Review: The Regulators

The Regulators
The Regulators
By Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King)
New York: Dutton, 1996, New York (1996)

The Short of It:

Brimming with wit but tame as far as horror stories go.

The Rest of It:

One sunny afternoon, an entire neighborhood finds itself the center of destruction when a group of demented villains show up in vans and basically shoot anything that moves. As the residents watch in horror, they suddenly realize that this is no random act and that their quiet little neighborhood is under siege.

The Regulators was published under the name Richard Bachman, but most King fans know that Bachman is the pen name King used for several years. As far as his books go, this is one of the tame ones. There are lots of characters to keep track of in this small neighborhood but their personalities are different enough (in most cases) to keep everyone straight. There is a supernatural element but he doesn’t spend too much time on that aspect of it, just the aftermath and how it affects this particularly unlucky neighborhood. The story is a little farfetched but by the end, I was buying it. It’s definitely not one of his stronger books, but I did enjoy reading it and it was a quick read.

The Summer of King

When I posted about The Summer of King, and how I wanted to spend my summer reading King books, some of you told me that The Regulators and Desperation happen to be related. When I chose those two to read, I had no idea that they featured parallel worlds. Talk about dense. I mean, if you look real hard you can even see how the cover art connects to one another. Anyway, so although this book was a little tame for me, I appreciate King’s classic sense of humor in relation to being blown to bits, cheating wives and annoying kids. I chuckled many times and now can’t wait to re-read Desperation as I read that one when it first came out and cannot remember a thing about it!

Have you read a King book lately?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

12 thoughts on “Review: The Regulators”

  1. I have to say this was tame, but it was so way out there. I loved that over-the-top feel to it. These characters are nutso! I really enjoyed this one and cannot wait to read Desperation next. I agree with you that Kathy should read Joyland or Mr. Mercedes next, though I’m still reading Mercedes.

    1. It is strange how the characters react to what is going on. I remember during the Northridge quake, my neighbors were very strange and it reminded me a lot of that experience. When stressed, some people rise to the occasion and others fall apart. 


  2. I read this one, and Desperation back when they came out. I don’t remember much! But there is one thing you can always count on with him, and that is a great STORY. Just interesting stuff. I do have Duma Key loaded on my iPod. Once I finish The Silkworm, I may start that one.

  3. I think I listened to Joyland after doing the Sleepalong with you, but haven’t gotten to Mr. Mercedes yet. Too many other doorstoppers in my queue lately (Red Moon, The Luminaries, East of Eden, and The Quick)!

  4. Ti, this one sounds like a fun read. And that other book does look like The Regulators. I actually started reading King the other day – I’m at the beginning of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption from Different Seasons. I am really loving it.

  5. I really, really, really want to get into King’s backlist. I finished Mr. Mercedes a few weeks ago and loved it, of course. I think my knowledge of said backlist though is terribly lacking as I had no idea these two even existed. I’m a horrible King fan.

  6. I read both this one and Desperation when they first came out. I should really consider re-reading these ones because I remember enjoying them. Plus, I love the connection between the covers!!

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