Book Review: The Dead Zone

THE DEAD ZONE | Stephen King
08.2018 | Gallery Books
(first published 08.30.1979)
Rating: 4/5 stars


Johnny Smith wakes up after a five year coma following a car accident to discover that he can see people’s futures and pasts if he touches them. While many consider his talent to be a gift, Johnny feels cursed by the burden of this ability. Johnny has a disturbing vision after he shakes the hand of an ambitious and morally questionable politician. He must decide for far he is willing to go to potentially change the future.

THE DEAD ZONE might have been written at the end of the 1979’s, but it has a strange premonition for recent political upheaval in the United States making it an incredibly eerie and timely read. The first half of the story introduces us to Johnny Smith, our main character, who was in an ice skating accident as a child, which left him with unique, hidden abilities. These abilities come into light after Johnny is once again involved in an accident, this time around which leaves him in a coma for almost five years. I loved getting to know Johnny throughout this first section. 


The second half of THE DEAD ZONE sweeps the reader into the politician’s life and story, in conjunction with Johnny’s own experiences. While the first section of the story was a slow building, this part felt much more rapid fire with events unfolding. The sense of panic Johnny feels is directly translated into the story from this change of pace and it kept me glued to the pages trying to find out what would happen. 

I feel like THE DEAD ZONE is a less talked about book by King and definitely deserves more love!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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