by Stephen King
Narrator: James Franco
Length: 16 hours and 11 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups
Never before on audio! A #1 national bestseller about a man who wakes up from a five-year coma able to see people’s futures and the terrible fate awaiting mankind in The Dead Zone—a “compulsive page-turner” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
Johnny Smith awakens from a five-year coma after his car accident and discovers that he can see people’s futures and pasts when he touches them. Many consider his talent a gift; Johnny feels cursed. His fiancé married another man during his coma and people clamor for him to solve their problems.
When Johnny has a disturbing vision after he shakes the hand of an ambitious and amoral politician, he must decide if he should take drastic action to change the future.
“Some things were better lost than found.”
I read THE DEAD ZONE by Stephen King in the summer of 1979 and watched the movie in 1983 starring Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith. So it only made sense to revisit this classic on audio especially when it’s narrated by James Franco. Franco nailed it, and it was delightful to revisit this classic. Are you planning a road trip this summer? Spend it listening to THE DEAD ZONE.
THE DEAD ZONE shares moments in Johnny’s life before an accident and after the crash that left him with the gift/curse of psychometry. It is the ability to touch someone and immediately know things, sometimes terrible things. No one tells a story like Stephen King, and Dead Zone was an addictive listen from beginning to end. While I had previously read the book, saw the movie and caught episodes of the TV series based on the book, it still felt fresh listening.
The tale doesn’t have real horror or gore, but that doesn’t mean King didn’t manage to creep me out. The book is broken into stories that feature different events in John’s life. The tale is twisted and springs to life as you listen. I could smell the carnival, see the spinning wheel and feel Sarah’s waves of nausea. Don’t even get me started on Johnny’s crazy mother who seems to grow more frantic in her religious zealot as the book progresses.
Folks fear Johnny’s gift; they also fear Johnny. If he knows of an event, he must have been involved right? You could feel the fear from the nurses on the floor where he is cared for after awakening from the coma. King’s prose will make your hairs stand on end.
When Greg Stillson, enters the picture Johnny finds himself back in the limelight. When Johnny shakes his hand and discovers a future that cannot be allowed to happen it sets into motion events that kept me listening into the wee hours. When I declared to my husband that I had to stay up to see what happened, he laughed and reminded me that I already knew what happens. *Shrugs* All I can say is that King is brilliant and despite my familiarity, it became all very real again as I listened.
James Franco was the PERFECT narrator for THE DEAD ZONE. From the voices to the eerie tone of his voice he added depth to the story that I didn’t experience when reading it the first time.
I think my experience was enhanced by the age difference between reading then and now. After all, I was just in middle school. For me, the DEAD ZONE was brilliant this go round from the writing to the mentions of music and the twists and shocks only King can deliver.
“I’m a man of the world, and all that means is I understand what powers the world. The fuel mix is one part high-octane to nine parts pure bullshit.”
James Franco brought Johhny Smith to life in THE DEAD ZONE by Stephen King #audio Click To Tweet