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For years, Thad Beaumont has been writing books under the pseudonym George Stark. When a journalist threatens to expose Beaumont's pen name, the author decides to go public first, killing off his pseudonym. Stark isn't content to be dispatched that easily, though. Beaumont's alter ego comes to life and begins to stalk those responsible for his demise. The police suspect Beaumont is responsible for these violent crimes.
When Thad Beaumont wakes to the nightmare of George Stark, he hears birds, thousands of them, all cheeping and twittering at the same time, and with the sound comes a presentiment full of memory and foreboding: The sparrows are flying again.
Thad Beaumont is a writer, and for a dozen years he secretly published novels under the name of "George Stark" because he was no longer able to write under his own name. He even invented a slightly sinister author biography to satisfy the many fans of Stark's violent bestsellers. But Thad is a healthier and happier man now, the father of infant twins, and starting to write as himself again. He no longer needs George Stark, and in fact has a good reason to lay Stark to rest. So, with nationwide publicity, a bit of guilt, and a good deal of relief, the pseudonym is retired.
In the small town of Castle Rock, Maine, where Thad and Liz keep a summer home, Sheriff Alan Pangborn ponders the brutal roadside murder of a man named Homer Gamache. When Homer's pick-up truck is found, the bloody fingerprints of the perpetrator are all over it. They match Thad Beaumont's exactly. Armed with evidence, Pangborn pays the Beaumonts a visit, and suddenly he too is thrust into a dream so bizarre that neither criminal science nor his own sharp mind can make sense of it.
At the center of the nightmare is the devastating figure of George Stark, Thad Beaumont's dark half--impossibly alive and relentlessly on the loose--a killing machine that destroys everyone on the path that leads to the man who created him. As Stark approaches, as Thad and Liz contend with the escalating horror and implacable threat of his existence and Thad reaches deep inside his own mind to mount a defense, forces gather in the air above Castle Lake, outriders of the dead to the land of the living....To whom do they belong?
Here is The Dark Half, a tale of terror so real and fascinating that Stephen King's growing legion of fans will find themselves squirming in the master's heart-stopping, blood-curdling grip--and loving every minute of it.
“In The Dark Half I tried to answer the question ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ It seems to me that for most writers there really is another person hiding inside, although it isn’t always dark and it’s hardly ever as much as a half. I thought it would be fun to write a story about a novelist whose muse gets totally out of control. There was one problem: I didn’t how how to end it. Then, one day while I was on the way to my office, I saw a huge flock of crows—huge enough to darken an appreciable part of the sky—all take wing at once. They made me think of a poem by H.P. Lovecraft called “The Psychopomp,” about a bird who is an emissary of death, and a winged messenger between the land inhabited by mortals and that of the afterlife. In that instant, I knew exactly how to dispose of George Stark; all I had to do was go home and write it.”