Finished Firestarter

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Anduan Pirate Princess

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2015
Rhode Island
I just finished listening to Firestarter for the very first time this afternoon! I liked it, although I don’t think it’s going to be an ultimate favorite. I didn’t really connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to. Although, I’m wondering if this wasn’t at least partially because of the narrator (Dennis Boutsikaris), who had a tendency to make everyone sound a little toneless and cold at times. Especially Charlie’s father. I mean, of course I understand that he was under a lot of extraordinary pressure and didn’t have the power to provide Charlie with a stable and loving environment throughout the events in the book, but I never got the warm and fuzzies from him.

On the other hand, as yet another testament to how powerful Stephen King’s talent for storytelling is, I found myself feeling sympathetic towards some of the antagonists, Dr. Pynchot and Cap in particular. In a black and white world, this would be crazy. After all, the glaring truth is that they were major players in an organization that committed unspeakable crimes and ruined countless human lives. Period. So why did I feel bad for them as they slowly went mad from the ricochet effects? Weren’t they just getting what they deserved? Cap’s ending was especially pathetic, with him charging the garden hose with a rake (Mr. Narrator did do justice to this scene, and had me laughing with how he yelled “SANAAYYYKE!”)

Pynchot’s demise was especially terrifying to me. I was down in the cellar folding laundry while listening to this particular part of the book, so the setting was already kind of creepy. As soon as he started zeroing in on the garbage disposal and it finally dawned on me what was going to happen, I found myself yelling at the audiobook like it was a movie--“Oh, NOOOOO!”--and turning it off for a moment to steel myself. Let me tell you, even though the “death by garbage disposal/woodchipper/other grind-y machine” premise has been done to death by movies and television since the writing of this book, that didn’t make the concept here any less terrifying or cringeworthy. The fact that the actual death scene happened “off camera” and we readers were left to imagine it on our own made the impact that much greater.:barf:

John Rainbird: oooh, what a creep. An excellent villain. He would be even more scary to me if my mind would stop stubbornly autocorrecting his name to “John Redcorn” and leaving me with the image of the character from “King of the Hill” stuck in my head.
...Sorry. :wink::rolleyes:

I have to confess that the end of the book came a bit too abruptly for my taste. I need more closure! Will the article in Rolling Stone make everything “all better?” I can’t imagine how. Even if Charlie is “saved” from the evil Shop people, there’s no way she will be left alone by whoever grants her this “safety.” Part of me can’t help but think she’d just be better off dead after all.
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Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
I was looking at the cover of the UK version recently and noticed the pose of the girl has a resemblance to the famous photo of the little Vietnamese girl running down the street after being burned with napalm. Unnerving given the connections to fire. I wonder if it was intentional.
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