Firestarter By Stephen King (The Book and a bit of The Movie)

FirestarterFor 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 🙂

Book Detail:

Title: Firestarter
Author: Stephen King
Language: English
Pages: 510
Rating: 5 books

FS movieI 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 😉


28 thoughts on “Firestarter By Stephen King (The Book and a bit of The Movie)

  1. I’d never heard of this title before. It reminded me of the Prodigy song of the same name. I wonder if it’s based on this book. I’m glad you liked it. I’m going to read a Stephen King one of these days but this doesn’t sound like the typical King. I’ll read It or Salem’s Lot.
    I’ve read a few reviews of Salem’s Lot and people said tey were so terrified. I watched the movie but it left me quite cold.

    1. Are you sure you want to read IT? It’s one of SK’s thickest books.
      Actually, SK wrote many kind of genre…not many know that but he spans his genre outside horror so many time. His latest was also not horror and many people like it, I think that would be my next read.

      Salem’s lot movie was a meh…even though the book isn’t one of my fav but the movie is less interesting. I am talking about the new movie not the old one.

    2. I haven’t read much by King, but I did read Salem’s Lot last year and enjoyed it. I remember a lot of people loving It when it first came out. The Shining is on my 1001 list so I think I’ll read that one next by him. Also I own a copy of The Stand–but that is a chunkster. I haven’t read this one or seen the movie.

        1. I remember keeping the lights on one night. I get scared easily though and don’t read or watch a lot of horror, so not sure if it will scare you. But yes, I found it scary. Not sure about the VERY part though 🙂

      1. I like The Shining more than Salem’s Lot…I hope you’ll like it too 🙂

        The Stand that I have is the uncut version, more than 1000pages…but I enjoyed it a lot and planning to read it again one day.

      1. 1408 was good. The movie didn’t stay true, but I loved Samuel L. Jackson as the manager. From a Buick 8 was creepy. I have a few of his books, but I’m a true fan of John Saul. He is a horror writer and his books are pretty good. Not sure if you would have access to his stuff where you are or not.

        1. I like the movie as well as the novella of 1408. Haven’t read From a Buick yet…will do one day.

          I have read John Saul, it was The Manhattan Hunt…I wasn’t impressed but still willing to try. since you are a fan, can you recommend me your favorite of his?

  2. This one surprised me when I read the novel (back when it was first released). It moved very quickly and with surprising depth (especially between father and daughter). Good one to spotlight, Novroz.

    1. Thank you Mike 🙂
      I also like the bonding between father and daughter, I really think it’s the best part in the book. I often find King’s people relationship story as something well-built.

    1. Ah…I have some students like you 😉
      They refuse to watch horror movies and listen to my ghost stories.
      I don’t think SK’s books are that scary…or maybe it’s just because I love horror 😉

      BUT…firestarter is not horror at all…you should give it a try 😉

  3. I’ve never actually completed any of the Stephen King novels I’ve picked up because he’s too vivid for me. Makes me itch. But I’ve seen a few of his movies, and it seems to me he regularly leans toward SF and has quite the way with plot and character.

    1. He is indeed!! That’s why I like him a lot. He writes very detail but doesn’t linger too long and he has good ability in building a character, even in his more than 1000pages book about a city trapped under an invisible dome, he still manages to create strong characters of the people in the city.

  4. I’ve neither read the book nor watched the movie, but it is always encouraging to see when a book and movie pretty much mirror one another. It will be interesting to see how the new “CARRIE” film pans out.

    Nice review of the book and movie here, Nov! 🙂

    1. Thank you T 🙂
      I am also curious about Carrie…the old one wad pretty good even though it changed some of the details. Spacek was SO Carrie. I am a bit not sure that that girl from Kick Ass can do it, I though the girl in Hanna is much better than her ( sorry, I forgot both of her names)

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