Rage, by Richard Bachman: I think it was absolutely the right decision on Stephen King’s part to not only stop further publication of this early novel, but pull as many copies as he could. To have a book out there that empathizes with and to a degree glorifies school shooters…that is not only controversial in today’s reality, it’s beyond the pale. What’s the difference between allowing something like Misery to stay on the shelves and deciding to pull the plug on Rage? Perspective. I don’t think anyone could say that Misery condones, in any way, Annie’s actions. Does Rage argue or its protagonist? Well….that’s a bit trickier, isn’t it? Certainly King thought the book might have been a bit too sympathetic. Freedom of speech goes both ways – and recalling a piece of work is an awfully loud statement. Hear, hear.
The Long Walk, by Richard Bachman: I think if The Long Walk was released today, it would have gotten a long more attention. And possibly would have been released as a YA sensation, and then turned into the latest blockbuster trilogy. Who cares if it’s only one (short) novel; we’ll hire Peter Jackson. Long Walk is easily my favorite of the Bachman books. And even though every time I read it, I find new bits that I wish had been fleshed out a little, I’m amazed at how good it is for all its simplicity.