The Regulators Review
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In 1996, Stephen King published two books—one called Desperation and another called The Regulators, published posthumously by his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. The books deal with the same set of characters—in a different setting.

The Regulators takes place on Poplar Street, a suburban street in the small town of Wentworth, Ohio—just outside Columbus. What starts out as just a normal July afternoon on Poplar Street soon turns nightmarish. A bunch of bright-colored vans begin to drive up and down the street, shooting neighbors on their front lawns. And the suburban neighborhood slowly transforms into a frightening mix of science-fiction and wild west, complete with fierce animals that can only come from a child’s mind.

That child is Seth Garin, an autistic child who came to Poplar Street to live with his aunt and uncle, Audrey and Herb Wyler, when the rest of his family was killed while on vacation. Seth’s extraordinary mind has been taken over by a creature called Tak, who uses Seth’s obsession with westerns and a kids’ TV show called MotoKops 2200 to wreak havoc—first on Seth’s family, then on all of Poplar Street.

The Regulators is like something straight out of The Twilight Zone. It’s an imaginative yet grim story, told through old letters and diaries and movie and TV scripts, as well as through the minds of the residents of (and visitors to) Poplar Street—Audrey Wyler, Johnny Marinville, the successful children’s author, Cynthia, the convenience store cashier, Doc, the retired veterinarian, and several others. In fact, there are so many others that it’s often difficult to keep track of all of the book’s characters—or to really relate to any of them. It’s a chilling novel that’s sure to make you shudder from time to time, though it’s not one of King’s best. I’d recommend Delores Claiborne or Bag of Bones instead.

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