King’s third release of 1987, after The Eyes of the Dragon and Misery, The Tommyknockers (558 pages) is the author’s first novel-length attempt at a straight-up aliens-invade-earth story. After a writer discovers a piece of metal sticking out of the ground in the woods behind her house, she starts to dig — and dig and dig.
King: That was another case of a book I tried to write a long time ago. I had the idea of the guy stumbling over the flying saucer when I was a senior in college. I had 15 or 20 pages and I just stopped. I don’t remember why. I think it was probably like Under the Dome. The canvas was just too big. And so I quit. The pages went God knows where. Years later the idea recurred and I just got swept up by the concept.
I can remember going into that book thinking, “If I have these two people and they’re able to get this flying saucer out of the ground and fly it, then they can decide they’re going to become sheriffs for world peace and discover they do a really terrible job at it, because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it turned out not to be that.
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