Desperation
by Stephen King
Discussed August 2006
Desperation by Stephen King
Characters
Peter and Mary Jackson – married traveling back home from Peter’s sister’s.
Cop – Collier Entragian – Town cop in Desperation.
The Carver’s – Ralph the father, Ellen the mother, Kirsten the little girl and David the 11 year old son. A Family on vacation.
John Edward Marinville – a writer.
Steve Andrew Ames – Johnny’s road assistant.
Cynthia Smith – hitchhiker Steve picked up.
Brian – David’s best friend who was hit by a drunk driver.
Tom Billingsley – the white-haired resident of Desperation.
Audrey Wyler – geologist.
Turner – Set explosives.
Ripton – headed the mining crew.
Brad Josephson – Worked overtime at the mine.

For Book Reviews Click Here

Overview
by Brenda Krekeler


Desperation
by Stephen King

Part 1
Highway 50:
In the House of the Wolf, The House of the Scorpion

Chapter One
1
Route 50 is considered “The Loneliest Highway” in America. Peter and Mary Jackson were driving along its desolate path when a white cop car past them at 90 m.p.h. then slowed and Peter past it at 20 m.p.h. Soon the cop turned on the cruiser’s blue flashers.
2
The cop was the size of a football player at least 6’5” or taller, maybe 300 pounds. The cop looked over Peter’s driver’s license and his sister’s car’s registration and ordered him out of the car.
3
The cop took Peter and showed him that his back license plate was sheered off. It apparently happened back in Fallon where they had made a pit stop. Peter and Mary were greatly relieved to know why the cop stopped them. Upon searching for a tool box under the doughnut tire, a bag of marijuana with a large smiling face on it was discovered. The cop took them into custody. They got in the cop’s car. Peter noticed that the cop’s bright grey eyes appeared dead.
4
In the car they passed an RV with all flat tires and an open door. A doll was face down on the ground in front of the RV's door. While the cop was reciting them their rights he embedded a sentence, “…an attorney. I am going to kill you. If you cannot afford…” The cop yelled at them “Do you understand your rights? Yes? No?” The cop bit his lip and blood dripped down his chin. The cop continued to talk, “I see holes like eyes. My mind is full of them.”
5
They drove through a desolate one-intersection town. There was a large old copper mine revived by new technology but there weren’t any people around. They arrived at the police/municipal building and upon entering Mary saw a girl’s dead body on the stairs. After calling Peter and Mary slanderous racial and ethnic names, the cop shot Peter in the stomach three times.

Chapter 2
1
Ralph the Father, eleven year old son David, Kirsten the dead daughter who the cop had pushed down the stairs and the wife Ellie, had previously occupied the abandoned RV. Ralph had a serious head wound. Ralph and Ellie were in one cell on the second floor of the municipal building and David was in another cell with a white-haired man. Mary fell into the common area of the cell room and everyone told her to get the shot gun and kill him (the cop).
2
Ralph, Ellie, Kristen and David were from Delaware Ohio driving to Lake Tahoe on Rt. 50 when the tires of there RV went flat.
3
Mary aimed the gun.
4
The RV had run over a stop strip. The cop got the Carver’s in the cruiser’s backseat on the pretense that there was a gunman out to kill them. The gunman had laid the road carpet of tacks to trap them. The cop was protecting them by taking them to town. Once in Desperation the cop told them that a bad town cop was the crazy gunman and that it was him. He told them he had killed the other two town cops.
5.
Mary shot at the cop but it went high. She just wanted him to kill her but he said, “No. Not when things were just getting interesting.”

