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21 May 2014

Stephen King
Publication Date
20 March 2001


In Derry, Maine, four young boys once stood together and did a brave thing. something that changed them in ways they hardly understand. 
A quarter of a century later, the boys are men who have gone their separate ways. Though they still get together once a year, to go hunting in the north woods of Maine. But this time is different. This time a man comes stumbling into their camp, lost, disorientated and muttering about lights in the sky.
Before long, these old friends will be plunged into the most remarkable events of their lives as they struggle with a terrible create from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past - and in the Dreamcatcher.

My review:

Yes, this book is advertised as a sci-fi story and yes, there are 'aliens' and strange creatures who land in the woods and start to mess around with people, but for me, this book really is about lifelong friendship.

The story starts off again in Derry / Maine (the fictional town where many of Stephen King's books are based). As teenagers, Gary '"Jonesy" Jones, Pete Moore, Joe "Beaver" Clarendon and Henry Devlin rescue teen Douglas "Duddits" Cavell, who has Down's Syndrome, from sadistic bullies. All five become firm friends. The four boys move away from Derry and only Duddits remains there. However, they do meet up once a year to hunt in the Maine Woods. Only this time it's different. Alien species who landed in the woods who are infecting all humans and animals in the woods.  'Shit Weasel' (as the boys call it because it excites the human from the back passage and killing the human in the process) is an alien worm escaped / launched from the spacecraft. Than there is Colonel Kurtz and the Army - it seems the authorities are aware of this spacecraft and the trouble it causes. And they are determined to get rid of all the humans who were in the woods and potential witnesses. 

There are flashbacks where the boys reveal each their individual stories and demons they have to cope with. Duddits, who is not with them on this trip, can feel they are in trouble. Duddits has always been able to 'see' things which others can't and he is the only one who can safe all. 

The German translation of the book is called Duddits, which I find quite appropriate  as he is the hero in this story. Him, and the lasting friendship and connections between the boys / men. It is reported that King wrote this book when recovering from his serious car accident in 1999, and that the book was finished in 1/2 year. It is a large book -  900 pages.    In my opinion, King is in fine form again here with this sci-fi alien-inspired story. Aliens and invasion are indeed not a very common topic in King's books (I can't think of any other apart from The Tommyknockers?) 

Criticism? I maybe found that it dragged a little bit in the middle. But, hey, there aren't too many books where a person with Down's syndrome is the hero and rescues the world :) 

(Just to show why I love King's writing style so much - not so much of a teaser for this book :)

To Say that Beaver's marriage didn't work would be like saying that the launch of the Challenger space shuttle went a little bit wrong. Joe 'Beaver' Clarendon and Laurie Sue Kenopensky make it through eight months and then kapow, there goes my baby, somebody help me pick up the fuckin pieces.