Dreamcatcher
by King, Stephen






Four men who reunite every year during hunting season in the woods of Maine, encounter a disoriented, incoherent stranger who drags the men into a terrifying struggle with a creature from another world, and their only chance for survival lies in their shared past.





Stephen King is the author of more than thirty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are On Writing, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Bag of Bones, and The Green Mile. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.





Jonesy, Henry, Pete, and the Beav have been friends since junior high, especially since the day they rescued Duddits, a Down's syndrome kid their age, from a trio of high- school bullies. They stayed Duddits' fast friends and defenders through high school and have kept up with one another for some 20 years now, gathering for a week of hunting in the Maine woods every fall. They haven't been in touch with Duddits the last several years, however, and don't know he is dying of leukemia. When they go hunting this year, they resolve to see Duddits afterwards. But this year, a big, sick, befuddled man wanders into their camp, saying he has been lost. Before Jonesy and the Beav can figure things out, all hell breaks loose. A blizzard comes on, delaying Henry and Pete's return with food and beer, and the guy gets much sicker and then explodes, releasing a legless, toothy thing that \xc9 . Suffice it to say that this is King's alien-first-contact yarn, and it's a corker-blood, pain, and bodily fluids all over the place, concluding with a long, suspenseful three-party chase. Predictably, given King's sentimentality about friendship, Duddits turns out to be the telepathic key to the bond between the other four protagonists, to heading off the alien invasion, and to saving Jonesy's and Henry's lives. An important secondary character, the maniacal army officer in charge of the military effort to "contain" the aliens, is pretty cartoonish, and King doesn't know intellectuals well enough to make Jonesy credible as the professor of history he is. So consider this second-rate King, but allow that it may be the best alien invasion story since Wells' War of the Worlds. ((Reviewed March 1, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews





King's first novel since Bag of Bones (1998) builds on the stylistic improvement begun with his splendidly well-written The Green Mile (1996).Dreamcatcher may at first seem a falling off, as the opening pages crank up the plot and four lads in Derry (seeIt and Insomnia) exchange vulgarities, but by the halfway point an immense fluff of seeming irrelevancies coalesce into a tight storyline and King has well and truly roped readers for the big ride. The four lads-Gary "Jonesy" Jones, Joe "Beaver" Clarendon, Henry Devlin, and Pete Moore-rescue retarded Douglas "Duddits" Cavell from gross bullying by big Richie Grenadeau. Later, in a communal dream, the four boys and Duddits find Richie beheaded in a ditch, a horror revealed piecemeal over several hundred pages that turns out to be real. The five have literally dreamed Richie dead. This spine-shaking ability comes up against a huge psychic enemy: the invasion of the planet by a thinking fungus that means to take over all species. King hints at a debt to Brian Lumley's great short story "Fruiting Bodies" and tells how the red fungus (called "the Ripley" after Sigourney Weaver's character in Alien) represents all the ETs we have seen in films by Spielberg, Cameron, and others. Twenty-five years later, Jonesy is a history teacher, Henry a shrink bedeviled by suicide, Pete a car salesman, and Beaver a happy-go-lucky partygoer losing his wife. The men meet for a week of deer hunting up in Maine. What they find is the red fungus, escaped from a crashed UFO destroyed by the Air Force and spreading like superflu in The Stand. Only the seemingly retarded Duddits can summon the Dreamcatcher that draws them together and gives them the force to fight a human villain: Kurtz (yes, that Kurtz), a psychotic military officer killing "grayboy" aliens and all humans infected by the Ripley.Top suspense with a surreal climax you'd have to read twice if the epilogue didn't spell out its layered complexities.First printing of 1,250,000; film rights to Castle Rock; Book-of-the-Month Club, Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild, Science Fiction Book Club, and Doubleday Large Print Book Club main selection; Quality Paperback Book Club alternate selection Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved





FIRST, THE NEWS

From the East Oregonian, June 25th, 1947

FIRE CONTROL OFFICER SPOTS

"FLYING SAUCERS"

Kenneth Arnold Reports 9 Disc-Shaped Objects

"Shiny, Silvery, Moved Incredibly Fast"

From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, July 8th, 1947

AIR FORCE CAPTURES "FLYING SAUCER"

ON RANCH IN ROSWELL REGION

Intelligence Officers Recover Crashed Disc

From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, July 9th, 1947

AIR FORCE DECLARES "SAUCER"

