Thoughts on "The Dead Zone"

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Feb 5, 2015
Coincidentally, I started "The Dead Zone" the day after I finished "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Bradbury. Stephen King is obviously a fan -- I was delighted to see three whole references to Ray Bradbury's epic.

The first reference was at the carnival when Sarah says that the mirror maze reminded her of "Something Wicked This Way Comes"; the second was when the traveling lightning rod salesman shows up at the bar; the third was when Chuck says that he recommended the book to his girlfriend.

It was also pleasing to see the "Carrie" reference, when the bar burns down, and someone accuses Johnny of telepathically burning it down "like in that book Carrie".

So, those thoughts aside, I consider this to be one of the greatest books ever written, at least in my limited experience, and it definitely falls into my top five favorites, possibly even into the #1 slot. Its only contenders are "Crime and Punishment" "The Lord of the Rings" (a trilogy, I know, but I read it in the format of a single enormous book, so I consider it to be a single work) and "Ender's Game".

Now, this is the first Stephen King novel that I've read. My question to you is: are there any better, and if so, which ones?

He has a great many books.


Well-Known Member
Jul 10, 2006
I like The Dead Zone a lot. This was the book where it became apparent to me that King could do it all. This was a personal story tied to a big idea and handled beautifully. For that, it holds a special place in my King fan heart.

Love the movie with Christopher Walken - The ice is gonna break! - and really enjoyed the TV series before it went off the rails in the last season.

Echo Looper

Well-Known Member
Apr 2, 2014
I agree with you - The Dead Zone is fantastic! I would recommend The Shining or even Salem's Lot from here. They make for excellent "winter" reads & aren't quite as epic as those other books you mentioned. But as they all have said, you can't go wrong anywhere. Happy reading.


Well-Known Member
May 12, 2017
Denton, TX
Were Johnny or Stillson ever mentioned in any other stories? I know several of the Castle Rock stories reference Bannerman and serial killer but I don't recall them mentioning Johnny's involvement. I don't remember seein any mention of Stillson elsewhere but I haven't read every single novel/story yet either.


Well-Known Member
May 12, 2017
Denton, TX
Well, I found an answer to my own question. I'm re-reading Needful Things (it's been 17-18 years) and there was a small mention of Johnny. When the bandstand was struck by lightning there is mention of it being the place "where a tormented young man named Johnny Smith had once discovered the name of a killer".


The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
Cambridge, Ohio
Same for me. Johnny Smith is just SO darn likable, you just can't help but feel bad for him because of all the horrible things he experienced when all he ever wanted was to lead a normal life and teach.
....hey man, welcome to the King Consortium and Admiration Society.....
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