is a novel written by Stephen King
under the alias of Richard Bachman. Barton George Dawes, grieving over the loss of his son and the disintegration of his marriage, is pushed to the edge when he learns that both his home and his workplace will be demolished to make way for an extension to an interstate highway.
The novel provides examples of:
- Canon Welding: Dawes works at Blue Ribbon Laundry, the setting of The Mangler and where Carrie's mother works.
- Dead Person Conversation: Dawes has internal conversations with his dead son.
- Downer Ending: Par for the course for a Bachman book.
- Genre Adultery: Was written in between 'Salem's Lot and The Shining as an attempt to write a "straight" novel.
- Infant Immortality: Subverted. Dawes' son dies from a brain tumor before the book begins.
- Old Shame: King stated in the first printing of The Bachman Books that it was his least favorite of the bunch. He changed his mind later for the second printing, saying that it was his favorite.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After all is said and done, the epilogue reveals that there was no real reason for the extension project; the city simply had extra money in its road construction budget, and had to spend it for fear of having the next year's budget reduced.