Sigh... You ready? Let's get this over with.
With Dreamcatcher, Stephen King tried to recapture the magic of It while simultaneously making up for the shithouse rat that was The Tommyknockers. He attempted this feat while recovering from a horrible accident wherein he was turned into a mixture of speed bump and pretzel. Whatever King wrote during this time would have been utter crap, trust me. Pain dulls the creative process. This is why the most prolific creative persons are normally addicts of some kind. It's hard to access your imagination when parts of you are throbbing like a goddamn strobe light. Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and even coffee, are wonderfully liberating. And who of us isn't hurting in some way?
Should I cut King some slack because of all that? Well, I'll answer your one-part question with a two-part question. Just because you write something to completion, does that mean it should be published? Does completion alone demand that the world have access to it? Dreamcatcher should have been trunked. I know it. You know it. King knows it.
There are 200 pages of fart jokes. 200 pages. I'm all for vulgar humor, but there's only so long one person can listen to an Andrew Dice Clay standup special. After so long, it ceases to be funny due to repetition. I get it! Farts are funny. Move on.
I actually don't mind the shit weasels. They made sense to me. It's the easiest exit.
It worked because you fall in love with those kids and the adults they become. They're all likable. Flawed, yes, but likable. In Dreamcatcher, Pete is wholly forgettable, Jonesy and Henry are oddly one character split in two. If you happen to reread Dreamcatcher (I don't recommend it, but if you do...) pay attention to their reactions and thought processes. It's hard to keep track of on a first read through, but this time around it was glaringly obvious. And yeah, Beaver is cool, but sadly
This review is all over the place, but so is this book. There's no cogent thread. It bounces all over the place, from past to present, from head to head, with not a single fuck to give for cohesion. And I won't even discuss how much could have been edited out of this beached-whale of a book. I was sincerely hoping that, like so many other rereads during the challenge, I would find out that it was me, that my memories of how horrible this book is would be tossed away because I'd grown older and wiser. Nope. It's all still one huge fuckerow.
Spoilers ahead. Not only spoilers for this book, but for all of King's work. It's on you if you click "view spoiler". Word.
In summation: Not the worst Stephen King book in existence, but Dreamcatcher is easily numero dos. #1 is From a Buick 8, and guess what, sports fans, that shit's up next. Fuck me, Freddie, and bite my bender, indeed.
Final Judgment: An 882-page ad for Beano