Chapter 3
1
A guy riding a motorcycle stopped along Highway 50 to pee.
2
John Edward Marinville. When he turned to go back to the bike, a cop car with blue flashers was behind his bike.
3.
Johnny continued thinking about his first wife Terry and their three kids. He thought of a conversation with her that stimulated his trip across America. Johnny had written a number of short stories in his early career as a writer. Terry suggested that he compile a number of his short stories. This got him to thinking about traveling across America on his bike and writing stories along the way. “Travels with Harley.”
4
The cop recognized Johnny as the famous author and they both were excited to talk about him. After sometime the cop took note of the baggie with a big smiling face stashed in the saddles of the motorcycle. The cop called Johnny all kinds of insulting names, broke his nose, kicked his thigh and ordered him into the cop car on the charade of arrest for possession.
5
The cop drove the bike into the desert and camouflaged it with sand. Johnny tried to call his friend on his cell phone. Johnny wasn’t sure if his friend heard him or not. The cop sat in the front seat of the cruiser and set his shot gun on his shoulder pointed at Johnny in the backseat. Without watching Johnny the gun followed Johnny’s every move. Johnny thought he had a mirror. When they left for town coyotes were lined up along the road. The cop told Johnny, “School will be in shortly.”

Chapter 4
1
Steve Andrew Ames of Lubbock Texas was hired to follow Johnny and coordinate receptions and meetings along the trip from Connecticut to California. Just outside Ely, Steve picked up a girl.
2
Steve stayed 70 miles behind Johnny. He introduced himself to Cynthia Smith.
3
While they were getting to know one another, Steve’s cell phone beeped. Steve understood most of what his boss said. Johnny was in trouble with his bike, maybe an accident. He was beyond Ely and about one and one-half miles from an RV.
4
They found the RV with all the tires flat and a doll half buried by sand. After inspecting the interior of the RV and concluding the family left under very peculiar circumstances, Steve walked back one and one-half miles as Cynthia drove the truck and watched the odometer for a reading to match Johnny's indicated one and one-half mile mark.
5
Cynthia found Johnny’s little notebook half buried by the blowing sand. Then Steve saw a glimmer out in the desert and ran to it. Cynthia was not far behind. They discovered the Harley. Both felt they were being watched. Coyotes started to howl. Steve stopped and closed the door on the RV then they left to “…find us some law.”

Chapter 5
1
The cops’ eyes were empty, dead, but yet David felt there was a sense of being called when he looked at the cop. Mary got into the large cell, threw herself on the bunk and cried. The cop was talking to David and he explained that he has eagle eyes. He can see truth from afar. His irises spun like pinwheels. The cop told David there was no God out here in Desperation only “can de lach.” The cop said the cells were the only safe place to be because when night comes…. The cop left and David knelt down as if to pray. David believed the cop could read his mind, at least some of it.
2
David’s friend was hit by a drunk driver one morning when David had stayed home sick. Brian had brain damage and was going to be taken off life support in a few days. David wanted to see him at the hospital. He had to get a special blue pass from school that read EXCUSED EARLY to go see Brian. Brian’s eyes were open and Brian's parents both broke down crying. Once home, David had a need to go to Bear Street Woods. He went down their Ho Chi Minh Trail to their platform/tree house named "The Viet Cong Lookout". David sensed “the still, the small voice: of God". David didn’t know how to pray but the voice answered, “you are already praying.” David asked for his friend Brian to get better. He told God that he would repay him. After David’s prayer, he felt God wanted him to hang the blue pass on a nail head in the platform/tree house. After David got home, Brian’s parents called and said Brian was awake. An answer to David’s prayer – David wasn’t surprised.
3
Now David went to the black place and listened for the small voice. He heard the voice of the devil instead of God. Soon his mother started yelling at him for praying and asking him just what kind of deal he had made with God. Then they all heard the cop car’s motor and coyote's howling.
4
Coyotes were crossing diagonally at the town’s main intersection as the cop was bringing Johnny into jail. Johnny realized – something here was not normal…beyond the weird blood sneezing giant cop. There was a man in the street, the cop ran him over. The cop now had blood in one eye socket and was sneezing his teeth out. Blood was dripping from the corners of his mouth and his skin was sunburned, cracked and bleeding. When the cop got out of the car Johnny saw that blood was also oozing out of under his arms and between his legs. The cop called a buzzard and it attached Johnny. Johnny grabbed it and tore it apart. The cop called twenty more buzzards and asked Johnny if he wanted the cop to set these birds on him.
5
The cop’s name was Collier Entragian explained the white-haired man in David’s jail cell. The town people called him Collie. The white-haired man’s name was Tom Billingsley. He said the old copper mine should be closed because its haunted. The cop pushed Johnny in the cell room and everyone starred at the bloodied giant cop disintegrating before them.

