Stephen King is the undisputed King Of The Freaks, in my humble opinion. Heck, it's even in his name! The King of things that go bump in the dark, that are born out of your nightmares, gooey and icky and full of teeth and eyes made out of the night, tapping on your window by moonlight, asking very nicely if you could please let them come in, just for a little while? They only want to play, and they're not really all that noisy.
Dreamcatcher, in my opinion, is one of Mr King's freakiest works. His wife, Tabitha King, in fact often refers to it as "the one with the shit-weasels".
Basically it is the story of four men who were once boys. And as young boys they did something noble and good, but one that would end up altering their lives beyond belief and comprehension. An alien invasion in the woods of Maine, unexplainable powers, and the one little boy with Down's Syndrome who links these four friends and everything that happens around them.
I won't go into the plot much. I bought the book knowing next to nothing about the story, and I think I enjoyed the little flashbacks and revelations much more that way. It is one of the joys of a Stephen King novel. Step into it, as clueless as possible, expecting nothing and everything, and just let that man, the storyteller, do his job. My only complaint is that the novel is just a tad too long. At least a hundred or so pages could be cut off, really.
But apart from that, this book was a godsend for me. I had flu and a throwy-uppy virus for about a week, and Dreamcatcher (along with warm orange juice) was my constant companion on those long, feverish, sweaty nights, when sleep was as far away as the chance of Jessica Simpson winning the Pulitzer Prize.
It goes deep into the depths of human psyche and awareness and psychology without you ever realizing it at first. It plumbs at your fears so tactfully and unobstrusively that you almost never realize what's going on. And not just fears of what's hiding in the shadows or what's going to pop out at you from behind those bushes. But also the fear of losing your grip on that line between reality and fantasy, and losing the people you love, and losing that carefree innocence of your childhood, and losing yourself in the overwhelming insanity of the world around you.
Stephen King may never be considered as particularly intelligent literary reading material, but you cannot deny the fact that the man makes his characters so very human that it's almost ridiculous. Their thought processes, their fears, their minds and hearts become part of you, that's how powerful it is.
All in all, Dreamcatcher is another extremely satisfactory King reading experience, with one of those ambiguous you-decide-what-the-ending-is finishing touches. Bloody Awful Poetry highly approves.
There is also a movie version of the book, starring the likes of Morgan Freeman and Thomas Jane. Apparently it is quite good, but all I'm saying is that, compared to the novel, the movie ending supremely sucks.