Firestarter by Stephen King
Another King hit. I’m not sure of the order in which I read his works, but Firestarter was one of my earlier King adventures.
Before I get to the book (which I did indeed read first), I want to tell you about my love affair with the film adaptation starring Drew Barrymore. In the times of VHS, when DVD was only starting to bloom and the Internet had not yet opened its doors to illicit streaming and torrenting, I had to find a copy of it the old-fashioned way. I borrowed it from a video store. And when I say video store, I mean, I borrowed a VHS tape of this film.
Now, I used to collect these tapes, but this one, I couldn’t buy anywhere. Conveniently, I was studying film at the time, so I had access to a set-up that would copy VHS tapes. So I went out and bought the coolest VHS I could find – a red plastic one – and copied it over. I watched this film so many times, not because it was an amazing film, but because it was designed after an amazing story.
I re-read Firestarter recently and it did not stand up to the test of time. The writing wasn’t as evocative as I could remember, and it all seemed a little off. Had my imagination withered? Could I no longer identify with this little girl who was born different, with powers given to her by her parents’ drug-altered states. Or had my understanding of writing changed, so I could see the areas in which King would grow following this quite early novel of his.
It may have been neither, or both of these things, but my memory of Firestarter will always be of that little girl who was finally able to let go.