Book Review: The Dark Half

THE DARK HALF | Stephen King
10.20.1989 | Gallery Books
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


Thad Beaumont is a writer and for a decade he has secretly published violent crime fiction bestsellers under the name of George Stark. Things have changed for Thad recently and he’s healthier and happier than ever with his wife and infant twins. The time has come for Thad to start writing as himself again. The George Stark pseudonym has been retired, but it seems George isn’t willing to go easily. Thad’s connection to George has manifested into a reality that he feels he has no control over. Soon bodies start to pile up around Thad and he has no choice but to confront the part of him he desperately wanted to leave behind. Can he say goodbye to George for good?

THE DARK HALF is one of King’s books that I think flies under the radar and doesn’t receive much fandom from Constant Readers. I didn’t know much about the plot going into this one, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ride that this story took. For starters, the beginning is wild and weird! The rest of the book keeps true to that weird vibe as the plot thickens around George Stark. 

There’s a lot to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, but the pacing always felt off for me. This one is on the slower side and I felt myself growing bored at several points in the middle of the story. Despite the pacing issues, I never lost my feeling of being invested with what would happen to Thad or George. Part of what kept me hooked had a lot to do with the concepts thrown around through twin connections and the idea of having a dark half. At the end of the day I definitely enjoyed THE DARK HALF, but I wanted just a little bit more from the story to have it hit a 4 star rating.

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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