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Good Story, but...

Discussion in 'The Regulators' started by Chuggs, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. mal

    mal Well-Known Member

    Sai King could copy my phone book and I'd think it's the greatest! I'm too biased. I just reread this a few months ago. The paperback was given to me by my wife's Dad, who is 98! I thought it was a heck of a good tale. Very fast moving...I couldn't catch my breath.
    Neesy and kingricefan like this.
  2. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    I read somewhere, must have been in Hollywood Trade or some other magazine like that, that Shelly Duvall and Molly Ringwald were interested in starring in it. ;;D
  3. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    I read Desperation and then The Regulators back to back, in that order, when they were first published. I didn't hate The Regulators, but I didn't love it either. Of the two Desperation is my favorite. I liked The Regulators better after a re-read a couple of years ago. But, there is something about it that doesn't lend itself to a place on my top 20 King novels. Maybe it's the sparseness of prose or just the violence forced upon these folks. Nope, can't be the violence because there's tons of that in Desperation. Maybe it's the lack of hope?
  4. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    This one is at the absolute rock bottom of my personal King List. To me, it is the ugliest, dirtiest, darkest book or story he's written, and that counts the stories in Full Dark, No Stars. It doesn't feel like a King (or Bachman) book at all; to be honest, reading it was the first time I questioned to myself if Mr. King tanking on drugs (not a query I usually entertain, but there's a 'man on the edge' quality in the writing that surprised me). I gave it another chance, years later, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.
    kingricefan and Neesy like this.
  5. Silhouette86

    Silhouette86 Well-Known Member

    When I read The Reguiators several years back, I absolutely loved it. One of my favorites.
    kingricefan likes this.
  6. Sunlight Gardener

    Sunlight Gardener Well-Known Member

    Even darker, uglier and dirtier than Pet Semetary? Woah, that's bad. That book is like torture for me, it's so black. No redeeming qualities whatsoever besides being a riveting story of course. Cujo is another one that is so dark that even though it's a great book, I don't particularly enjoy reading it all that much. While I actually enjoyed the Regulators a lot, I can see what you mean as being very different.

    On another note, your post made me assess which King book would be "Rock Bottom" in my SK library. There isn't one that stands out greatly among the rest, but Tommyknockers would probably be pretty low down there I guess. It seems really really long and slow...at least the last time I read it. As much as I hate to admit it, Revival would probably be on the low end too. Just didn't resonate much for some reason...a least not the way his other books do.
    kingricefan likes this.
  7. Sunlight Gardener

    Sunlight Gardener Well-Known Member

    Started a re-read of Regulators today for the first time in 10 years or so. Very curious to see how my positive memories of the book stack up to reading it this time. I feel like I must be building it up into a better book than it actually is, since I loved it so much, but it is almost unanimously disliked amongst SK fans here and one of his lowest rated books.

    I gotta tell ya though. I read the first 20 pages today and so far it's just as good to me as I remember. I completely love the "Residential suburban Ohio on a sunny beautiful Summer Day" setup of the story. Using that backdrop to introduce all the characters living on that street right before all hell breaks loose is just beautiful IMO. I confess, I am hooked right back into it from the get go. Can't wait to get back into it tomorrow.
  8. Sunlight Gardener

    Sunlight Gardener Well-Known Member

    Just finished my Regulators re-read. Yeah I am in a definite minority here, but I thoroughly enjoyed that book every bit as much as I remember the first time when I read it years ago. I started thinking that maybe I had built it up too much in my mind after reading how much people here dislike it. Nope, it's still awesome and one of my SK favorites lol.

    Starting Desperation again since I always read them one after the other and the stories fit together in a bizarre way. I fell right back into both of them as soon as I started. Excited to read some of the parts in Desperation that I have forgotten over the years.
  9. carrie's younger brother

    carrie's younger brother Well-Known Member

    I love The Regulators; much more than I like Desperation. The Regulators hits all the right SK buttons for me. It's one of my SK top 10.
    Sunlight Gardener and doowopgirl like this.
  10. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    Me, I prefer Desperation. It's like road trip gone REALLY wrong.
  11. Pucker

    Pucker We all have it coming, kid

    As a matter of style I preferred Desperation, but I grew up in one of those sleepy, leafy suburbs where everything was totally okay all the time (except when my parents came home drunk) and watching all that get blasted apart in The Regulators spoke a kind of language I can understand.

