Firestarter by Stephen King

Firestarter - Stephen King

Next up on my Stephen King quest is Firestarter, again it’s not a review as such but a collection of my thoughts on the book. So there most definitely will be spoilers.

Firestarter was originally released in 1980 and was the Kings 6th release not including The Star Invaders.


This story is a page turning masterpiece that flows effortlessly with literally no break in the pace whatsoever, from the initial chase and capture, to John Rainbird ruthlessly planning and playing with a young girl’s emotions right up to Andy McGee orchestrating an escape that you can’t help but get fully behind.


Parts that I loved, Charlie growing up and her first experiences with her ability from her Fathers perspective.

‘And he felt it pass him-the invisible, incredible bolt of death from his daughters mind…. A soft, soundless passage of warm air… and then the teddy bear was on fire.’

‘Fire extinguishers had appeared silently, undiscussed, with almost the same stealth as dandelions appear during that period when spring and summer overlap.’


Eddie Delgardo sitting at the airport his ‘half pleasant chain of daydreams was broken by a strange feeling of warmth coming from his feet.’ Eddie looked down and screamed, his shoes were on fire. Followed by a mad dash to get his feet first, closely followed by the rest of him into a water bearing container.


The characters of John Rainbird and Cap Hollister were perfect for the regimental bad guy and psychopath with a cunning plan, when Cap was pushed into aiding and abetting the escape attempt by Andy McGee it all just fell into place almost with a satisfying click of the fingers. And then Charlie just vaporizes that chunk of lead heading from Rainbird’s gun and ‘For a moment it seemed that a high wind was rippling Rainbird’s clothes – and those of Cap behind him – and that nothing else was happening.’ But it did, all hell breaks loose.


My only issue was with something that didn’t quite feel right for the story, was Rainbird at the computer asking it questions until the penny drops and the plan revealed by an artificial intelligence. To me it would just have been better to have Rainbird discover it in a different fashion but that’s just me and it was only a minor complaint.


So that’s my 17th Stephen King book finished and I now sit at 25% completed, I think Firestarter will remain as a favourite as I work my way through the back catalogue, both characters and plot were spot on.


I’ll finish on another quote.

‘God loves to make a man break a vow. It keeps him properly humble about his place in the world and his sense of self control.’