For me, Stephen King’s book is like a home sweet home. Whenever I found myself struggling to finish a book, I often went back to the King of horror and trailer. I have mentioned that I was having difficulty to finish The War of The World, and so happy that King’s Firestarter is a fast read and not a single page made me sleepy.
I watched the movie when I was very young, couldn’t quite remember how young I was but I think it was when I was still in school. I remember liking the movie a lot. I haven’t read King’s book back then because here in Indonesia, Stephen King is not as famous as other writers. I saw the paperback last year but hold myself NOT to read it straight away, I want to have a Stephen King’s book ready on my shelf when I got bored with other writers (which reminds me that I have NO King on my shelf now and better buy one as soon as possible!)
Firestarter is more like sci-fi book rather than a horror book. Andy McGee and his future wife, Vicky Tomlinson needed a quick cash and signed up as volunteers in Dr. Wanless’ experiment called Lot Six. They didn’t know anything about the thing injected to them. Andy met Vicky there and had a love affair. The scientist and The Shop (the government bureau which supported Lot Six) never planned for such thing to happen…but it did happen. Their marriage brought them short happiness and a lot of misery from The Shop.
Lot Six was a manipulative agent which made a person developed psychic ability. Andy had a power to push people, he could make people do what he wanted them to do. Vicky could move things, not a very powerful telekinetic but the power was there. When the two of them had a child, the child had new power. Charlie was a firestarter, she had a power to crack the earth into two.
The shop wanted to capture Charlie in any way possible. Andy who had lost Vicky (no spoiler here because King already mentioned it in the beginning of the book) had to take Charlie in a fugitive live.
As always…King had managed to create another intriguing story. He began with Andy and Charlie on the run and took us to the past in between the present. We learned about Andy and Vicky from what Andy remembered. Although the people involved here have psychic powers but the main focus was NOT about the power at all. It focused on father and daughter’s relationship and the greed of government secret bureau. The Shop was willing to do anything to get Charlie. But even so, I couldn’t purely hate the people in the shop because each and every one of them was human with both greed and warm heart. I always like a story where the baddies weren’t pure evil.
When I was reading The War of The World, I remembered feeling bored reading how the main character kept on running away from the aliens…what King did in firestarter, even though it was also about running away, was better than what Wells did because King could make the running away process as something with ups and downs. The story evolved from one scene to another in way that made us care with what will happen next to the two surviving McGees.
Overall, I can say that this is one King’s book I imagine I can reread once I had read All his books 🙂
I watched the movie right after I finished the book. I am very pleased that the movie stayed true to the book. There were slight changes but it was understandable as the scriptwriter trying to fit it a 510 pages book into 2 hours movie. I respect the way Stanley Mann able to keep it short and still follow the book’s story.
Little Drew Barrymore as Charlie was great. She had all the quality of Charlie: beautiful, cute and innocent looking. However, I felt a bit disappointed with Martin Sheen as Cap Hollister, he was not as charismatic as the way the book depicted him. But as a whole, the movie was great 🙂
Have anyone seen or read Firestarter? What do you think?
Here’s a bit of my editing of Kurome as a firestarter 😉