Culture Magazine

Book Review – The Dark Half by Stephen King

By Manofyesterday



As you can see in the picture the title is embossed, but is written in black. I angled the photo so it was easy to see but when I first got the book and looked at it I honestly thought the title was ‘his masterpiece’. Anyway, the story is about a writer, Thaddeus Beaumont, who is ‘killing off’ his pseudonym and is no longer going to write crime novels, but is going to return to his less commercially-successful ‘real’ work. However, after there’s a murder he begins to suspect that somehow his pseudonym isn’t simply going to slip away from Thad’s consciousness. 

The book is pretty hefty but it’s fast-paced. All the characters are well-drawn and they all felt authentic. I usually don’t like it when writers write about characters who are writers because it feels lazy, but here it works and it gives a glimpse into the writing process. I thought the mystery was developed well and there were points when I thought he was going to go for a cheap twist but that didn’t happen. It was suspenseful and there was a lot of tension, especially towards the end. There were also a few gruesome moments that I loved, but others may find squeamish. 

One thing that people may not like is the nature of the pseudonym. At some points King almost seems to be going for a scientific explanation but it only turns out to be a half-explanation at best, and the actual origin is rooted in the supernatural. Other than that though I really enjoyed the book and I found it to be a real page-turner. As a writer I can obviously identify with the them of losing yourself as the stuff you write brings out sometimes very dark emotions, and the continual inner conflict, although obviously in real life it’s not taken to these extremes. 

Really enjoyed reading this. Good book.

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