In 1999, King was struck by a pickup truck while walking near his home in Maine and nearly killed. In 2001 he released Dreamcatcher (620 pages), his first novel after the accident and a story about four friends who meet for their yearly hunting trip and find themselves in the midst of an alien invasion. Many were disgusted by one of the book’s creatures, which grows in its victim’s stomach and then exits … out the back end.
King: I was in pain all the time [while writing that book]. I couldn’t keyboard that book at a computer or a typewriter. I was in a chair with pillows on both sides of me, particularly on my right where my hip just hurt all the time and my lower leg was on fire. I wasn’t sleeping very well. I was taking a lot of painkillers that weren’t helping very much. And at the same time, the book took me away when I had a chance to write it.
I’d never really read a story about something terrible happening revolving around bathroom functions, eliminatory functions. And I wanted to do that because it just occurred to me that so much of the really terrible news we get in our lives, we get in the bathroom. Either because we discover a lump or because there’s blood in our stool or even when you look in the mirror and all at once you say, “S___ man, I’m going bald!” All those things happen in the bathroom. Half of really scaring people is getting them in a place that’s undefended. Nobody’s as defenseless as they are in the bathroom, with their pants down.
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