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Ask a Book Question: The 53rd in a Series (A Pair of Kings)

By posted at 3:05 pm on April 23, 2007 1

Mike writes in with this question:

I am a big Stephen King reader, and I am ready to read Desperation and The Regulators. I have heard these two books have the same characters with different storylines. Which was released first, and which is better to read first to enhance the overall stories? All I can find for release dates is that they both came out in 1996. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

covercoverThe prolific Stephen King has been involved in a number of publishing experiments over the years and these two books were one of them. Desperation and The Regulators were released simultaneously in 1996, one under King’s name and one under his pseudonym Richard Bachman. The books cover the same cast of characters, as Mike mentions, and they have been described as “mirror novels.” Desperation takes place in a desolate Nevada town, while The Regulators is set in fictional small-town Ohio. In both books, the characters are faced with an evil spirit called Tak that can possess living things, including people. As to which one should be read first, I’ve seen nothing to suggest one over the other; however, when the books were initially released the covers, with art by Mark Ryden, were interlocking. The Regulators is on the left of the two, implying, to me anyway, that it should be read first.

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One Response to “Ask a Book Question: The 53rd in a Series (A Pair of Kings)”

  1. Shannon
    at 12:01 pm on April 25, 2007

    I would concur. In my opinion, The Regulators is also the better of the two books.

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