Wish I hadn't seen the movie before reading the novel, but still loved it

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The Walkin' Dude

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2016
47
262
25
Charlotte, NC
#1
This story is such a big bummer, and I mean that in the best possible way. Johnny Smith is one of the most sympathetic and tragic characters I've ever come across. Throughout the entire novel he never really does anything wrong and none of the events that transpire are his fault. He's just a victim throughout. The word to sum up what goes on in this book is unfair. The time and relationships and life that Johnny loses aren't his fault in any way. And it's only made worse when he can't move on and live a normal life after. I think this is some of his best work. All of the characters in it are fully realized and real. Poor ol' Sheriff Bannerman even shows up in this, which made me a tad bit sad that I read Cujo before this one. I always liked him. This is one of his books that I really never wanted to stop reading.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
80,943
307,275
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#2
This story is such a big bummer, and I mean that in the best possible way. Johnny Smith is one of the most sympathetic and tragic characters I've ever come across. Throughout the entire novel he never really does anything wrong and none of the events that transpire are his fault. He's just a victim throughout. The word to sum up what goes on in this book is unfair. The time and relationships and life that Johnny loses aren't his fault in any way. And it's only made worse when he can't move on and live a normal life after. I think this is some of his best work. All of the characters in it are fully realized and real. Poor ol' Sheriff Bannerman even shows up in this, which made me a tad bit sad that I read Cujo before this one. I always liked him. This is one of his books that I really never wanted to stop reading.
...I concur...Johnny was his best drawn tragic figure....
 

mjs9153

Peripherally known member..
Nov 21, 2014
3,232
19,976
#3
download.jpg Got a Fever and the only thing to fix it is more cowbell.

Haha, though I do agree that Johnny was a tragic figure.. Did you ever see the Saturday Night Live where Christopher Walken parodied his character Johnny? Funny stuff..
 
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rudiroo

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2008
467
1,857
London, England
#9
This story is such a big bummer, and I mean that in the best possible way. Johnny Smith is one of the most sympathetic and tragic characters I've ever come across. Throughout the entire novel he never really does anything wrong and none of the events that transpire are his fault. He's just a victim throughout. The word to sum up what goes on in this book is unfair. The time and relationships and life that Johnny loses aren't his fault in any way. And it's only made worse when he can't move on and live a normal life after.
You've summed up most of the reasons I like this book so much - life is full of random acts of unfairness (part of the same line-up which includes the law of unintended consequences).

If we deal with as much of the random and unfair stuff as we can - and move beyond the "why me?" reaction - pain, disappointment and the rest of the laundry list of loss becomes a little more bearable.

Yep. Just making it up as we go along . .:indecisiveness:
 

Steffen

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2015
1,951
11,005
#13
The Dead Zone is still one of my favourites, and I've always had a soft spot for poor, tragic John Smith. It was the first King novel I read - I stole the paperback from my brother when the movie came out beause I was too young to be admitted in the theatre. I still have it, as a matter of fact.

It's a perfect example of what continues to make King's work attractive to me. Another writer would have focused on the fantastical elements of the story. This book showed how having such a gift was actually a curse, how fickle humans really are: people wanted Johnny to tell them the truth and when he did, they cursed him for it. You could feel the gift weighing heavily on Johnny's soul, beating him down every day yet he still struggled to be a decent man. Horror elements aside, THIS is why I believe decades from now, people will realise Stephen King deserves to be right up there with the likes of Mark Twain.
 
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