Part II
Desperation:
In These Silences Something May Rise

Chapter 1
1
Steve and Cynthia arrived in Desperation with an intuition that things were bad and about to get worse. They were looking for the local police.
2
Collie took Ellie, David’s Mom, out of the cell. Entragian left a coyote in the center of the cell room to watch everyone then Entragian left with Ellie
3
Steve and Cynthia went inside the miners office.
4
Steve and Cynthia found empty offices and a radio playing, no people and a human hand in the aquarium. They went on down the hall toward some yellow lights.
5
Ellen was taken to the copper pit. Collier Entragian, the cop, continued to fall apart. His tongue fell out.

Chapter 2
1
David soaped up with cold water and wiggled through the cell bars. The coyote growled at him.
2
Johnny kept the attention of the coyote. David to his body out but his head was stuck between the bars.
3
It was impossible but David worked his head through the cell bars. He got out, grabbed his clothes, shut the coyote in the common room and went downstairs.
4
Steve and Cynthia went inside the miner’s lab and found fourteen dead people hung up on hooks. Then they heard a noise and found the aquarium upended. They decided to head into Desperation for help. During their inspection of the fourteen dead people they found a statue of a mean viscous looking creature made of stone and when they touched it, it gave them cruel thoughts.
5
David went downstairs and found two men, two women and his sister hung up on hooks. He took his sister down and covered her. He went into an office and found a dead officer. David took his gun and keys for the cells and started back upstairs.

Chapter 3
1
David told everyone he had a gun and to get under their bunks. The coyote was centered on the door and David was on his knees. He turned the doorknob.
2
David shot the coyote twice, slid out from under it and shot it in the head dead. Then David hugged and sobbed on his Dad and inserted the key in the cell door. It did not work. He turned the key over and his Dad was outside the cell hugging his son.
3
They all got out of the cells, went downstairs and found guns and ammo. David saw truck lights but it drove on. It was Steve and Cynthia. Johnny went to retrieve his cell phone.
4
Steve and Cynthia stopped at a house with lights. Upon investigation they found a Mom, Dad and baby at the dining table. All were dead and surrounded by rattlesnakes. Steve and Cynthia were chased out by the snakes.
5
Steve and Cynthia tried to leave town but a line of trucks blocked the road. Scorpions and rattlesnakes were marching toward them from under the trucks and their truck was being bombed by buzzards who were breaking their windows.

Chapter 4
1
The troop consisting of Ralph Carver, son David, Mary, Johnny and Tom took the guns, loaded them and headed out for the closed local movie house. Johnny stopped at a bar and took some aspirin for him and some alcohol for Tom.
2
Steve and Cynthia headed down the road toward the mine pit but both were overcome by thoughts of the wolf stone sculpture in the miner’s lab. Steve and Cynthia were hit with thoughts of morbid nasty painful sex. Then a coyote carrying the statue in its mouth and laid it down in front of the truck among the scorpions. Now Steve and Cynthia both wanted to hold the statue in their mouths and make nasty cruel sex among the scorpions.
3
Johnny got the Jim Beam and gave everyone a pull off the bottle. Johnny could not get a signal on his cell. David took the cell phone and it got three bars and David hit send.
4
Before Steve and Cynthia got out of the truck, the cell phone beeped. Steve talked to David. Steve and David developed a plan.
5
David told Steve to meet them behind the movie house. Johnny tried to talk to the coyote using some of the same words that Entragian used. David told Johnny not to talk to the coyotes in "the language of the dead". David said a prayer then told the coyotes to leave and they did. The way was clear for them to make it to the movie house.

Chapter 5
1
Steve and Cynthia hid their truck in a garage where they found Fiddleback spiders and a nasty giant rat. They closed the door and left for the movie theater.
2
The group climbed in the movie house’s bathroom window. Mary was traumatized by the events but couldn’t help but feel guilty because she was so hungry.
3
Steve and Cynthia met a dark-haired woman at the Laundromat and all of them ran to the rear of the movie house when they heard the cop car's motor.
4
Audrey Wyler was the newcomer. They all made it inside the movie house and went into the theater to discuss the situation.
5
The car came to the municipal building and a large woman 6’3” or taller got out. Surrounded by buzzards and coyotes, she entered the building. The creature carried a hideous stone carving and found all the inmates gone. She knew immediately it was the prayboy David. Entragian controlled the thing that was wearing Ellen Carver’s body and she chanted and called out all the spiders in the room and they marched out in a line.

