Richard Bachman Book Review- Rage

Wait what is this? This is not Stephen King. Who is this Richard Bachman guy? I thought I was reviewing Stephen King book on this blog? Well for those of you that do not know Richard Bachman is a pen name Stephen King when he published this book. I mean he was popular at the time with supernatural horror hwo would the public react to a grounded story that could happen at anytime? Well for whatever reason he published Rage under the name of Richard Bachman. He would do this a few more times in the course of his career.

Rage is about a troubled teen in high school named Charlie Decker. He has an abusive father, not popular and as I said is troubled. He once took a wrench to one of teachers. One day he is set off and grabs a gun from his locker. He ends up killing two teachers and taking a classroom full of students hostage for hours. The story shifts as Charlie has the students open up about personal stories of their lives and the horrors of high school. It also has flashbacks of Charlie’s life especially with encounters with his abusive father. The big shot of the high school, Ted Jones, is also one of the hostages and tries to reason with Charlie to let the rest of the class go. [BEGIN SPOILERS] With all of the talking and opening up, the class eventually wants to stay with the gunman. One student is allowed to go to the bathroom and returns to the classroom when she could of ran. The whole class could of left but stayed with Charlie. Finally Ted Jones stands up and the whole class beats him down and he has a breakdown and sent to a mental institution. Charlie is shot but lives and ends up not guilty by reason of insanity and won’t be released until he fit to return to society. [END SPOILERS].

This was a good story. It was weird the way the students ended up being like but all in all this was a down to Earth story of the horror of life. The story touches close to home in today’s political world with the issues of guns and school shootings. Now I am going to say straight up that I am for gun rights and I feel it is bad or mentally disturbed people that are the problem not the guns themselves. Yes I know assault weapons can cause mass murder but so driving your car through a crowded area. It the act of the person doing it that is at fault not the weapon of choice. Yes I don’t think people should be running around with tanks but guns should not be banned or taken away especially in this world. There is my little politcal rant on that.

The story as I said has to do with a gun and a school shooting. This is a true horror in today’s world. I finished reading this story two days before the Sandy Hook shooting so it really hit close home to me after reading a book from one of my favorite authors. It obviously hit close to Stephen King because of claims that this book was linked to school shootings. He hated that so much that he discontinued publication of this book which is why it is rare to find this book. Especially on its own. Again this book shows someone who is very disturbed and has problems and because of that he decides to commit a horrible act. There were signs of his problems before the shooting using a wrench to harm a teacher. Signs that he needed real help but no help was there. It was because of his troubled mental state that he decided to perform the horrible shooting.

The second horror of this story is high school itself. This time period could be very hard on teens especially with bullying. Not only that but stuff that just happens in high school. Weight issues, sex, popular, unpopular and so on. You hear these through the stories the other students tell while being a hostage. You can see the pain these kids feel when they tell their stories and the shock of what high school is like. It also leads to wonder why at the end the students did what they did to the popular Ted Jones.

The third horror of this story is the theme of abuse. This is presented through the relationship between Charlie and his father. Was this rage because of how his father always treated him? How he thought the principal abused him? The kid had a lot of anger and rage.

I give this book three and a half stars. It was a pretty good read and everyone should pick it up if they can find it.

Moral of the story: Watch your kids, whether you are a parent or a teacher or something. Watch for the signs especially during the troublesome time of high school where change happens all the time. Watched for disturbing signs. Be responsible about your guns and remember it is currently a right.

Well that is my first review of Richard Bachman (who is Stephen King). Have you read this book? What did you think about it? If you read it what did you think how the kids ended up being like at the end? Did you end up rooting for Charlie or were you against him the whole time? What did you think of the kid’s stories? What do you think of gun rights? I could not find a movie based on this book so there will be no movie review. The next book I have lined up is Night Shift which is a collection of short stories. These short stories also have a lot of movie attached to them with many sequels to them so it will be a awhile before I finish all of them but I will be up to the task. Please comment below and lets have a discussion. I want to hear from you.

