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Rage by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
Identifying First Edition Points of Issue

Rage by first editon Richard Bachman ( Stephen King ) Front Cover

Rage First Edition Front Cover

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Rage by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) - First edition points of issue.

Year Published: 1977

ISBN: 0451076451

Publisher: Signet

Pages: 211

Price: $1.50

Copyright page: Stated "First Printing, September 1997" and has a number line 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

First Edition Total Publication: Unknown

First Edition Points of Issue: True first edition was published in paperback only.

Dedication: For Susan Artz and WGT

Size: 4.2" x 7"

Bound: Paperback

Description: Stephen King's first published novel under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. King had this book pulled from circulation after the Columbine High School shootings. Originally this story was called Getting It On

The narrator, Charlie Decker, a high school senior, details how he had long been fighting his growing rage against the authority figures which populate his world. He finally snapped and hit one of his teachers with a heavy wrench he had taken to carrying in his pocket; after much wrangling and discussion, the incident was dropped and he was allowed to return to school. His mental problems only proceeded to get worse, and, as the actual story begins, during a meeting with the school principal, he snaps again when the principal's disrespectful attitude has Charlie being transferred to a different school. This time, he storms out of the meeting, goes to his locker and gets a gun he had previously taken from his father's desk. He sets the locker contents on fire, then proceeds to his classroom where he kills his math teacher Mrs. Underwood. The locker-fire sets off an alarm, and the school begins to be evacuated. Another teacher, Mr. Vance, comes into the classroom to tell the kids to leave, and Charlie shoots him as well. The school is evacuated even more quickly and the police and media arrive on the scene.

This begins a long afternoon's discussion with his hostages/fellow students. Among many other things, Charlie says that he honestly does not know why he has chosen to do these things and claims that if he did know, he probably wouldn't be doing them. While toying with the various authority figures who attempt to negotiate with him, he turns the class into a sort of therapy group, causing his schoolmates to semi-voluntarily tell embarrassing secrets about themselves and each other. Interspersed throughout are narrative flashbacks to Charlie's own unpleasant childhood and adolescence, particularly his horrid relationship with his father, an abusive alcoholic. Towards the end of the stand-off, Charlie is shot in the chest by a police marksman, but escapes death thanks to the locker padlock that he put in his breast pocket after starting the fire.

He finally comes to the realization that only one of the other students is really being held there by him and his gun: a seeming "big man on campus" named Ted Jones, who is harboring his own unpleasant secrets. The other students attack Jones, leaving him battered and catatonic, and file out of the school. When the police enter the classroom, the now-unarmed Charlie deliberately makes a wild "threatening" attack and is shot three times. He survives and is committed to an insane asylum; finished telling his tale to whomever he is telling it to as evident by the aftermath of his classmates' lives, he concludes by saying it is time to turn out the light.

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