Part III
The American West:
Legendary Shadows

Chapter 1
1
They decided to talk at the bar on the stage and hope for a plan to develop. David went to the kitchen to find some food.
2
The newly regenerated monster a.k.a. Ellen Carver now, Entragian before, had all the knowledge of Entragian. She/he/it knew the boy had gotten the people out of jail. She discovered Pie (Kirsten Carver) David’s sister under the drapery. The creature took the dead coyote and laid it on Pie with the coyote’s teeth around her neck. The Fiddleback spiders spelled out THEATER on the wall and the creature knew where everyone had gone.
3
David found sardines and half box of crackers, said a prayer and passed the food around. When everyone was done eating there was still half a box of crackers left.
4
Everyone told each other their story. Audrey talked about the mine and the reclamation of the copper and how the eagles and other birds died from the contaminants.
5
A large cougar was called to the creature who looked like Ellen Carver. The monster told the cougar in a weird language to go and watch and then complete its job upon command. Ellen sat in a chair.

Chapter 2
1
Audrey continued her graphic version of discovery where she had found all of the people in town dead or dying.
2
Audrey described how Entragian ran people over in the street and how accurate he was with the shotgun. It was as if he could see people outside of his vision.
3
Audrey continued with her frightening saga. She remained in the Laundromat for two days. Entragian came in and told her to come out but she was frozen under the desk and couldn’t move. Johnny felt even after her detailed story, they still didn’t know anything about what was happening.
4
The seven people discussed a possible get-away. Tomorrow morning when the sand storm has calmed they would walk one and one-half miles to a shop with ATVs. They would travel well armed and go out a feeder road to Route 50.
5
The outsider, the thing from the pit, the now Ellen Carver controlled the cougar. It told the cougar to wait outside the men’s room’s window until the voice told it to jump through the window and attach.

Chapter 3
1
Tom was really drunk and Johnny who got him started now had to keep him from drinking. Mary had left the group but everyone else wanted to know the story of the China Pit.
2
Tom relayed the local town’s version of what happened at China Pit. In 1859 a shaft mine for gold and silver was opened by Diablo Mining. When the miners would not work below seventy feet because it was unsafe they quit. Chinese were brought in on flat bed wagons from Frisco. The Chinese were chained together. They brought in seventy men and twenty women. One-hundred and fifty feet down, there was a cave-in. Some 40 miners, four or five bosses and five ponies were stranded. The owners decided to dynamite the entrance killing everyone. Years later people said they could still hear the miners screaming for help.
3
The cougar prepared to jump through the men’s bathroom window.
4
Tom Billingsley went to the men’s bathroom where he had a bottle stashed. He was thinking about Audrey and how he thought she had a connection to Collie Entragian. All of a sudden he realized the connection and as he did so the cougar came in the window and attached him.
5
They all came with guns and finally Johnny shot the cougar while it was on Steve’s shoulders. Steve suffered puncture wounds. Tom had a fatal neck wound. Before he died he told them all that Audrey wasn’t the same woman as he had seen before. She was taller. That was why here skirt was so short. Audrey was like Entragian but not as bad as he was. Everyone then noticed Audrey and David were not in the room.

