First edition cover
|Author||Stephen King under the pseudonym Richard Bachman|
|September 24, 1996|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
The Regulators is a novel by Stephen King under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. It was published in 1996 at the same time as its "mirror" novel, Desperation. The two novels represent parallel universes relative to one another, and most of the characters present in one novel's world also exist in the other novel's reality, albeit in different circumstances. Additionally, the hardcover first editions of each novel, if set side by side, make a complete painting, and on the back of each cover is also a peek at the opposite's cover.
King had previously "killed off" Bachman after the pseudonym was publicly exposed around the time of the 1984 release of the Bachman novel Thinner. However, on the book's jacket and in a tongue-in-cheek introduction by the book's editor, it was alleged that this 1996 work was written by Bachman years earlier, but the manuscript had only recently been discovered by his widow in a trunk.
King states that he got the idea for the book while having a conversation with the late Sam Peckinpah. The novel originated as a screenplay titled "The Shotgunners". Apparently, Peckinpah liked it and made some suggestions about the script. King wrote a second draft for it, but Peckinpah died before King finished the script.
The story takes place in the fictional town of Wentworth, Ohio, a typical suburban community. On Poplar Street, an autistic boy named Seth has gained the power to control reality through the help of a being known as Tak. Soon, Poplar Street begins to change shape, transforming from a quiet suburb into a wild west caricature based on what Seth has seen on his television. Meanwhile, the other residents of the street are being attacked by the many beings that Seth's imagination is creating, due to Tak's control over them. These residents are forced to work together to stop Seth and Tak from completely transforming the world around them and stop Tak before he kills anyone else.
Seth's imagination is heavily influenced by a western called The Regulators and a cartoon called MotoKops 2200. The novel contains excerpts from scripts for both.
References to other King works
In the novel's epilogue, a letter written by a woman on her honeymoon to her friend mentions one of Stephen King's earlier works, The Shining. "You're the only person I know who's read not just one copy of The Shining to tatters, but two!" "...although I don't suppose it's much like Stephen King's Overlook..."
One of the characters in the story finds a note written by Barbie (Dale Barbara) who is the protagonist in the story Under the Dome.
- The Regulators at stephenking.com