Well, well well. What do we have here? Firestarter. A not-so-typical review, by a not-so-typical reviewer. This book, this Stephen King novel. It holds deep-rooted sentimental value for me. When I was asked whether I would consider reviewing this book due to the new movie’s upcoming release, I almost jumped sky high and out of my skin. The nostalgia. It came like a Tsunami. The very first time I touched this book was probably when I was either 13 or 14. It was a “borrowed” copy from the library of my best friend at the time whose family were avid readers. Initially, I thought, argh. Waste of my precious time reading this 400-page book that looked like it had passed through many hands. I mean really. I clearly remember rolling my eyes into the next century. You know, the I know better teenage years of all our lives.
Eventually, I picked up this book and read page one. Page one quickly became page two. And before I knew it, it was like 4 am and I was halfway through! The truth is… this book. This book, which was written in 1980, IGNITED the embers within. And set a blazing trail that had left me devouring all the Stephen King books I could have possibly laid my hands on. And dare I say it, the thief in me, yep. The thief. Did NOT want to return this book to the said best friend. Yes, I could have gotten a copy of my own easily. But I wanted this one. The first one that I had touched. The worn-out book that just helped me evolve into the reader I am today. (Sadly, I had to give this one back, albeit RELUCTANTLY.)
Written by: Stephen King
So how did I get hooked into the Stephen King World? I’ll tell you how. Page one. That’s how. A father and young daughter on the run, followed by unsavory characters. No access to funds because why! Because dad’s banking account just mysteriously disappeared, and without money in New York City? Well. “People with no money disappeared in New York, they dropped into the sidewalks, never to be seen again.”
You see, Andy McGee and his daughter Charlie are wanted by “The Shop”. A government agency for the Department of Scientific Intelligence. Andy, his wife Vicky Tomlinson as well as 10 other participants took part in an experiment at college and were given a chemical compound called “Lot Six”.
Essentially a classified compound, hypnotic and mild hallucinogenic in nature. What “The Shop” did not anticipate was that two of the research subjects in the program, with latent psychic abilities, would fall in love and start a family. And this is where the story starts. With Charlie. Why you may ask? She’s only a child, right? Well, Charlie is a genetic anomaly, with rare pyrokinetic powers. And this is what “The Shop” wants. They want to harness young pigtailed Charlie’s fire-starting abilities to weaponize it…
The final thoughts:
Firestarter should have a place on everyone’s bookshelf. Not because it’s a chilling horror or a scientific psychological thriller. Oh no! And definitely not because it is an exhilarating read. This one should be on everyone’s shelves because Stephen King is a master storyteller, and this my friend is a MASTERPIECE!