My review

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Getting older and balder
May 9, 2007
This is a review that I first posted on Goodreads.

I didn't really know what to expect from this novel. I knew the plot and I had seen the movie with Christopher Walken, but I had postponed reading the novel. A few summers ago I finally decided to give it a try.

The thing that really stood out to me ,and caught me somewhat flatfooted, was the theme of change. Rapid breathtaking change and the fact that it happens whether we like it or not. In this respect I realized this was a very personal aspect that the story was hitting on.

The Dead Zone was published in 1979. I was eleven years old when it came out. I was just a kid and the world that Johnny is so effected by was just the world to me. Gas lines, stagflation, the Iran Hostage Crisis, disco, the U.S. 1980 Olympic hockey team; all these things (and more) were just part of the world that I was living in. My concerns were that of a child.

As I grew older and the 1980's progressed into the 1990's I grew more aware of the world and my surroundings, but the rapid changes that characterize the society of the United States continued to have no effect on me. Well not that I was aware of.

I was just too busy. School, marriage, starting a family, starting a career, starting a second career etc. But finally , a few years ago, I reached a point in my life where I took a pause. It was as if I came to a stop sign and was able to take a look behind me. I found myself amazed by the fact that over twenty years had gone by since high school and I and my old school mates were no longer kids. We were at the start of middle age. Some of them were dead,Those of us who weren't were starting to get grey hair and the middle aged spread had begun - despite our best efforts. A few had even become grandparents!Basically we had turned into our parents.

It was at this point that I looked, really looked , at what had happened in the world since I had turned 18. In many respects I felt like Johnny Smith. Since I took that pause I realize that the world continues to move at it's normal breakneck pace and I'm no longer part of it.

Now do not misunderstand me. I still have my career and my life can get very busy - especially now that the kids are teenagers. But I'm no longer part of the vast, sweeping river that makes up this country.In some respects I've chosen to sit on the riverbank. It's an interesting place to be.

That's the situation Johnny is in except for the fact that he has the ability of second sight. Showing him where the world is going and giving him the opportunity to change the river though it means great sacrifice for him.

Every now and again one reads a novel that resonates. For whatever reason the story harmonizes with the reader at that time in the reader's life. I didn't expect this to happen when I started reading The Dead Zone , but it did. As a result the story feels more personal to me. It isn't King's standard fare and for the reader wanting thrills and chills I recommend looking elsewhere. This is a more personal and Human story. Sometimes a story just touches one and there is nothing wrong with that. This is one of those books - for me.

I liked it and recommend it.
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