Chapter 4
1
The thing in Ellen Carver saw into the theater through the eyes of spiders, flies, cockroaches, rats and bats. The group returned to the stage and called out for Audrey and the prayboy. The thing planned to get Mary next. She had stayed with Tom. It could replace Ellen with Mary and then the rest. First it had to get Mary up to China Pit. Tak (Ellen) ran toward the theater.
2
Audrey heard them call for her but she knew she had to kill David. Tak could not. Audrey’s sight and hearing was vastly improved. Tak is the voice of the older age, voice of the unformed. Audrey's fingers moved constantly in the pocket of her dress touching three of the stone carvings.
3
David was in the old projectionist booth. He concentrated on his prayer and he fell unconscious. Audrey entered the room. She squeezed the “can tahs” together to draw strength. She knelt down in front of David. Black things moved under the skin of her face. She choked David. His eyes fluttered just once.
4
Steve’s intuition sent him to the projection booth to find Audrey choking David. David’s trembling hands went limp. Audrey shot three times at Steve but he fell and wasn’t hit. Cynthia was on his heels but also was missed by the bullets.
5
Mary let Ellen Carver in the ladie’s bathroom window. Ellen grabbed Mary, carried here to the cruiser and headed to the China Pit.

Chapter 5
1
Audrey found David and was strangling him when Steve broke into the projection room. Audrey was fighting to keep choking David. Soon Johnny and Ralph were in the room and everyone fought to get her off David. Audrey’s skin was burning black and she was trying to get strength from the stones in her pocket. She cried a chant at Johnny while she was holding the stones and it made Johnny want to kill David. Ralph grabbed David from Johnny and ran out. Steve ripped Audrey’s right arm off at the shoulders.
2
Audrey told them not to touch the stone charms and apologized for hurting anyone. The flesh fell off her bones and she collapsed on the stairs. She crawled out on the balcony. The balcony collapsed and Audrey was gone. Ralph said that David had stopped breathing.
3
Cynthia tried to revive David. His eyes started to move behind his eye lids. Steve and Johnny went to look for Mary.
4
Johnny and Steve interpreted Mary’s absence correctly and decided to go get the others and get out of town.
5
David was dreaming. He knew he was dreaming about Audrey and a mummy chasing him. Then he was back in the old tree house/platform on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. David was on the platform when a man came up wearing a Yankee’s ball cap and reflecting sun glasses. He wanted David to remember what he told Johnny about not talking to the coyotes in "the dead language". The man told David this was the "Land of the Dead" but that David was special. The man queried David on the nature of God. We slow down, the mummy catches us and God is cruel. The man asked David, “What is faith?” David replied, “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When one is in a state of unbelief, one is in desperation. The man and David floated on the old wooden platform. Like on a magic carpet, David viewed the town of Desperation. The man told him it was a poisoned field. The man explained that the old copper mine has to be sown with salt and plowed under because it was an affront to God. Then David saw the Copper Pit with a deep black hole in it. David and the man floated over China Pit and David’s tour guide explained the various features. The rainbirds were switched to emitters which were now a webbing of PVC pipe. The big pipes are distribution heads –cantahs. “Big Gods.” Mesh between the emitters drip sulfuric acid and rots the ground. Fifty holes are there, each with a yellow-tipped stick. The holes are filled with ammonium nitrate, an explosive. The holes looked like eyes to David. The big black hole uncovered the China Mine and it is haunted. David didn’t want to hear any more but despite his efforts he had to listen to his guide.

Part IV
The China Pit:
God is Cruel

Chapter 1
1
David woke up and told his Dad that Tak one of the Wintergreen Twins inhabited his Mom’s body. The other twin was Tik. Tak is a god or demon. David wanted everyone to listen to him but Johnny was emphatic to get out of town. All agreed to listen so Johnny had no choice. Tak thought he brought these people to town but David told them that Tak thinks he brought them but really God brought them here to stop Tak. Tak and all the animals were gone. The trailers blocking the road were gone. Tak wants everyone to leave. But Mary is still alive and in the Pit and David wants to free his mom’s body of Tak.
2
Johnny wanted to leave but David convinced him to listen to the true story of the China Pit. Johnny reluctantly agreed to listen.
3
Sixty-one people were two hundred feet down in the shaft on September 21, 1859. They found a cave with thousands of can tahs. The can tahs are the small grotesque animal figures carved in stone. They picked the can tahs up and some went crazy right away killing their friends and family. Some seemed alright. Two brothers from Tsingtao were named Ch’an Lushan and Shih Lushan escaped to the desert. The carvings they found were of animals in other animals. A deep well was Tak’s place. It was called the "wells of the worlds". David explained the true events that had taken place in the mine and how the two brothers escaped. The brothers worked to bury the evil unformed Tak and finally a cave in sealed Tak in. The brothers ran to the desert and went crazy. They called the animals and ate them to stay alive. In two weeks they returned to town and were killed by the town’s people.
4
Mary regained conscious in a dark room. She found a flashlight that revealed spiders and snakes and three dead men including Entragian. She knew she was to be next.
5
The thing that was wearing Ellen Carver went to the Pit and looked down to its bottom where a one-inch hole revealed a powerful red light. The Ellen Carver thing received strength from the ini (the red light) and decided to keep Mary alive to bait the prayboy.

