THE DEAD ZONE
by Stephen King
read by James Franco
The Dead Zone is a classic Stephen King, published in 1979, now available in audiobook and read by James Franco. The Dead Zone isn’t my favorite Stephen King, but that’s like comparing chocolate ice cream. With the narration by James Franco, they did a major push to get this one out there and “reread” by the masses. There is always a difference in reading and hearing it on audiobook, I think of audiobooks as performances – like a play of a book. And it’s even better when I’ve read the book, and now get to hear it on audiobook. Like an encore. This was an all-star encore!
The novel is more thriller than actual horror. It’s horrific to think about being in Johnny’s position, but as far as Stephen King’s usual shock and creep factor, this one doesn’t have it. This is more of a sit and think and get upset kind of book. It’s also well aligned with today’s current political environment…which is also kind of scary, because of the implied threat and the way people are reacting to our current president.
“If you could jump into a time machine and go back to 1932, would you kill Hitler?”
Johnny, the main character of The Dead Zone, awakens after a car accident, having spent 5-years in a coma. His body is wasted, and he now possesses the ability to see people’s future. The story is much more than just this plot line though, you get an inexorable look into Johnny repairing his life, being discovered to be psychic and all the hatred and awe that it inspires…and him coming to grips with the life that he had 5-years ago is gone, even though it seems like only a few days ago for him.
The thrilling part of the novel is all wrapped around the one quote above. He knows the future, he knows that one particular politician will potentially start a nuclear war…and he’s (in his mind) the only one that can stop it. What would you do? What will he do? Will it make a difference?
It’s a great performance and being in Johnny’s head with Franco doing a fabulous job with narration, I enjoyed revisiting this tale. It’s been a long time since I read the book, I didn’t watch the television show – even though I would like to do that now. Of course, it’s not available on Netflix (boo!). Now, I’ll have to go find where I can… if you haven’t read The Dead Zone before, or if it’s been awhile, might as well check out this audiobook with its star narrator.
The Dead Zone by Stephen King, James FrancoNarrator: James Franco
on April 25th 2017
Also by this author: Under the Dome
Never before on audio! A #1 national bestseller about a man who wakes up from a five-year coma able to see people’s futures and the terrible fate awaiting mankind in The Dead Zone—a “compulsive page-turner” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
Johnny Smith awakens from a five-year coma after his car accident and discovers that he can see people’s futures and pasts when he touches them. Many consider his talent a gift; Johnny feels cursed. His fiancé married another man during his coma and people clamor for him to solve their problems.
When Johnny has a disturbing vision after he shakes the hand of an ambitious and amoral politician, he must decide if he should take drastic action to change the future. The Dead Zone is a “faultlessly paced…continuously engrossing” (Los Angeles Times) novel of second sight.
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