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Monday, February 19, 2007

Why I Stopped Reading The Regulators

I tried to get started on The Regulators by Richard Bachman A.K.A. Stephen King this week, but found I couldn't make it through. I read about 15% of it, but, like typical King fodder, it rests on a given situation for about 900 hours, outlining every detail, introducing a hundred characters, and basically going nowhere for a while. This is the problem with everything he's written before Tommyknockers, which is either when he got clean, or when he got a new publisher, I don't remember. Whichever it was seemed to have an effect on his writing, and I don't like it. Everything before it was good, but after this, it's like no one edits him anymore. Sure, it's all right to go on for fifty pages about a single circumstance, go nuts, you're Stephen King, who's going to stop you. The only other book of his that I stopped reading in the middle of it was Dolores Claiborne, which was something about a wife killing her husband, meaning nothing supernatural about it. Plus it was written in local accent (Maine-ish), and had no chapter breaks, it was like a stream of consciousness effort, or confession. Could not make it through, and since I don't think anyone's given a rip about Dolores Claiborne after it was written, I figured it would be no big loss if I chose to skip this novel. These were the same reasons I stopped The Regulators.

I was hoping this was going to be like the other Bachman Books (e.g., The Long Walk, The Running Man), but was sorely disappointed. It was completely incompatible with his previous style, so if anyone thought Bachman was King's attempt to do a Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines thing, you are mistaken.

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