A companion novel to the last work that Stephen King penned under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, The Regulators, is the story of a town haunted by an unearthed entity known as Tak, a psychic vampire that feeds off the mental energy of the living.
Desperation, Nevada is dead. For the unfortunate travelers who are about to pass through Desperation in King’s novel of the same name, it would seem that Desperation is nothing more than a forgotten mining town. Those travelers would have been lucky if that were the case. However, King has something much more sinister in store for his unlucky contestants.
As a small caravan of travelers descend on simultaneously, we see King turn his greatest theme – that of isolation – into an unfortunate albatross for the characters of Desperation to bear. For, as the travelers who make their way down Highway 50 are soon to learn, the entity of Tak has already taken the town’s sheriff, Collie Entragian, as a mental hostage and soon Collie takes the wayward travelers along Hwy 50 hostage as well. Once Tak takes over its host’s body, the body begins to enter a state of living decay. In order to keep itself alive, Tak has to move from person to person, animal to animal. Taking over coyotes, bird life, and even spiders, culminating in one of King’s creepiest scenes yet, Tak feeds on life after life until there are few left.
It seems that the only person that can stop Tak and his ensuing massacre of the travelers of Highway 50 is an eleven-year-old boy by the name of David Carver, adding to King’s roster of novels that feature extraordinary adolescents such as Firestarter and The Shining. David has a strong belief in God and finds himself relying heavily on his faith to battle Tak, making God an almost invisible opponent of the entity. is a suspenseful, gory tale that gives an entirely new meaning to tales of the road. This is Stephen King at his best, fusing drama, horror and suspense to craft a tale that will keep readers up at night and, without a doubt, give the reader nightmares.
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