    I rarely go back to these two, but thinking about them right now my mind is entirely full of Ron Perlmann telling the blonde wife:

    "I don't want that! Especially from you!"

    kingricefan likes this.
  12. Bardo

    Bardo Well-Known Member

    I with you, I had a hard time keeping the cast in mind with this book, I did finish though! Now reading Desperation which flows quite nicely but,
    The reoccuring players from Regulators are still a bit jumbled in my mind, Ill go back and re-read Reg's again shortly
  13. Senor_Biggles

    Senor_Biggles Well-Known Member

    Started reading this thread and I was trying to figure out exactly how to explain why I like The Regulators so much and then you went and did it for me. Thanks Skimom! It is ugly, it is dirty, it is dark, it does leave bad taste in the mouth and it works for me.
    skimom2 likes this.
  14. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    See? Isn't it nice that Mr. King has a little something for everyone? :)
  15. prufrock21

    prufrock21 Well-Known Member

    Early King is grungier, more intense--more grossed-out, if you will--than the more mellow King we witness today. It's like early King is a shot in the arm (or the buttocks), and later King is a punch in the stomach. Which do you prefer?
  16. Sunlight Gardener

    Sunlight Gardener Well-Known Member

    Skimom, I'm curious but after re-reading it a couple months ago, I honestly can't think of anything overly dirty, dark or gross about The Regulators that stands out when compared to other SK books. Yeah it was gritty and there was a lot of violence but I can't think of many of his books that don't have some of that.

    I actually went into it looking for stuff because a couple people here voiced the same opinion. I actually found it more optimistic than a lot of King works and nowhere near as gross as a book like Dreamcatcher for instance, nor anywhere near as dark as Pet Semetary. What am I missing? I kept waiting for the gross out parts or terribly dark parts and I think I must have not recognized them for whatever reason. Lol, maybe I am just sick I don't know.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  17. danie

    danie I am whatever you say I am.

    SG-I'm tagging Skimom so she'll see your post.
  18. Pucker

    Pucker We all have it coming, kid


    I wouldn't presume to answer for anyone else ... and I think you may rest assured that Skimom will answer for herself, but for my money, what is "dirty, dark and gross" about The Regulators has nothing to do with anything that happens in the actual story.

    The Regulators
    is about what we perceive.

    That is why it takes place somewhere we are expected to recognize.

    That is why it posits serenity in that place . . . and why the word "why" is in this sentence three times.

    That is why, when things start to go wrong -- and keep going wrong -- most of the people who inhabit this "wrong" place will not admit that anything at all is (or could ever be) wrong.

    I don't like this story.

    I mean . . . I like it for how it teaches me about stories . .. what they can do . . . and how what they can do influences how I think about things that go beyond the stories, themselves.

    But I don't like what happens in this story.

    It's wrong.

    And not wrong the way Pennywise . . . or Flagg . . . or ... even that overblown Crimson King himself is wrong.

    It's wrong in a more fundamental way; a way that we should more readily recognize .. . but don't.

    Most people on this forum would not argue with the fact that Mr. King is a genius.

    But I wonder -- so I do -- how many of us could articulate clearly, why we say it is so.

    I can't.

    And this story is a good example of why I can't.
  19. Sunlight Gardener

    Sunlight Gardener Well-Known Member

    I'll be honest, I don't get any of that or understand it. In fact I get the exact opposite feeling from reading it. This is the first SK book I always find myself wanting to read in those very first golden days of summer when it finally gets warm and beautiful outside. I just want to sit outside in the sun and enjoy it again. Those are the associations I get from the book, mostly because that is the setting of the book itself I guess. It's also the way I read it for the first time which may make a difference. I get nothing except good feelings from reading it. I would argue that Desperation (which I love too and is much more popular) is much darker than The Regulators.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  20. Pucker

    Pucker We all have it coming, kid

    Good post.

    Good screen name, too.
    Sunlight Gardener likes this.

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