WEATHER BALLOON

From the Chicago Daily Tribune, August 1st, 1947

USAF SAYS "CANNOT EXPLAIN"

ARNOLD SIGHTING

850 Additional Sightings Since

Original Report

From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, October 19th, 1947

SO-CALLED SPACE WHEAT A HOAX,

ANGRY FARMER DECLARES

Andrew Hoxon Denies "Saucer Connection"

Red-Tinged Wheat "Nothing but a Prank," He Insists

From the (Ky.) Courier Journal, January 8th, 1948

AIR FORCE CAPTAIN KILLED CHASING UFO

Mantell's Final Transmission:

"Metallic, Tremendous in Size"

Air Force Mum

From the Brazilian Nacional, March 8th, 1957

STRANGE RINGED CRAFT CRASHES

IN MATO GROSSO!

2 WOMEN MENACED NEAR PONTO PORAN!

"We Heard Squealing Sounds from Within,"

They Declare

From the Brazilian Nacional, March 12th, 1957

MATO GRASSO HORROR!

Reports of Gray Men with Huge Black Eyes

Scientists Scoff! Reports Persist!

VILLAGES IN TERROR!

From the Oklahoman, May 12th, 1965

STATE POLICEMAN FIRES AT UFO

Claims Saucer Was 40 Feet Above Highway 9

Tinker AFB Radar Confirms Sightings

From the Oklahoman, June 2nd, 1965

"ALIEN GROWTH" A HOAX,

FARM BUREAU REP DECLARES

"Red Weeds" Said to Be Work

of Spray-Gun, Teenagers

From the Portland (Me.) Press-Herald, September 14th, 1965

NEW HAMPSHIRE UFO SIGHTINGS MOUNT

Most Sightings in Exeter Area

Some Residents Express Fear of Alien Invasion

From the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader, September 19th, 1965

ENORMOUS OBJECT SIGHTED NEAR EXETER

WAS OPTICAL ILLUSION

Air Force Investigators Refute State Police Sighting

Officer Cleland Adamant: "I Know What I Saw"

From the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader, September 30th, 1965

FOOD POISONING EPIDEMIC IN PLAISTOW

STILL UNEXPLAINED

Over 300 Affected, Most Recovering

FDA Officer Says May Have Been

Contaminated Wells

From the Michigan Journal, October 9th, 1965

GERALD FORD CALLS

FOR UFO INVESTIGATION

Republican House Leader Says "Michigan Lights"

May Be Extraterrestrial in Origin

From the Los Angeles Times, November 19th, 1978

CALTECH SCIENTISTS REPORT SIGHTING

HUGE DISC-SHAPED OBJECT IN MOJAVE

Tickman: "Was Surrounded by Small Bright Lights"

Morales: "Saw Red Growth Like Angel Hair"

From the Los Angeles Times, November 24th, 1978

STATE POLICE, USAF INVESTIGATORS FIND

NO "ANGEL HAIR" AT MOJAVE SITE

Tickman and Morales Take, Pass, Lie Tests

Possibility of Hoax Discounted

From the New York Times, August 16th, 1980

"ALIEN ABDUCTEES" REMAIN CONVINCED

Psychologists Question Drawings of So-Called Gray Men

From the Wall Street Journal, February 9th, 1985

CARL SAGAN: "NO, WE ARE NOT ALONE"

Prominent Scientist Reaffirms Belief in ETs

Says, "Odds of Intelligent Life Are Enormous"

From the Phoenix Sun, March 14th, 1997

HUGE UFO SIGHTED NEAR PRESCOTT

DOZENS DESCRIBE "BOOMERANG-SHAPED" OBJECT

Switchboard at Luke AFB Deluged with Reports

From the Phoenix Sun, March 20th, 1997

"PHOENIX LIGHTS" REMAIN UNEXPLAINED

Photos Not Doctored, Expert Says

Air Force Investigators Mum

From the Paulden (Ariz.) Weekly, April 9th, 1997

FOOD POISONING OUTBREAK UNEXPLAINED

REPORTS OF "RED GRASS" DISCOUNTED AS HOAX

From the Derry (Me.) Daily News, May 15th, 2000

MYSTERY LIGHTS ONCE AGAIN REPORTED

IN JEFFERSON TRACT

Kineo Town Manager: "I Don't Know What They Are,

but They Keep Coming Back"

Copyright © 2001 by Stephen King






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