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Stephen King novel will never be printed again as it's been pulled from store shelves

Emma Rosemurgey

Published 
| Last updated 

Stephen King novel will never be printed again as it's been pulled from store shelves

Featured Image Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Gary Miller/Getty Images

If you're a fan of horror books, you're almost guaranteed to be a fan of Stephen King.

He is, after all, one of the most renowned authors of our generation and the brains behind some of the most legendary horror film adaptations of all time.

But while It, The Shining and Pet Sematary, among many others, are all considered literature classics, you may never get the chance to read one of King's earlier works after it was pulled from print.

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Back in 1965, when the American author was still in high school, he wrote a book called Rage, which he published a decade later following the success of his other works.

Stephen King wrote Rage while he was in high school. Credit: CBS
Stephen King wrote Rage while he was in high school. Credit: CBS

The title first appeared as a paperback under King's pseudonym Richard Bachman in 1977, and was later added to a collection of short novels in 1985, titled the Bachman Books.

Rage follows a troubled high school student who brings a gun into school and shoots several teachers before holding his own class hostage.

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But several decades later, the Carrie author was forced to pull the book from print after it was allegedly linked to four different school shootings between 1988 and 1997.

In 2013, King wrote an essay titled Guns, acknowledging that the world is a very different place now compared to when he wrote the novel.

"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 counselor and I would have found myself in therapy posthaste," he wrote.

"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."

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Rage was actually linked to four school shootings between 1988 and 1997. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Rage was actually linked to four school shootings between 1988 and 1997. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

While he doesn't think it was among his best work, King said the controversial book 'told unpleasant truths' and he believes that "anyone who doesn't feel a qualm of regret at throwing a blanket over the truth is an a**hole with no conscience."

Although King, now 75, says he doesn't believe Rage was sole reason for the gun incidents, he did admit it could've acted as a 'possible accelerant' to those already experiencing psychological problems.

He explained: "I pulled it because in my judgment it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do."

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Since being pulled from print, Rage has become the most sought after out-of-print novel in the world, with paperback copies currently on sale online for upwards of $2,000.

Topics: Celebrity, Stephen King, Horror, Books

Emma Rosemurgey
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