The Dead Zone (Aug 1979)

Johnny Smith is injured in an accident and enters a coma for nearly five years. When he emerges, he can see horrifying secrets but cannot identify all the details in his "dead zone", an area of his brain that suffered permanent damage as the result of his accident. The Dead Zone is one of King's personal favorites of his own novels.

Common King themes:

  • The power of religion over vulnerable people (Johnny Smith's mother, Vera, falls prey to zealots who believe in psychic phenomena.)
  • The number 19 (Johnny plays number 19 on the roulette to win the big lot.)

The Dead Zone has connections to the following books:

Part I / Chapter 1 : Randall Flagg

Sarah lives on Flagg Street, which is where Johnny later gets picked up by the cab which changes his life forever.

In retrospect it was the emptiness that horrified her, it had been five months of Cheyne-Stokes respiration. Eight months if you counted this summer, when she took a small apartment on Flagg Street in Veazie and did nothing but apply for teaching jobs and read paperback novels.

Part I / Chapter 11 : Jerusalem's Lot, ME

Johnny Smith mentions Salem's Lot as a town near Cumberland, where his mother has been taken to the hospital.

“All right, Daddy,” Johnny said, almost in a whisper. “Yes. Cumberland General. I know where it is. Just above Jerusalem’s Lot. Okay. All right. Daddy ...”

Part II / Chapter 23 : Carrie White

Patty accuses Johnny Smith of setting Cathy's restaurant on fire, and mentions the book Carrie.

“No one answered. And then, suddenly, from somewhere behind him Patty Strachan began to talk in a high hysterical voice. “It’s his fault, that guy there! He made it happen! He set it on fire by his mind, just like in that book Carrie. You murderer! Killer! You ...”

References will be here!