AUTHOR: STEPHEN KING
PUBLISHER: HODDER & STOUGHTON
GENRE: SCIENCE FICTION / HORROR FICTION
COVER TYPE: HARD BACK
BLURB FROM THE COVER
In Derry, Maine, four young boys once stood together and did a brave thing. Something that changed them in ways they hardly understand.
A quarter of a century later, the boys are men who have gone their separate ways. Though they still get together once a year, to go hunting in the north woods of Maine. But this time is different. This time a man comes stumbling into their camp, lost, disoriented and muttering about lights in the sky.
Before long, these old friends will be plunged into the most remarkable events of their lives as they struggle with a terrible creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past – and in the Dreamcatcher.
PLOT SUMMARY: An alien spaceship crashes in the Maine woods. The aliens inside are dying and insist they come in peace and are infection free. The military slaughter them nevertheless because the aliens have released a virus that gestates inside people causing them to become telepathic and in some cases, grow small little aliens that eat their way out of their hosts. One of the aliens is still alive and has hitched a ride inside the body of a man whose telepathic powers are pretty amazing. Oh yeah, and the salvation of the world rests in the hands of a young man with Down’s Syndrome.
HIGHLIGHTS: Large chunks of Dreamcatcher are set in Derry, Maine, a regular stomping ground for King. King’s novel, IT is referenced. I love the little links King has between so many of his novels. Duddits was my favourite character. Fiction rarely has characters that have Down’s Syndrome. King did a great job of portraying this character without mock sympathy. Duddits could easily have been the worst kind of caricature. Kurtz was the man in charge of the military operation and was a dangerous lunatic. Another brilliant character. King is great at creating characters. Like all King’s fiction, the great stuff is the characters he creates and the relationships between them. The friendship between Jonesy, Henry, Pete and Beaver reminded me of IT. Alien invasion novels are ten a penny. Dreamcatcher would have been just another one if not for King’s characterisation and the friendship between the four friends and Duddits. The scene where Rick, the man Jonesy and Beaver offer shelter to is killed by the alien inside him and Beaver’s subsequent death is my favourite scene.
LOWLIGHTS: I thought it was pretty shit that Pete and Beaver were killed so early in the novel. I’d have loved to see them all save the world with Duddits. I actually shed some tears when Duddits died. I wish King had let him live.
THE OPENING LINE
Jonesy almost shot the guy when he came out of the woods…
This is only the second time I’ve read Dreamcatcher. It’s a really good novel but not one of my favourites.
Dreamcatcher was adapted for the screen in in 2003 starring Morgan Freeman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamcatcher_(film). The ending of the movie is completely different from the novel and not very good. The best thing in the movie is Morgan Freeman. The movie overall is very weak. King’s adaptations tend to be.