Regulators & Desperation, which one 1st?

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Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
The characters in the two stories are like actors in a play...and in the two stories they play different parts. Thought I read that King had in mind a troupe of actors when he wrote these it might seem a bit strange to read one first (either one) and then read the other and discover the actor who played the bad in one is now playing the good. Seems like Regulators follows Desperation if a timeline exists...but my memory is suspect so take it all with a grain of salt.


Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
Atlanta GA
I read Desperation first since I discovered that one first. I'd not heard of The Regulators at the time. If I had I probably might've wondered the same thing. Having read them both my take on the similarities between the two is that, since I only see character name and description similarities, sK was implying a parallel universe Idea on top of, or underlying I suppose, two totally different stories.


Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
It doesn't really matter. It's been well explained here. IMO Desperation was the better of the two.
I agree. Doesn't really matter which comes first (I think I got them both in one Christmas package, so they must have been released simultaneously, or nearly). Reminds me of the Joseph Gordon-Leavitt movie called UNCERTAINTY--same people, same names, REALLY different stories going on alongside one another. I liked DESPERATION better, as well, but lots of people love THE REGULATORS.

Hall Monitor

All bars serve the Beam.
Nov 7, 2013
New Jersey
I read Desperation first, and I've always wondered how it altered my perceptions of the Regulators. I know I looked at a certain character from the Regulators much differently based on his character in Desperation, and I think it was meant to be that way. I do agree though, that you should be able to read either first . . . there are probably similar games being played in the reverse scenario.


Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2013
Haha...that's probably right Bev. I actually felt Desperation laid things out better to understand the Regulators, rather than the other way around. But again, I read Desperation first, so I'm biased I suppose.
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carrie's younger brother

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2012
I've never heard anyone say "I wish I'd read the other book first"
On that note... I wish I had read The Regulators first, actually. I read Desperation first and found it to be just OK, so I put off The Regulators for some time thinking it too would be "just OK." Wound up that I love The Regulators and consider it to be in my Top 10 SK books. So by reading Desperation first, I deprived myself of enjoying The Regulators for a few years. lol

Yes, I realize none of this makes any sense. o_O


Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2012
I know SK has done the whole "twinner" thing with The Talisman/Black House, and some in the DT series (and of course Desperation/Regulators). I'd like to see SK do something similar with maybe... The Stand characters. Maybe have them living in a small community (such as Under The Dome). Stu Redman as the college dean. The Trashcan Man as mayor. Harold Lauder and Nadine as the local pastor and pastor's wife. Glenn Bateman as a mass murderer. It could work!