The Dark Half Art
Works / Novels

The Dark Half

The Dark Half Art

Released

November 1989

Available Format(s)

Hardcover / Paperback / Movie / DVD

Publisher

Viking Press

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.

From the Flap

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.

 

Inspiration

“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.”

Characters

Hide List Show List
Name
Description
Cujo
Dog who killed George Bannerman
Evelyn
Character in Thad Beaumont's book
?, Dave
State Police telephone technician
?, Freida
Worked for Rick Cowley
?, Hilary
Assisting O.R. nurse in Thad's surgery
?, John
Worked for Rick Cowley
?, Mary Lou
Character in Thad Beaumont's book
?, Nan
Owner of the luncheonette
?, Rosalie
Worked at Dave's Market
?, Wes
State Police telephone technician
Addams, Charles
Cartoonist
Albertson, Dr. Lester
Assisted in Thad Beaumont's surgery
Arsenault, Dolly
Roadside produce store owner
Bannerman, George
Sheriff who was killed by Cujo
Beaumont, Elizabeth (Liz)
Wife of Thad
Beaumont, Glen
Father of Thad
Beaumont, Shayla
Mother of Thad
Beaumont, Thaddeus (Thad)
Writer who used a pseudonym "George Stark" as a way to overcome writers block.
Beaumont, Wendy
Twin daughter of Thad and Liz. Sister of William
Beaumont, William
Twin son of Thad and Liz. Brother of Wendy
Black, Harry
At Lake Davis
Booker, Louise
Worked at Publishers Weekly
Bradford, Deke
Head of Castle Rock Public Works department
Brannigan, Ossie
Kept a car in Albert Martin's shed
Briggs, Mrs.
Hit by husband then she tried to commit suicide after he died
Briggs, Norton
Beat his wife then committed suicide
Brigham, Sheila
Police Dispatcher
Burks, Wilhelmina
History professor at University. Girlfriend of Rawlie DeLesseps
Burretts, Roland
Darwin Press Chief Comptroller
Burroughs, ?
Worked with Thad Beaumont
Carroll, Tom (Gonzo Tom)
Chairman of the English Department
Chalmers, Patricia (Polly)
Owner of You Sew and Sew
Clark, ?
Neighbor of the Beaumonts
Clawson, Frederick
Tenant of Dodie Eberhart. Discovered George Stark was a pseudonym for Thad Beaumont.
Clutterbuck, Andy
Police Officer
Cowley, Miriam
Ex-wife of Rick. Partner in his book publishing business
Cowley, Rick
Thad Beaumont's friend and agent
DeLesseps, Rawlie
Boyfriend of Wilhelmina Burks, and friend of Thad Beaumont.
Donaldson, Mike
Wrote the article about the 'death' of George Stark.
Eamons, Danny
State Sheriff
Eberhart, Dodie
She was a high-class prostitute in the past and came into money by blackmailing some of her clients.
Eddings, Jack
Police officer watching the Beaumont house
Ellington, ?
Character in George Stark's books
Fenton, Althea
Secretary at the University English department
Fortin, Charlie
Does odd jobs for Thad
Gamache, Ellen
Wife of Homer
Gamache, Homer
Old man found beaten to death with his own prosthetic arm
Gates, Darla
Worked in the accounting department of Darwin Press.
Gavineaux, Frank
Found Homer Gamache's body
Golden, Ellie
Editor of George Stark's books
Griffiths, Nonie
Character in Stark's books.
Halstead, Jack
Character in George Stark's books.
Hamilton, Warren
State trooper who found Homer Gamache's truck
Harding, John Wesley
Name of Thad Beaumont's childhood pet raccoon
Harkavay, Jerry
Worked for Associated Press at Waterville
Harrison, Steve
Maine state police officer who guarded Thad
Hartland, Trevor
Castle Rock Fire Chief
Holt, Steven (Digger)
Head of Castle Rock grounds keeping crew.
Hume, George
Doctor whom Thad visited
Jackett, Sonny
Sonoco service station owner
Keeton, Danforth (Buster)
Castle Rock first selectman.
LaPointe, John
Deputy Sheriff in Castle Rock
Loring, Dr.
Anesthesiologist in Thad's surgery
Machine, Alexis
Character in George Stark's books
Malone, ?
FBI agent who interviewed Thad. Partner of Bill Prebble
Manchester, ?
State Trooper guarding Thad
Martin, Albert (Fuzzy)
Local alcoholic in Castle Rock
Massenburg, ?
Neighbors of the Beaumonts on Lake Lane
Myers, Phyllis
Photographer from People magazine
Pangborn, Alan J.
Sheriff of Castle Rock
Pangborn, Annie
Wife of Alan.
Pangborn, Toby
Son of Alan and Anne.
Pangborn, Todd
Son of Alan and Anne
Parker, ?
Character in George Stark's books
Payne, ?
Neighbors of the Beaumonts on Lake Lane
Payton, Henry
Worked at Oxford State Police Barracks
Pender, Judge
Local judge
Philips, Dave
Helped with grounds keeping in Castle Rock
Prebble, Bill
FBI agent who interviewed Thad.
Pritchard, Helga
Wife of Hugh
Pritchard, Hugh
Doctor at Bergenfield County hospital.
Rangely, Jack
Character in George Stark's books.
Reardon, Lieutenant
New York City cop
Reed, Mr.
School bus driver who saved Thad's life as a child.
Ridgewick, Norris
Police Officer in Castle Rock
Rodway, Joe
Killed his wife
Rodway, Mrs.
Wife of Joe
Rollick, Lester
Character in George Stark's book
Sadler, ?
Neighbors of the Beaumonts on Lake Lane
Schulman, Mr.
Neighbors of Dodie Eberhart.
Scoretti, ?
Person on whom Alexis Machine had done a job.
Seward, Dr.
Doctor who said Thad's headaches were simply migraines
Sparrows, The
The birds that finally help Thad
Stark, George
Fictional writer who came to life.
Stark, Richard
Pseudonym of Donald Westlake, and author, and the basis of Thad's choice of the name Stark
Stevens, ?
Police Officer that watched Thad
Stevens, Elizabeth
Maiden Name of Elizabeth Beaumont
Tellford, Martha
Aunt of Elizabeth Beaumont
Thomas, Seaton (Seat)
Police Officer in Castle Rock
Toomey, Charles F. Jr.
Police officer
Toomey, Stephanie
Wife of Charles
Van Allen, Ray
Castle County medical examiner and coroner
Westerman, Tony
Character in George Star's book
Williams, ?
Neighbors of the Beaumonts on Lake Lane
Wilmot, Gaspard
Inventor of the 'yo mama' doll
Wister, Randy
At Lake Davis
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