The Dead Zone by Stephen King

June 1st, 2017 Kimberly Review 26 Comments

1st Jun
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Dead Zone
by Stephen King
Narrator: James Franco
Length: 16 hours and 11 minutes
Genres: Horror
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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.

HORRIFIC freaky well written Audiobook

“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
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

26 Responses to “The Dead Zone by Stephen King”

  1. Leona

    Because of you and other book blogger buddies I’ve recently purchased my first Stephen King story, The Gunslinger. I hope that I’m not scarred for life or stuck rocking myself in a corner. I don’t think I’m brave enough for an audiobook Stephen King story with the production and narration lol, but I’m taking notes.

  2. Rosa

    I have read several books by Stephen King but I have never read this one (or watched the movie). I definitively need to read it and watch the movie too – I’m a huge fan of Christopher Walken.

  3. Darlene

    I saw this movie as a teenager, but I’ve never read the book. I’ll definitely look for it on audio!

  4. Shaunesay

    Dead Zone is one of the few Stephen King’s I have read and was just completely sucked in to! I wasn’t supposed to be reading it, my mom didn’t want me to read his books, since they were horror! I might have to look into this one with James Franco reading!

  5. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Narrated by James Franco? Okay, I have to listen now.

  6. Melanie Simmons

    I’m glad to see that they are putting now full-length audiobooks of these old classics. So many books are only available as abridged, which I won’t listen to. Just requested this from the library.

  7. Katherine

    Honestly the blurb didn’t really grab me but I don’t think I can resist James Franco narrating! I’ll definitely look for this on audio!

  8. Stormi Johnson

    Always wanted to read this one but never have, though watched the movie and the TV show based on it. I bet this audio was really good with James Franco narrating.

  9. Laura Thomas

    I read this way back when it was released too. You really liked the audible so I might check it out. I’ve recently started listening to books and it could be fun to revisit ones I read and enjoyed.

  10. Kay

    I did just finish my current audiobook and I am looking for a new one! This sounds interesting and I haven’t read Stephen King in a while.

  11. Heidi

    I read this probably back in 89 or 90. I am itching to listen to Franco’s narration. I will put this on hold at my library. Glad you enjoyed it as much the second time around.

  12. Heidi

    I read this probably back in 89 or 90. I am itching to listen to Franco’s narration. I will put this on hold at my library. Glad you enjoyed it as much the second time around.

  13. Rita

    James Franco? Perfect choice! I read the book and saw the movie with Walken (I find this actor so creepy) and loved it at the time. Maybe I’ll revisit it– I need an audio book that will satisfy myself and my adult son on our cross country drive this summer.

  14. kindlemom1

    I was hooked on the TV show with Anthony Michael Hall when it came out in the 90’s or maybe it was early 2000’s, I cant’ remember now, either way it was way good. Did you ever watch that? Anyways, glad this was a good listen for you!

  15. Cyn

    That’s cool that James Franco was narrator and that he did an awesome job! Totally love the cover. Glad this was such an awesome listen! Great review, Kim!

  16. Nadene

    I loved the Dead Zone. I was aavid reader of his books, It’s been ahwile since I have read any of his work, but I am planning to get back to hisbooks.

  17. Nick

    I haven’t read his books in forever, Kim and this one isn’t one I have read. But omg I think I might cave and get the audiobook for when I travel home. I do have a long flight ahead of me. Sounds like James Franco’s narration only heightened the story, which is exactly what a narrator should do!

  18. Cindy

    I have read many books by Stephen King and I cannot believe what a wonderful gift he has for writing! He is brilliant , great review!