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Desperation

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Stephen King
Length: 21 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The terror is relentless" (Publishers Weekly) in Stephen King's number-one national best seller about a little mining town, Desperation, that many will enter on their way to somewhere else. But getting out is not easy as it would seem....

Located off a desolate stretch of Interstate 50, Desperation, Nevada, has few connections with the rest of the world. It is a place, though, where the seams between worlds are thin. And it is a place where several travelers are abducted by Collie Entragian, the maniacal police officer of Desperation. Entragian uses various ploys for the abductions, from an arrest for drug possession to "rescuing" a family from a nonexistent gunman. There's something very wrong here, all right, and Entragian is only the surface of it.

The secrets embedded in Desperation's landscape and the evil that infects the town like some viral hot zone are both awesome and terrifying. But as one of the travelers, young David Carver, seems to know - though it scares him nearly to death to realize it - so are the forces summoned to combat them.

©1996 Stephen King. All rights reserved. (P)1996 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the critics say

"Stephen King's knack for turning the stray junk of pop culture into sick, darkly engrossing thrills has rarely been this much in evidence as in Desperation." ( Salon)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

desperation

I am a complete Stephen King fan. That being said, although I love his writing, I am not a fan of his narration. Mr. King does not get into character the way many of his narrators do.
I also did not find that the characters in this book where as well defined as most of Stevens characters. still, an excellent listen enjoyed the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!!

I love this book! It is an amazing book to read, and is so cool to hear Stephen King himself narrate it. Any Stephen King fan needs to hear the audible audiobook. #Audible1

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Okay, nothing special.

Much of King’s later work can be very hit or miss. While his earlier books are very striking and bold with their storytelling choices, his later ones tend to play it safe and repeat a lot of the same sort of characters and plot beats. Desperation is sort of in the middle. It starts off pretty good, has a pretty drab middle and an okay ending.

The biggest issue I have with it is the book’s main character David is somewhat annoying and has a habit of just pulling a deus ex machina out whenever King writes a situation that the characters have to find their way out of. He tends to either be fully aware of what the villain is doing or just comes up with a solution out of nowhere. The other characters are more likeable especially Johnny but it really does drag the book down.

It does get better as it goes on. King takes his sweet time to explain questions you might have. And it delivers an okay ending to wrap things up. Overall a solid entry in King’s catalogue but compared to some of his best books like Pet Semetary or the Long Walk it feels kind of amateur in comparison.

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great story

#audible1 what a wonderful book and even better to have it narrated by Stephen king

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Brianna Blacet
  • 2016-07-22

Crashed and burned halfway through

This made me sad. I was loving it, and then it took a left turn and became a David and Goliath story. Did I miss something? Is Stephen King a religious zealot? Just left me wondering "WTF?" I was glad when it was finally over and I could move on with my life. On the plus side, it was fun listening to King read his own work.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret Smith
  • VENICE, CA, US
  • 2016-07-19

It was ok.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was scary and suspenseful in parts. Other times it dragged. Not my favorite. I wish King would write his female characters as more complex. I feel like he writes women as hysterical, or just sexy & flirty, crazy or cruel, etc - but they're always very flat. They're never complex and they always need to be saved. Meh.

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

For sure.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes, it would be easier to follow.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • G. F.
  • 2016-06-20

Not Kings best

he should stick with writing, narration wasn't great, story was poorly written in my opinion. I love all his other novels

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Emily Milosch
  • 2017-10-06

Might be the Worst

Awful! Dreadful!!!! The beginning is somewhat scintillating— everything else is complete carnage of story writing. This reminds me of that awful trash Dean Koontz has been throwing out lately.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jobu
  • 2017-01-04

boring story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Listened to half of it waiting for improvement that never came

If you’ve listened to books by Stephen King before, how does this one compare?

maybe I'm just not a fan of Mr King. Maybe if you are you will like this book/ I've tried other books and just can't get into them

Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen King’s performances?

NO. I didn't realize The author was the narrator! I initially was going to write that the narrator wasn't that good, that he didn't convey Mr King's story well.

Any additional comments?

If you like the author you will probably like the book. I didn't like the book or narration.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • dmusket
  • 2016-05-12

Stephen King needs to do what he is good at..

I'm tired of Stephen King ruining good books because he thinks he's a storyteller. His voice is a monotone with No difference between characters. He's not good a being a narrator.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Roger Staggs
  • 2018-02-21

Don't bother!

This book is a lot like the books of SK that caused me to stop reading his stuff several years back. Seemed like about 1/4 of the way in and it felt like he went into cruise and it was all just "filler" the rest of the way. Character development was weak IMO and the story just drug on badly. I found myself not paying attention towards the end and not really caring what I missed. The only interesting part was the God aspects for me although I wouldn't accuse SK of being biblically accurate in any way, shape or form!
Yet another one that I feel tempted to ask for my credit back. Just felt like a waste of time for the last 3/4 of the book. BUT if your a SK diehard I guess you probably don't want to pass it up lol.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • 2016-04-29

Pass on this one

I am a huge fan of Mr. King, but I did not like this book and had to force myself to keep listening. Not his usual but also his usual. I can't explain it...maybe the praying and God stuff which I do not expect out of him. It just seemed like a forced story. It was a decent book, just not a good one. If you need a good book of his try Duma Key, Dr. Sleep or Mr. Mercedes.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • 2016-03-22

Couldn't stay with this one.

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Stephen King?

Not sure what happened here. This one got off to an ok start, then came off the rails bit by bit.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jon Philippi
  • 2016-09-26

Kings reading is the worst!

The story of Desperation is good, this is around Stephen King reading the audiobook version. Typically qualified actors have read all of Kings stories, for some reason he decided to read this with himself and at best sound like he was on lithium while doing so.....stay away from this
book unless you have room to be disappointed

6 of 7 people found this review helpful