Becky’s Seventy-First Book Review: “Dreamcatcher” by Stephen King

Yesterday I finished reading “Dreamcatcher” by Stephen King. This is one of the few times where I’ve seen the movie before reading the book. I haven’t seen the movie for awhile and it is definitely on my list of movies to watch in the near future.

“Dreamcatcher” is yet another example of Stephen King’s exceptional writing abilities. This novel is about a group of friends who one day stand up against a couple of bullies and change their lives. The group consists of Henry, ‘Jonesy’, Beaver, and Pete. These boys walk in on a boy from the ‘retard academy’ being tortured by three popular boys and they stand up to the bullies even though the other boys are bigger and stronger. In this simple act of compassion, they end up befriending a boy who will change their lives forever—Duddits. The story is told in a combination of past events of the boys’ interactions with Duddits and present events where aliens are invading the town where the boys go hunting together every year. I refer to them as boys, but in the present tense when aliens are attacking they are grown men with families of their own.

When the boys saved Duddits from being tortured by bullies they never realized just how much they would be changed. But it is because of Duddits that Henry, Jonesy, Beaver, and Pete are equipped with the ability to fight the aliens better than anyone else. Throughout the novel the reader learns just how special this group of boys became when they met Duddits and he became part of their lives.

The movie is one of my boyfriend’s favorites and so he was eager to hear my review of the book. He was especially curious as to whether or not there was more detail about the reason behind the title of the book/movie. As mentioned before, it has been a long while since I have seen the movie, so I cannot remember everything that was in it. But “Dreamcatcher” was not the original title for the book. It wasn’t until Stephen King’s wife stepped in and pointed out the downsides to naming the book ‘Cancer’ that he came up with an alternative. While there are physical dreamcatchers in the book/movie, the overall symbolism of a dreamcatcher connecting this group of friends is really why the title is what it is. Furthermore, Duddits is the dreamcatcher in the group—it is through him that all the boys are connected.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I found “Dreamcatcher” to be an exciting read and even though I sort of knew the ending because I had seen the movie before I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. Once again, Stephen King wound together a story full of strange events and special people to put together a real page-turner.

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