I hate to have to do this to a Stephen King book, but it took me just a short while to suss out the plot of the thing, and get a good read on how it would have to turn out. Stephen King has a pretty good formula going for most of his stories: Evil shows up, Evil starts the fight. The good guys win in the end, but it costs them heavily. The beauty of what he writes lies in his development of key characters, and some of the ever-lovin best plot twists and shocks anybody ever wrote. And almost none of them seem like a construction. They seem to flow effortlessly from the guts of the stories that he writes. By comparison to some of his best, I had to rate the Regulators well down from his best efforts. His long novels (and multi-part novels) is where he really shines. The two Talisman novels need to be read by everybody.
If you've read "Desperation" by Stephen King, this book will seem awfully familiar, and not in a good way. I recommend putting some books and some time between the two to minimize your desire to instantly hate it based on the recasting of characters in entirely different situations and with new personalities and families. Of the two, I vastly prefer Desperation, but that could be because I read it first, or because I have lots of firsthand experience with the sort of creepy small Nevada desert town Desperation is set in. I found the characters in Desperation to be a bit more relatable; they are very similar to characters he's used throughout his works. I had to reread The Regulators about a year later to give it a fair shot, and while it's not as bad as I remember, I still didn't enjoy it the way I did Desperation.
I found the beginning to be exciting, didn't care for the middle, but the ending was exciting. Spoiler... I was never a big fan of one of the "monsters" that King had created in another of his books so was disappointed when it reappeared here. It was a fairly standard King horror tale with the standard gore. But a couple of the characters were well drawn and the kind that you would like to see survive to the end. There was a twist in the end but there were a couple of points that seem to be lost in the story. Yes, I seem to be rambling here, but it is the nature of the story. It tends to ramble a bit itself. Anyway, if you like King, or in this case Bachman, you'll probably like this though it is not one of my favorite King (Bachman) stories.
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