If you went to the movies this past weekend, you may have seen a movie called It. It is a remake (newer version of a film) based on a 1986 novel (book-length story) by Stephen King. The film is already a big hit (success). In one weekend, it earned over $180 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful films of 2017 so far (up to now) in the U.S.
As you probably know, Stephen King is one of the most famous and successful contemporary (in modern times) American writers. He has published (put in print for sale) 54 novels, 200 short stories, and has had many of his books and short stories adapted (used as the basis to create) into successful films, such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Misery, Stand by Me, Carrie, Cujo, and The Shining.
But there is one novel Stephen King does not want you to read, one that will probably never be made into a film. It’s a book called Rage.
King wrote the novel Rage when he was in high school in 1965. It was later published under the pseudonym (false name an author uses) Richard Bachman in 1977. Rage tells the story of an angry high school student who kills his teacher and then takes the other students hostage (kept prisoner until demands are met). In the years after its publication, several incidents (events) happened that caused King to ask his publisher (company that produces books) to stop printing it.
Between 1988 and 1997, four students in different states — California, Washington, and Kentucky (2) — either killed or held other high school students hostage. All four students either said they were inspired by (got the idea from) the novel or had a copy of the novel in their locker (locked box at school where students keep their books and materials).
After these incidences, King said he believed that the book was a “possible accelerant.” An accelerant is a substance that makes a fire burn more quickly or fiercely (with more force). So in this case, he thought that the book helped those young men put their thoughts into violent (using force to hurt others) action. King thought that the book was hurting people, and that pulling it (removing it so that others can’t buy it) was the responsible thing to do.
Because Rage is no longer in print (produced for sale), it has become one of the most sought-after (looked for and wanted) books by book collectors. If you see one in a used bookstore, you may want to buy it, but even the author himself would recommend that you don’t read it.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
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