Chapter 2
1
David said his true story of the China Pit is not destiny.
2
A man named Turner would set the explosives for the new reclamation project. His boss and the man that headed up the crew was Ripton. It was Turner and Ripton that discovered the old mine shaft with all of the human bones. Ripton arranged things so that he could be the first to investigate the new find. Ripton was the first that was possessed by Tak. Ripton spent his first night as Tak killing. Tak who occupied Ripton’s body gave it up for Brad Josephson’s. Ripton had prostate cancer and his body didn’t last long. Brad Josephson’s body was strong and Tak felt good. As Ripton he had killed all the Saturday morning crew at the mine. Once they were all dead he called back the animals to carry the can tahs from the mine into the town. The animals hid the can tahs everywhere in town including people’s pockets. When Tak was wearing Ripton’s body and took Josephson’s body he did it with a mouth-to-mouth seal and breathed into Josephson.
3
Johnny believed David’s story but he didn’t want to have anything to do with going to the China Pit with them. Johnny was rude and crude. He was very mean to David and left to get a truck and drive to Austin.
4
Johnny had left and David found Johnny’s wallet. He thumbed through the photos and found one of Johnny’s pictures during the Viet Nam War. David said that the “Johnny of Viet Nam” was his guide who had showed him the China Pit. "Johnny of Viet Nam" was the guy with the Yankee’s ball cap and the reflecting sunglasses.
5
Mary was locked in a room with rattlesnakes and black widow spiders. Mary prayed for help for the first time since a child. The voice, God, told her they wouldn’t hurt her. She was at a washer and dryer. She pulled out the dryer, made a larger hole where the vent was and escaped. She climbed out onto many dead bodies. She stood up and found the cruiser. It was empty so she put sand in the carborator. She slashed some truck tires with an ax and then she ran to get out of the Pit.

Chapter 3
1
Johnny looked for keys in the municipal building to match a car out front. He saw an ATV and it had keys. He had to knock out a pin to get the trailer off but then a timber wolf ran at him full force.
2
Ellen Carver realized something was wrong. She saw Johnny facing the pouncing wolf, the group sitting in their escape truck and then she realized Mary had escaped. A bat found Mary and Ellen started running after her. Mary was Tak’s only hope of survival now.
3
Mary struggled up the side of the mine pit. Ellen Carver was calling to her all along. Mary made it to the rim with Ellen only twenty yards behind. Mary saw the yellow blinking intersection light in town and she walked faster toward it.
4
David told Steve, Cynthia and his Dad to go to the Pit and help Mary. David took Johnny’s wallet and went in search for Johnny.
5
Ralph decided to let God protect his son and for him to go get Mary.

Chapter 4
1
David found Johnny and the wolf was dead. Johnny’s hammer had hit it square between the eyes. David showed Johnny the picture of him in Viet Nam. David told Johnny that he was his guide – from the picture. Johnny insisted so hard that he was going to Austin that he was not going with David. David told him to take the wallet. Johnnys ghost separated from the man. The ghost watched Johnny beg God to help him and the ghost rejoined Johnny’s body as Johnny begged God to help him live again.
2
Mary had a good lead on the Ellen thing but fell on her face and slid down the hill for ten feet and she couldn’t get up. Ellen was very close to Mary.
3
Mary escaped Ellen’s grasp and Ellen went down. Mary saw more light in town. She didn’t even see the large object that few over her head.
4
As Ellen’s body fell apart Tak saw the eagle and called for it.
5
Johnny and David used the ATV to join the others. On the way Johnny had what appeared to be a seizure. David kept the ATV from turning over. Johnny lied to David and told him it was the first seizure he had in eleven months. When really the seizure was what David calls "God-bombs". It had been a revelation to Johnny as to exactly what he had to do. He had to take over and relieve David of the position of leader.

