I was empathetic to Dr. Even though he played a small role, he was truly noble. Here was a guy who would not only kick a dog, but would go the extra mile by killing it. The plotting was tight and moved along at a steady pace, with several emotional high-points of payoff throughout the book. There were several chapters that ended with zinger sentences that just left you clamoring to turn the page.
Even in his early books, he had those tools available to him and he used them well. When we meet Johnny and Sarah, we get to know them first and are drawn to their relationship together. We are introduced to the evil Greg Stillson as he climbs the political ladder of success, taking out anyone who gets in his way. We get to know and care about or hate each of the characters for who they are personally, before the big bad evil things start to happen. We are already emotionally invested in finding out the outcomes for each of these characters.
King sets up the first act, leads to a second and a third act, and ultimately to a climax that leaves you shuddering and thinking for several days what would I have done if faced with the same situation? Would I have acted differently? Castle Rock is a small town in Maine where a number of his books take place, and it is here that Johnny Smith is asked to assist with catching the raincoat killer.
But this book also has two more distinctly self-referencing connection. One of my challenges is that I kept seeing the movie or TV show in my head when I was reading it, and I had to kick them out of my thoughts to just enjoy the book for itself. Once I was able to do that, I was truly amazed at how well I enjoyed reading it again. Now that we are doing the S. This book would be a great college book to read, discuss, and write a paper on for an American Literature class.
I have always had empathy for Johnny and what could have been for him. But to me, he is a classic Shakespearian tragedy in America. In my mind, Johnny Smith joins the other Stephen King all-time, deeply challenged or cursed, favorite characters like Carrie, Danny Torrance, Charlie McGee… You fill in the blank for your own favorite. This is arguably one of his best books. Oct 09, Micaela Alvi rated it really liked it Shelves: , stephen-king. Johnny has become one of my favourite King characters.
This book was so moving, I absolutely loved it. View 1 comment. Dec 31, F. Probably the reason Stephen King was so loudly vociferous against Donald Trump in is that he actually predicted him. His colourful, controversial personality se Probably the reason Stephen King was so loudly vociferous against Donald Trump in is that he actually predicted him. His colourful, controversial personality seemed to stir only amused admiration from the national press, and he seemed to make no one — except maybe Johnny Smith — nervous.
A man who gains psychic abilities that enable him to see the future of those around him if he touches them. If you get chance, please visit my blog for book, TV and film reviews - as well as whatever else takes my fancy - at frjameson. Jan 29, Emily rated it liked it. I feel like it ended up going in a strange direction.
I listened to the audiobook, and I got confused at some times - that may just be because I was listening instead of reading. I think I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second. I guess I was expecting horror based on the title of the book, but this is definitely more of a drama. Johnny's story is quite tragic, and it's sad that everything got so mes "Some things were better lost than found. Johnny's story is quite tragic, and it's sad that everything got so messed up for him when he didn't even really do anything wrong. Overall, I wish there would have been a little more action.
It's not a bad book at all, though; it's just not a favorite. I always appreciate King's ability to write controversial protagonists that you still root for. Deciding which books to read first was the main thing. I decided to read this one first and Misery and The Stand , come to think of it because I read his On Writing back in November, and he talks about the process of writing all three of them.
The way he talked about them made me want to read them more. The very moment that I needed God, he was there instantly. You learn to appreciate life and start looking at things that matter. Be thankful for it. If you have opted in for our browser push notifications, and you would like to opt-out, please refer to the following instructions depending on your device and browser.
For turning notifications on or off on Google Chrome and Android click here , for Firefox click here , for Safari click here and for Microsoft's Edge click here. FB Twitter ellipsis More. Image zoom. The next day it was in the mids and the ice had melted some. All three boys fell through the ice when they returned to the lake the following day.
The Breakthrough true story reveals that the temperature had risen to close to 60 degrees that day and the ice on Lake Sainte Louise near St. Louis, Missouri had started to melt. The three boys cracked the ice before stepping on it to see if it was thick enough to walk on. Our Breakthrough fact check confirms that John Smith was under water for approximately 15 minutes before rescuers, including Tommy Shine, found him on the rocky bottom of the lake and pulled him to the surface.
John was in the frigid water for a total of more than 20 minutes. The real John Smith left was under water for roughly 15 minutes, similar to Marcel Ruiz's character right in the movie. This is somewhat dramatized in the movie. In The Impossible book , Joyce Smith mentions that something in Tommy Shine's spirit "prompted and almost pushed him to move in a different direction, straight toward the ice shelf. Tommy pulled John to the surface. Tommy Shine himself is never quoted talking about this spiritual nudge in the book, nor does he bring it up with his chief at the station.
In the movie, Tommy Shine Mike Colter is also portrayed as being an agnostic who finds faith after witnessing the miracle of John Smith surviving the drowning. However, his religion is never discussed in the book and it appears that this spiritual transformation is fictional. The lake was about 10 feet deep where John and his two friends went through the ice. After John succumbed to the frigid lake and drowned, his lifeless body was discovered on the rocky bottom. Tommy Shine and fellow rescuers attempt to revive John Smith as they're pulled back across the ice to safety.
The hole in the ice where they rescued John is visible behind them. I don't wanna die! He recalls fighting for his life and the burning sensation of the frigid water and the ice cutting his skin as he tried to climb out. Josh Rieger's sister Jamie called , and the manager of a nearby apartment complex took over the call. You can listen to the real call. John's friend Joshua Sander managed to pull himself out. The other boy, Joshua Rieger, was trying to get out by pushing onto the ice and pulling himself, but the ice kept breaking. He was eventually pulled out when rescue personnel arrived.
So that was around a. They called me at a. Chrissy Metz right portrays Joyce in the movie. In researching the Breakthrough true story, we learned that John Smith was without a pulse for about an hour. He'd spent 15 minutes under water and another plus minutes without a heartbeat after he was pulled from the lake. It was during that time that he was technically dead.
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