When events like this happen, you can’t turn a blind eye to it. Why? Because it’s everywhere. It’s unavoidable. I believe in almost all school shootings (and I’m no expert, folks), the shooter rarely survives the ordeal – so, we’re left with the question: why did so-and-so commit these atrocities? Unfortunately, investigative reporters and police have to piece together a jigsaw puzzle of these people’s lives to try and see the bigger picture. It involves a lot of guess work and interviews with those who claim to truly know these people.
In “Rage”, King (under the pen name, Richard Bachmann) crafts a scenario in which high school student Charlie Decker holds his class hostage. Throughout the novel, Charlie recounts his life and the events that led up to that fateful morning. We are also treated to a glimpse into the lives of those held at gunpoint, the students.
In the years following the book’s release, there would be at least two events that occurred copying the books plot. On both occasions, the book was found in the possession of the shooters. After it happened, King strongly urged that the book be pulled from publication.
After finishing “Rage”, I can see why King no longer wishes to have the book published. He basically turns Decker into somewhat of an anti-hero as the reader is subjected to sympathizing with him. He generally seems like a likable kid who just happened to have a hard upbringing. All the signs were there; abusive father, strict mother, unpopular at school and repeated sexual frustration – they can make someone jaded towards the world. I found myself confused as to how I actually felt for him, despite the fact that he had no regard for human life – I guess that’s why it was pulled from the shelves.
Overall, this book blew me away. It was kept so tight that all the drama wasn’t wasted. I flew through this so quickly as I had a hard time putting it down. It’s probably a good thing that it’s not longer published based on the two incidents involving real life school shootings, but I think that if you have a chance to read it – maybe you should give it a chance. That is, if you can find it.