Chapter 5
1
Tak, now in the eagle, soared into the China Pit into the dark hole and found a niche to wait to kill David when he entered.
2
They made it to the mine offices and broke into the building.
3
They found the ANFO (ammonia nitrate and fuel oil). Johnny had David step out with the others on the pretence to apologize to Steve. He told Steve that David thought he was to die in this last battle but David was wrong. Johnny made Steve promise he would grab David and hang on to him no matter what when the time came.
4
They all entered the China Pit mine and among the bones of the Chinese the eagle went for David. Ralph threw himself on David and the eagle sunk his talons into Ralph’s face killing him. Johnny told David that he was to return to the truck with Mary, Steve and Cynthia. David fought to go in to the ini but Johnny said he was the only one going in. Johnny told David that he had an early pass. Johnny said that he was to go back to Brian and make him his brother. Tell everyone there had been a tragic automobile accident where everyone in his family died. Try to put this behind you. And soon Johnny and his flashlight disappeared down the shaft.
5
Johnny found the funnel leading to the one-inch wide red-lighted hole. The funnel to the hole had crystals on all sides and as Johnny fell down the funnel to the red light of Tak he was shredded by the crystals. Bleeding so much, Johnny was starting to loose conscious. He kept it together, poured the ANFO pellets down the holes, plugged the hole with the green shot gun shell David had retrieved while in jail. He hit the shell with the hammer and the job was done. Johnny’s last thought was hoping David will be OK.

Part V
Highway 50:
Excused Early

1
They were near the rim when there was a brilliant white light from the China shaft. The road started to crumble out from under them but they made it to the rim.
2
Desperation in daylight was drifted with sand. Dead animals were everywhere and windows and signs were broken or gone. David said he was alone, God had slaughtered his family. David knew that his payment to God for Brian's recovery was paid.
3
They found Mary’s car and David agreed to ride with her.
4
They looked toward the China Pit and saw a wolf-shaped cloud of dust over the pit – it soon disappeared. The blue pass that David had received to go see Brian in the hospital was exchanged for the green shot gun shell by Johnny with a note in Johnny’s handwriting. The note from Johnny said: David – Stay ahead of the mummy I John 4/8 Remember!
First John, chapter four, verse eight. ‘God is love.’ David’s reply is, “I guess he’s sort of . . . everything.”

 

Book Reviews
NotATameLion (Michigan)

Having read just over half of King's books, I have to say that Desperation ranks up there with Wizard and Glass as one of my favorites. That said, this book is not for the shallow or the feint of heart. Desperation is a tale of hope and love in the darkest hour--and the hour is dark indeed.
Desperation is a desert town in Nevada. This place, where on the good days the people can be 'intense,' has been turned into a wasteland by an ancient evil. A group of unsuspecting strangers drawn to the town must survive their encounter with this force and in the process make a decision that will forever change their lives.

King's set-up to this story is long, gruesome, and grim. There are parts that any decent person will recoil from--as they should. The evil in this book is not glamorous; it is evil in its most fallen and base form.

Once the dark 'collecting' of the opening is through, the novel finally hits full stride. Good appears in the most unexpected form. Evil is engaged in a battle to the death.

Usually 'good vs. evil' type novels suffer from too much of a 'black and white' didactic moralism. The beauty of Desperation is that the heroes of the novel must first engage the evil and good within themselves before they can lift a finger to fight the real enemy. King never fails to amaze me with the craft of his words and his honest description of the glory and shame of being human.

Desperation is a stand alone novel. However, it ties in (as do many of King's novels) with the Dark Tower series. It also has a bizarro 'sister book' in the late Richard Bachman's The Regulators.

I give Desperation my heartfelt, highest recommendation--don't be scared off by a little blood and guts. There is a lot of despair, desperation and cruelty in these pages. There is also faith, hope, and most importantly--love.