Stephen King is one of the most beloved authors of all time, thanks to his incredible body of work.
However, what even some of the writer’s biggest fans don’t know is that he actually had one of his earliest novels pulled from store shelves, and it will never be sold again.
Now, King is an iconic figure in the realm of contemporary literature. His journey to literary stardom is a testament to perseverance, as he initially struggled to make ends meet as a writer.
However, in 1974, his novel Carrie became a breakthrough success, catapulting him into the limelight. Since then, King has produced a staggering body of work, with over sixty novels and countless short stories to his name.
King’s bestsellers, including The Shining, It, and The Dark Tower series, have collectively sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide.
His ability to tap into universal fears and delve deep into the human psyche has earned him a dedicated fan base. His works often explore the dark corners of human nature, the supernatural, and the mundane horrors of everyday life, resonating with readers on a visceral level.
Beyond his literary achievements, Stephen King is a beloved cultural figure due to his relatable characters, gripping storytelling, and his philanthropic contributions to the writing community.
He’s a master of horror and suspense, and his influence on the genre is immeasurable, making him an enduring and cherished presence in popular culture.
However, back in 1965, when he was still in high school, King wrote a novel titled Rage. It first appeared in print in 1977 under the name Richard Bachman, King’s pseudonym, and was later published in the Bachman Books.
It follows the story of a student who brings a gun into his school, and goes on a rampage killing teachers and holding his own class hostage.
However, the novel was pulled from the shelves after it was reportedly related to 4 school shootings from 1988 to 1997.
In 2013, the author wrote an essay titled ‘Guns’ that addressed this.
“I suppose if it had been written today, and some high school English teacher had seen it, he would have rushed the manuscript to the guidance counsellor and I would have found myself in therapy posthaste,” he wrote, via UNILAD.
“But 1965 was a different world, one where you didn’t have to take off your shoes before boarding a plane and there were no metal detectors at the entrances to high schools.”
The seventy-five-year-old said that although he does not believe the book was the only reason for the shootings, he believed it could have been a ‘possible accelerant’ of the tragedies.
“I pulled it because in my judgment it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do,” he said.
However, in the years since it was ceased from being published, Rage has become one of the most in-demand out-of-print novels, with copies selling for upwards of $2000.