Like I said in the past I will have a tracker of the final ratings of each book or movie I reviewed to show what I liked or didn’t like. It is a rating based out of five stars. For previous reviews if you missed it you can click on the title and it will link to that review for you to read.

Books Reviewed:
Carrie ***
Salem’s Lot ***1/2
The Shining *** 
Rage ***1/2
 Movies Reviewed:
 Carrie (1976) ****
The Rage: Carrie 2 ***
Carrie (2002) ½* (Yes a half of a star out of five) 
Salem’s Lot (1979) **
A Return to Salem’s Lot *
Salem’s Lot (2004) ***1/2
The Shining (1980) **
The Shining (1997) ***1/2

It ain’t about how hard ya hit…

As the great Rocky Balboa said in his last movie, “But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Such a true statement especially in times where people are getting beat down, whether people are losing their jobs, houses, relationships or just trying to live paycheck by paycheck. The state of affairs out there is tough and I don’t see it changing in the near future.

However, it is up to you to decide whether to stand up and keep moving forward. You are the only person that can keep yourself going forward and rise from being beat down. I am not saying you need to do it alone and not have support from friends and family but to truly rise from being beat down, one would need to accomplish it on their own without relying on someone to take care of them.

To quote J.F.K (Yes I am quoting Rocky and J.F.K in the same blog), “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Again the idea of the individual trying to help a situation is there. Many problems in this country would be solved if people tried to help themselves and not expect handouts. If you have a dream or goal in life do everything you can to make that dream to come true. You will never accomplish anything unless you try. Don’t expect your dream to be handled to you on a silver platter, unless you win the lottery or something, it takes hard work to make things happen.

Since I started this with Rocky lets use this fictional character as a case study. This will have movie spoilers and if you haven’t seen the Rocky movies (and if you haven’t please crawl out of the rock you are under and watch them) then please don’t read any further as I don’t want to ruin these great movies for you. Anyway, Rocky started out as a low-life, uneducated boxer (ok hired thug) who barely made it by until an opportunity was given him to fight the heavyweight champ. Everyone expected him to lose in the first round of the boxing match. He felt he could not win but he just wanted to go the distance at least. Cue the famous Rocky montage. Rocky trained hard. He didn’t sit around eating twinkies all day or his pet turtles (he did drink raw eggs though which I don’t recommend), he worked very hard and went the distance.

The second movie saw Rocky riding the success of the fight which included doing commercials and not wanting to have a rematch against Apollo. Unfortunately, he could not read. This lead to the boxer working at the meat factory and eventually getting laid off from that. Rocky tried to do everything he could do for his family (including to learn to read) but realized he needed to go back to what he was good at and that was boxing. This lead to him being the champ. He accomplished a dream of his and again did it by hard work. He did what he had to do to for himself and his family (including a new born son).

The next two movies dealt with the success of Rocky and the struggles he dealt with while having money. Even when you are on top you still get dealt with the blows of life. In one situation Rocky is getting handed opponents that were not championship calibur and it got to Rocky’s head. He took less pride in his training and was not working as hard. Finally, a tough opponent challenged Rocky and beat him handily (Of course it was Mr. T). To regain his championship, Rocky would have to train hard again like he used to and find the eye of the tiger (I bet you are singing that catchy tune). He regained his championship because of working hard.

Are you seeing a trend here or do I have to continue any further? The point here is that you can’t expect everything to be handed to you. If you want something badly that you can’t get right now whether it being a job, some new item, a girlfriend, a robot for your drunk brother in-law on his birthday (see Rocky IV) or whatever it may be you have to work hard at it. Life will always try to knock you down and it probably won’t get easier anytime soon. However, it is up to you to pick yourself up and decide to keep moving forward. If the people of this country would just pick themselves up and work hard at attaining their goals then this country would be better as a whole. People need to stop blaming things on others and expect other people to do everything and just work hard themselves. I don’t promise it will easy or that you won’t ever get knocked down by life again, but I do promise you will be a better person in the end. So pick yourself up right now and accomplish your goals and dreams and feel good.