September 24th, 1996
Hardcover / Paperback
Located off a desolate stretch of Interstate 50, Desperation, Nevada has few connections with the rest of the world. It is a place, though, where the seams between worlds are thin. Miners at the China Pit have accidentally broken into another dimension and released a horrific creature known as Tak, who takes human form by hijacking some of the town's residents. The forces of good orchestrate a confrontation between this ancient evil and a group of unsuspecting travelers who are lured to the dying town. This rag-tag band of unwilling champions is led by a young boy who speaks to God.
Nevada is mostly a long stretch of desert you cross on the way to somewhere else. And with someone else, if you're lucky...because it's a scary place. Headed down Route 50 in the brutal summer heat are people who are never going to reach their destinations. Like the Jacksons, a professor and his wife going home to New York City; the Carvers, a Wentworth, Ohio, family bound for a vacation at Lake Tahoe; and aging literary lion Johnny Marinville, inventing a gonzo image for himself astride a 700-pound Harley.
A dead cat nailed to a road sign heralds the little mining town of Desperation, a town that seems withered in the shade of a man-made mountain known as the China Pit. But it's worse than that, much worse. Regulating the traffic there is Collie Entragian, an outsize uniformed madman who considers himself the only law west of the Pecos. God forbid you should be missing a license plate or find yourself with a flat tire.
There's something very wrong here, all right, and Entragian is only the surface of it. The secrets embedded in Desperation's landscape, and the evil that infects the town like some viral hot zone, are both awesome and terrifying. But as young David Carver seems to know - though it scares him nearly to death to realize it - so are the forces summoned to combat them.
Stephen first came up with the idea for Desperation in 1991, when he was driving his daughter's car cross-country. He passed through Ruth, Nevada, a small town with seemingly no inhabitants. He immediately thought, "They're all dead," and then "Who killed them?" At that point, his "Voice" immediately answered "The sheriff killed them all." In 1994, he decided to pursue this idea further while driving across country on his motorcycle during the Insomnia book tour.