"I guess when you turn off the main road, you have to be prepared to see some funny houses." - Rage
Rage is a story about the moment King realized that in order to be a good writer he was going to have to break away from ‘normal’ society and put a voice to things that everyone else is afraid of. Not fearful things like that f***ed up sea monster from H.R. Pufnstuf but the kind of emotional s**t we numb with Game of Thrones or bourbon. Or maybe Vodka. You get what I mean.
“Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.”
King started writing Rage in high school and even then he knew that taking this step outside of normalcy wasn’t going to be painless for him. The main character in the story gets shot in the heart but survives because of a padlock he had shoved in his chest pocket. That’s symbolic of some stuff. Look it up.
The story goes like this: A high school kid flips out and shoots his math teacher. Then he takes his math class hostage. The whole time he’s holding them hostage he tells stories about his past. Events and things that made him become the kind of kid who would shoot his math teacher and take his math class hostage. In between these stories there is some back and forth with the other students where they open up about all the things they’ve been keeping from each other. At some point one of the characters yells out something to the effect of “Why are we taking about these things!!?”
“When you're five and you hurt, you make a big noise in the world. At ten you whimper. But by the time you make fifteen you begin to eat the poisoned apples that grow on your own inner tree of pain.”
Stephen King is the kid at the desk telling the stories and we’re the class held at gunpoint, unable to stop ourselves from crossing into whatever subject matter he feels like traversing us into. Sometimes we even cry out like that character, “Why are we doing this?”
There’s even a part in the story where the other students could have left at any time. He never really threatened them. One of them even leaves to take a leak and she comes back. How many times has someone described his books by saying, “I couldn’t put it down!” That says it all. Part of us wants to stop reading but we can’t. It’s like we’re being held hostage but at the same time we keep willingly coming back.